How to Keep Employees Safe, Healthy, Happy and Productive

February 2020
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Want to earn more profit this year? The key to success in any business lies in its employees.

Employees that are sick, stressed, or unhappy can cost your business in lost productivity and turnover costs. On the other hand, employees that are happy, healthy, safe and productive can help your business thrive.

Here are some easy ways to ensure your employees are well-taken care of.

Keeping Employees Safe in the Workplace

As an employer, it's your responsibility to provide a safe work environment for your employees, which isn't always easy. Some jobs are more physically demanding than others and some industries, like manufacturing and construction, are inherently more dangerous.

Whether your employees operate in a low-risk environment or high-risk, here are 6 steps you can take to ensure they're safe in the workplace.

  1. Assess the environment: look for potential hazards that can be eliminated to keep workers safe.
  2. Prioritize awareness: don’t just assume employees will keep an eye out for risks. Make awareness training a priority.
  3. Run safety drills: fire, active shooter, and other emergency situations can happen. Emergency drills ensure your workers know how to safely escape a dangerous situation.
  4. Designate safety leaders: all employees should know basic first aid and safety protocols but train your most responsible team members to take the lead in the event of an emergency.
  5. Create a safety-first culture: companies that prioritize safety from the top down and create a culture of adherence are companies that reduce instances of injuries and illness.

Bonus: be sure to carry adequate workers' comp. Not only is it required by law in most states, but workers' comp insurance also makes sure your workers are covered if they do get injured while doing their job.

Keeping Employees Healthy

Poor health and illness cost U.S. employers $530 billion annually in lost productivity. Keeping employees healthy not only makes sense, it makes dollars, too.

Here are five ways you can keep employees healthy:

  1. Offer health benefits: even if you're a small business who's not legally required to offer health benefits, helping get your employees covered can provide big benefits in the long run.
  2. Create workplace wellness programs: studies have shown employee wellness programs can improve workers' health and save your company money over time.
  3. Provide healthy foods in the workplace: instead of vending machines full of sodas, candy, and processed junk foods, offer healthier snack and meal options for your workers like fruits, yogurts, veggies, hummus, nuts and seeds, and plenty of fresh, filtered water.
  4. Encourage fitness: provide a workout room, start a lunchtime walking group, or offer discounts on gym memberships to get your employees moving.
  5. Keep shared spaces clean: meeting rooms, breakrooms, kitchens, and bathrooms should be cleaned and disinfected regularly to prevent the spread of germs.

Keeping Employees Happy and Productive

Some studies suggest that the true cost of employee turnover is equal to six to nine months' salary in recruiting and training expenses. So keeping employees happy and productive is a money-saving tactic that can help your business save in the long-run.

Besides, who doesn't want a workplace full of happy, satisfied, and productive employees?

Here are a few ways you can help your employees feel valued and satisfied at work:

  1. Encourage PTO: employees who utilize their PTO during an especially busy time of the year will have lower levels of stress and be able to prioritize their well-being. Bonus, this keeps sick employees home where they can rest, rather than at work spreading germs.
  2. Provide stress relief: stress brings a tremendous amount of negative physical and emotional side-effects. Offer stress-relieving measures at work like on-site yoga or flexible hours to help employees beat the stress.
  3. Don't micromanage: studies have shown that higher levels of autonomy (freedom to decide how the work should be done) equate to more satisfied, happier employees.
  4. Prioritize work-life balance: a good work-life balance can feel elusive and failing to find a good middle-ground can lead to stressed out, unhappy employees. Don't create a culture where work comes at the sacrifice of employees' personal lives.
  5. Celebrate milestones: be sure to celebrate both personal and team milestones and give the recognition to your employees for a job well done.
  6. Provide tools for success: ask and listen -- what tools do your employees need to do the job? Providing the right technology and tools can help them be more productive and feel valued.
  7. Say "thank you": it may seem like a little thing, but expressing gratitude for a job well done can go a long way for employee satisfaction.

Taking good care of your employees isn't just a profit-generating tactic; it's the right thing to do for the people who work hard every day to help your business be a success.

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