Employees are the heart and soul of every business. Your employees have influence over some, or even all, of your customer relationships.
Without them, you simply wouldn’t be able to operate! Employers should do their best to protect their staff by preventing injury, violent acts, and security threats in the workplace. Otherwise, they may be facing some serious issues later on.
A toxic culture spreads its negative energy beyond the company walls, and the kind of toxic culture we are referring to is usually a result of unhappy staff.
If your workforce feels safe and secure each day when they report for duty, it will go a long way to improving your company culture and the overall happiness of your entire staff complement.
Here are seven ways to keep your employees safe at work and cultivate a happier working environment.
1. Have a Detailed Health and Safety Plan
Your company needs to have a detailed health and safety plan in case of emergencies. These guides and procedures can be referred to in emergency situations and should be made freely available to all staff.
It can also be wise to give them a copy of the most critical procedures when they commence with your business, so they are aware of their rights and responsibilities.
It is advisable to have a detailed plan of action for each kind of emergency event and not just one vague overall guide that is loosely thrown together. It should outline each step clearly, and how it should be followed. This ensures that everybody is prepared for all types of scenarios.
Once you have put together your plans, it is vital that you educate your staff and ensure they all receive proper training for what they are meant to do if those situations arise during their workday. This includes everything from fire evacuations, lockdowns, and hostage situations. You might even bring in the local police or firefighters to talk with them.
2. Maintain Machinery
Another important thing that you should do to keep your employees safe is to keep your machinery and equipment properly maintained to reduce the chances of an employee being injured on duty. Broken or old machinery can malfunction without much notice, so a regular maintenance schedule is vital.
Employers have a legal obligation to ensure that all machinery and equipment are in correct working order. Maintaining your machinery will also go a long way in eliminating the downtime experienced when there is an unexpected breakdown or fault.
Any downtime will directly affect your employee workplace satisfaction rating and, ultimately, your business’s bottom line. One broken machine can put your business weeks behind schedule, so you certainly want to avoid it at all costs.
3. Adopt A Lean Philosophy
Adopting a lean philosophy at your workplace dramatically improves visual management and gets rid of defects, which will prevent staff accidents and incidents. Improved visual management means clearer safety signage and a more direct approach to overall safety procedures. This includes further educating staff and providing knowledge to assist with on the spot decision-making.
Lean is about efficiency and reducing overproduction (amongst other aspects), which, in turn, reduces unnecessary machine interactions – resulting in fewer workplace accidents. It benefits your employees and business at the same time.
4. Start a Safety Reward Program
Reward programs foster a culture of safety in your company. Employees can be rewarded for reporting safety and security issues, and these threats can then be addressed long before they become serious health and safety problems.
It is almost like an interactive way to increase your employees’ knowledge and understanding of work health and safety. It also forms a sense of trust between you and your staff.
By encouraging your employees to value safety first in the workplace, they will soon learn to think about their actions and the actions of their colleagues when undertaking their daily tasks.
It will be something that happens naturally, rather than causing them to become scared or overwhelmed. This will lessen accidents and allow your staff to think quickly if certain situations do arise.
5. Hire the Best
Another thing that can help protect your employees is to hire the best security company that your budget will allow. Hired guards will create a sense of safety amongst your employees and will enable them to feel more comfortable in the workplace.
This is especially important if you operate a business that deals with aggressive clients on a regular basis. These security guards can maintain order and ensure all company security protocols are strictly adhered to.
Having visible security personnel stationed at the entrances and exits to your premises can also reduce shrinkage as well as ensure your company’s weapons at work policies, and the state laws regarding guns in the workplace, such as the concealed carry protection law, are enforced and monitored.
6. Install Verified Security Systems
Having a state-of-the-art security system installed can take the security of your employees and guests to a whole new level. While it can be expensive to install initially, it can certainly be worth the investment.
Protect your workforce as well as your assets with a customizable and scalable solution that is built for your unique business requirements.
With the right security system, you will be able to control which employees have access to certain places, so the sensitive areas of your business, as well as the staff who work in those departments, will be safer than ever before.
Surveillance is also essential so that you can monitor incidents and go back over them to review what exactly happened. It can also be handy in police investigations. Just make sure your employees are aware that they are being monitored, as this can cause further privacy issues further on down the track.
7. Safety Drills
Nothing prepares your staff more for an actual emergency than training them and then having safety drills that simulate an emergency situation arising.
While these drills and simulations may not evoke the true emotions they would experience in an actual emergency situation – preparedness always helps.
You might go through an evacuation or fire drill, as well as a lockdown procedure. This way, everyone understands their roles and what procedures should be followed.
Make sure your company performs these drills on a regular basis, so your employees familiarize themselves with what they need to do in the event of a real-life crisis unfolding. It would be best if you had a yearly schedule in place to ensure this.
Final thoughts: Keep your employees safe at work
If your employees feel safe and secure at the end of the day, they will be more inclined to help your company achieve its business goals and meet its sales targets.
A wise idea is to try sending out regular safety surveys to your employees so that you can see if there is anything that needs to be improved. These should be anonymous so that everyone can share their real thoughts.
Remember, a safe and secure employee is a productive employee, so if you can – go above and beyond what you are legally obliged to provide. You would be amazed at what a difference it can make in your workforce, and soon you will see the benefit this has on your business.
Your employees are worth it!
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I am Adeyemi Adetilewa, a media consultant, entrepreneur, husband, and father. Founder and Editor-In-Chief of Ideas Plus Business Magazine, online business resources for entrepreneurs. I help brands share unique and impactful stories through the use of public relations, advertising, and online marketing. My work has been featured on the Huffington Post, Thrive Global, Addicted2Success, Hackernoon, The Good Men Project, and other publications.