How to create a safe working environment for wellbeing

Purposeful initiatives contribute to a positive and safer space

A safe working environment is vital for all employees, whether in the office or home. In recent years, many have started to open up discussions about mental health and its relation in the workplace. And it’s no surprise, considering how one’s mental-wellbeing can affect productivity. Due to this, many employers seek to improve their workplace culture into one that’s safe and accepting.

There are many ways you can do so. As the employer, you can create a safe working environment by following employee safety laws or nurturing mental health. No matter the company’s size, it’s your duty as the owner to ensure that there are rules to prevent accidents, distrust, or abuse. 

Ideally, you want minimal employee retention problems and a workplace encouraging communication and support. Read more below to learn how to develop this environment for your employees.

Common challenges for employees in the workplace

Before creating such a safe and inclusive workspace, you must know the issues your employees commonly face. Here are some of them.


Discrimination can come in many forms, such as being treated differently from other employees or being passed over for promotions. Some reasons why employees face discrimination can be due to their beliefs, gender, or disabilities. When this happens, you can file disciplinary actions against the offenders. You can also consider hiring an attorney in severe cases.

  • Harassment

Harassment is a detriment to any employee’s mental health. Like discrimination, it can come in different forms. This behaviour can be physical, sexual, verbal, or emotional, which can happen to any employee from any position within the company. It may be in the form of threats, gossip, and inappropriate touches in a non-consenting fashion. 

Remind employees that if they experience harassment, they should approach a higher-up or inform HR.

  • Burnout

An employee experiences burnout when they keep working without proper rest or breaks. Burnout leads to more stress and negatively impacts productivity. Don’t wait for your employees to experience this state. Ensure your managers or leaders see the signs of burnout within their team and encourage members to recharge during their breaks or vacations.

  • Workplace hazards

Some jobs have hazards that put them at risk of accidents or injury, such as construction or laboratory work. These positions require stricter safety protocols and frequent equipment inspections. Doing so ensures they are within standards and are not faulty to avoid harm. 

Ensure you have measures to prevent or quickly address accidents in the workplace. You can have a medical team on staff or train your employees in first aid so they can deal with the situation swiftly when an injury happens. If you have a facility that poses risks to your employees, ensure that they comply with any safety standards the law requires.

Creating a safe environment at your workplace

Aside from the workplace challenges outlined above, here are other ways to create a safe workplace environment.

  • Ensure employees are wearing the proper uniform

Employees in potentially hazardous positions must wear the proper uniform and use the appropriate equipment. Strict implementation of these guidelines can minimise the risks of accidents or injuries.

For example, construction workers must wear gloves when handling sharp tools and hard hats to prevent head injuries from falling debris. In contrast, laboratory workers may need to wear gloves, masks, and safety goggles when handling dangerous chemicals.

  • Have a solid onboarding plan for new employees

Onboarding is one of the first steps employees take on their first day of work. It is where they learn how your company functions and the policies you have in place. No matter the position, you must brief them on your company’s culture, metrics, and career trajectories. Onboarding also includes training so new hires can perform their everyday tasks.

A solid onboarding plan can give an excellent first impression and instil a sense of belonging and confidence for the workload ahead.

  • Encourage appreciation for team members

Spreading positivity is one way to boost morale and productivity. Showing your appreciation for your employees and encouraging the same behaviour within your teams conveys that you value what each brings to the table. 

Thank them for their quality output to show gratitude for their hard work. You can also commend the little things they do to help keep morale up. Encourage your team leaders to use these appreciation sessions to give feedback to help employees improve their performance.

  • Encourage feedback

Not every company, worker, or policy is perfect. For this reason, feedback is essential in improving the workplace for everyone. 

It’s crucial that your workers feel that they have a voice and can drive positive changes within the company. You or your leaders can give input via 1-on-1s or through group sessions. You can also ask HR to set up an anonymous form that employees can submit at any time.

  • Offer flexible arrangements

Your employees’ mental health keeps productivity high and prevents burnout. Due to this, it’s essential to ensure the mental-wellbeing of everyone in the company.

One of the ways you can contribute to taking care of their mental health is by offering flexible working arrangements. You can give them options for a fully work-from-home or hybrid setup, flexible schedules, or part-time work. Having these options show that you care about your workers’ well-being and want them to be comfortable.

study by the National Library of Medicine has shown that employees with more flexible schedules have a 20% decrease in work stress while having a 62% increase in job satisfaction. With that said, prioritising mental health has become the number one rule for many.

Protect your greatest assets

Your employees are your greatest assets. They are your company’s driving force, so you must ensure their safe environment to keep their morale high. If they experience any issues, such as discrimination or harassment, let them know that you are ready to help through disciplinary actions or hiring a lawyer.

There are many ways you can show your support and even through proactive means. And implementing those measures in your workplace can contribute to a more positive and safer space that will keep employees loyal and happy.

Jeffery Cassells, a content strategist and consultant for Shegerian & Associates, aims to make employee rights information more accessible.

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