Create a Healthy Work Environment – One of the most important factors in having a successful workplace is to ensure that your work environment is healthy! In a healthy work environment, your staff members will feel safe and happy, look forward to coming to work, and be motivated to produce their best work.
#1: Put Safety First
The first step to creating a healthy work environment is to make sure that everyone feels safe at work. This starts with knowing who you are hiring and requiring a background check before signing the paperwork. You might be wondering “do all jobs do background checks?” or “is that really necessary?”. While not every job does them—they’re not required after all—they can benefit your business significantly. It can help you identify those who might be a potential threat to the well-being of your business and your employees.
#2: Establish an Inclusive Workplace
You want to make sure that people feel comfortable around their co-workers. It also means ensuring your workplace is a welcoming place for everyone, especially people who have historically and continue to face workplace harassment and discrimination: women, LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer) people, people of color, and people with disabilities. Having a diverse workplace is important, and you want to be mindful that the work environment really is safe and welcoming for everyone. Make sure your onboarding includes anti-bias training, and that there are ongoing opportunities for DEI (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion) training. Showing that management is committed to creating a workplace that is anti-oppressive and safe for everyone regardless of their identity is one of the most important things you can do to create a healthy work environment.
#3: Offer Fair Pay and Benefits
Another absolutely crucial way to cultivate a healthy work environment is to pay your employees a living wage and give them benefits. If your staff members are constantly stressed about paying their bills, taking care of their families, and affording their rent or mortgages, they are not going to produce their best work. Giving your employees benefits goes right along with this: you should give your staff members paid sick leave, and actually encourage them to use it! People who try to work while they are sick are just not going to get as much done, not to mention if we have learned anything over the past year, it is a public health issue. Your staff needs to know that they are being fairly compensated for their labor and that they will not be penalized for prioritizing their health and well-being. People who are paid well and given good benefits are more likely to stay with the company, and reducing turnover is good for both company morale and workplace productivity.
#4: Promote Employee Wellness
You can find additional ways to promote health and wellness as a company value. For example: partnering with a local gym for discounted memberships, planning weekly company-wide yoga classes, or special events like sound baths or other activities that center mindfulness. It also goes a long way when you give your staff members options, and they can self-select what speaks to them. Organize a self-care afternoon, and let your employees pick what they want to do: group walks to the park, crafting in the lobby, yoga class, cooking workshop, etc. This way it is not another mandatory activity, but a genuinely relaxing opportunity to bond with co-workers and recharge. Read More Practical Applications of Accounting
When you plan out your yearly company calendar and budget, bake in these opportunities. Think about how you can nurture your employees. Can you do early Fridays in the summer? Monthly employee-appreciation days?Weekly bagel breakfasts? There is a lot of room for creativity based on the size of your company and your budget, but we think it is absolutely worth the investment to make your staff members feel seen and appreciated. Not only will a culture of appreciation cultivate an environment that employees want to be in, but studies show that people who are relaxed are able to show up as their best selves, and in turn produce better work.