Developing a positive working environment where all employees are supported is key to looking after the mental wellbeing of your staff, and freeing them up to be their most productive selves.
A safe and healthy workplace is one which is inclusive and caters for the needs of all workers. According to the Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC), a two-fold approach where the development of long-term policies is coupled with direct support services for workers is most effective.
Let's take a look at the elements of a positive workplace, how to minimise potential risks to the wellbeing of your workers and what types of policies are crucial.
By taking steps to improve the working environment, not only is the office a more pleasant place for everybody to be, but the risk of workers suffering from or exacerbating a pre-existing mental health condition is reduced.
A safe and healthy workplace is one that offers:
It is not simply enough to announce your intention to foster a supportive, healthy and safe workplace - instead, a proactive strategy needs to be designed and implemented.
In practice, this is likely to include commitments from all areas of the business to:
When formulating strategies, it is important to consider whether there are any hazards or risks to the mental health of your staff that could derail the improvements being implemented.
Risks to look out for include:
When staff are feeling overwhelmed because of difficulties with their work itself, the likelihood of having a healthy and safe workplace is far lower.
One of the most important elements of creating a safe and healthy workplace is having adequate policies and procedures in place. In practice, this will mean policies relating to:
By having these policies in place, and ensuring that they are adhered to, all staff are able to be supported and an inclusive workplace is encouraged.
WISE Workplace is a multidisciplinary organisation specialising in the management of workplace behaviour. We investigate matters of corporate and professional misconduct, resolve conflict through mediation and provide consultation services for developing effective people governance.
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