A secure and efficient work environment is every employer’s responsibility. When everything is in place, employees can perform their tasks well, benefiting clients and contributing to company growth.
However, creating and maintaining an ideal workplace isn’t always easy, especially if other factors come into play. According to analytics firm Gallup’s State of the Global Workplace: 2022 Report, up to 44% of workers experience daily stress. The report also states that employees’ sense of well-being dropped five percentage points in South Asia and Europe, indicating dissatisfaction over their current and future state.
Employers and managers must study and address these issues, as they could negatively impact workers’ motivation and productivity. Improving the physical environment, workplace culture, and policies can boost staff productivity and satisfaction.
Here’s what you can do to prevent employee burnout and increase engagement and efficiency.
1. Giving them access to the right tools and equipment
Your organization may suffer if your staff members don’t have the right tools at their disposal. Investing in the right office equipment, from software to hardware, devices, machines, and anything that enables employees to perform their tasks is detrimental to a company’s success. For instance, an outdated computer and slow Internet connection restrict employees from performing their jobs more effectively.
Besides updated hardware and software devices, getting niche-specific tools can boost efficiency, cut costs, and increase revenues. For instance, this cleaning business software allows companies to organize their operations more efficiently. The application covers core activities such as service scheduling, monitoring, customer relationship management , invoicing, and payments as an all-in-one business solution.
Pushing for business automation
Sticking to manual operations could cost a business millions of lost income opportunities, resulting in delays, errors, and disruptions. Research done by market intelligence firm IDC discovered a company could lose up to 30% of its yearly revenues due to inefficient processes. In most businesses, the said amount could spell the difference between keeping afloat and going under.
To enhance operational efficiency and ensure cash flow, companies must be active in collecting receivables. This free and customizable template from Jobber cuts the invoicing processes in half. It eliminates costly errors and delays, allowing you to pay your employees’ salaries on time for the services rendered.
Improving physical environment
Even simple things like adjusting your office layout and lighting can help. In a research report, 40% of employees claim to struggle to work in poor lighting. Hence, you can increase productivity levels with better lighting by boosting mental performance and making them happier at work.
Aside from lighting, providing office equipment like sturdy and high-quality office chairs, desks, and updated devices can save time and cost. This equipment can allow your staff to work more comfortably and avoid potential workplace injuries and lawsuits. Depending on the circumstances, workers can sue an employer for negligence, premises liability, and product liability in the event of illnesses and injuries.
2. Prioritizing their well-being
Besides the 2022 Gallup report mentioned above, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) also discovered in its 2020 report that 40% of American workers considered their jobs extremely stressful.
The 2020 NIOSH report added that workplace stress is often manifested by health complaints rather than family or financial issues. Besides providing your staff with the right tools, it’s important to show that the company prioritizes their well-being.
Mental health and other types of support
In 2020, Mental Health America collaborated with a job subscription platform to conduct a survey on mental health in the workplace. Among other key findings, the survey discovered that 76% of the respondents expressed strong links between job stress and mental health .
Although a majority have reported experiencing burnout, not all of them aren’t given the support they need. Still, 21% were able to open discussions with the human resources department on how to cope. The respondents identified work flexibility as the most important employer support they can get. So are paid time offs, mental health days, and enhanced health insurance coverage.
Training and other perks
Besides compliance with domestic labor laws and providing reasonable wages, upskilling opportunities can help your staff become more efficient and productive . Career growth is an important drive for employees, and they’re less likely to leave if employers provide them with such opportunities.
3. Promoting employee engagement
Team member engagement is essential in developing a secure and efficient workplace as it affects core business aspects, including the office culture, productivity levels, and customer relationships. Engaged workers positively impact brand reputation, workers’ retention rate, and company profitability.
A 2020 Harvard Business Review discovered that 92% of business executives believe staff engagement resulted in more successful team performances and better organizational outcomes. In addition, 56% reported positive returns from their investments in these activities.
Initiating open discussions
To ensure team member retention and performance, keep your staff involved in discussions before imposing new policies and regulations. Doing this can make them feel valued and heard, making them more likely to participate and cooperate.
Offering a safe space
Let your staff feel they can approach your human resources department or, in some cases, the management for sensitive topics. Allow them to fill out anonymous feedback forms and ensure confidentiality throughout the discussion.
Celebrate small wins and recognize team members who’ve done a great job. Besides a pat on the back, consider giving them a token of appreciation for a job well done.
Organizing out-of-office activities
Socialization enhances a sense of belongingness and team spirit. Fun activities like beach gatherings, lunch outs, and office parties can help promote work-life balance and manage job stress.
4. Establishing protective measures
Feeling secure in an office requires more than having the right tools and equipment. It also involves installing security systems and policies that safeguard the health and well-being of your staff.
Health and well-being
For instance, with the pandemic-driven health protocols, employers are mandated to provide hygiene and sanitation kits to their workers, alongside constant disinfection of the office premises. Some companies also partnered with government and private health agencies to address their employees’ mental health concerns.
Security systems installation
Besides hiring security guards, workplaces must have surveillance cameras and biometric systems to prevent outsiders from pursuing their criminal intent.
Offices must also prioritize workers’ safety by creating an emergency handbook and assigning a focal person or team to take over in emergencies. Staff must undergo safety training and be oriented with these policies, the physical locations of emergency exits, and protocols for safe evacuation.
Business continuity plan
In natural disasters, political turmoil, and other severe disruptions, companies must have a continuity plan to keep their operations running. Business continuity plans outline how the organization intends to respond to significant events while keeping its employees safe. Like the emergency plan, it must be periodically reviewed and updated.
5. Foster a culture of safety
With policies in place, companies must continue to foster security consciousness among their employees. The management must walk the talk, show leadership, and steer the team to achieve its safety goals.
Here are a few ways to develop a culture of safety in the workplace.
Conducting regular orientation and training
Organize safety and security training for all staff members at least once yearly. Consider integrating this discussion during staff onboarding to avoid issues with fresh hires down the road.
Seeking team member feedback
As security policies and plans must be reviewed and updated regularly, it will be helpful if companies take the time to ask their staff for feedback and suggestions about the current document. Ask your employees for input on developing a safer workplace and ask for ideas to address their concerns.
Organizing a team or a focal person isn’t enough. Encourage everyone’s participation by assigning specific tasks to your staff. You can also offer rewards or perks to anyone who can identify and report all security threats and risks to individuals and the company.
A secure and efficient work environment is vital to any organization, as it impacts employees’ mental health, engagement, and productivity levels . And because an entity’s success lies in its workers’ resilience and performance, companies must pay a premium for their health, safety, and well-being.
The points discussed above may sound like a significant investment, but as a business owner, you’re assured of reaping invaluable rewards moving forward.
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