Caring Workplaces.. | Verisafe Blog


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Occasional articles on safety topics


Caring Workplaces..

Posted 10:00am, 10 Sep 2019

To have a truly noticeable positive impact on society, businesses can be making some simple changes that won’t cost them a thing - in fact, many simple changes will improve the business ‘bottom line’. 

One way in which business can do better is by simply providing a greater level of care for employees, the positive ‘snowball effect’ that occurs from adopting a culture of care is good news for employees, their families but also for the HR team, CFO’s, CEO’s and health and safety advisers.

Human beings are creative, community beings.
We are multidimensional beings with needs within the physical, mental and spiritual aspects of ourselves.
To be at our best, we need to feel appreciated, supported, loved and have our basic needs met (like safety, security, food and shelter).
If we are unsupported or isolated, if we are exposed to unpredictable risks at work, if we are being bullied or are facing harassment we are likely to be in a state of stress, with a sense of fear or anxiety.
This places huge limitations on human potential, stifles our creativity, productivity and ability to function.

Due to our primordial dispositions, people need to feel a sense of “safety, belonging and mattering” at all times…
In other words, we need to feel safe, that we belong and that we matter.


Safety and a sense of belonging

We know that when we feel appreciated, safe and have had space to contribute in a meaningful and creative way - we give our work everything we have got. We provide the best care to clients and customers when we are looked after ourselves.
We become more productive and focused when we sleep well and go to work stress and anxiety free.
Feeling supported, safe, respected and able to report issues that affect our well-being at work allows for a positive workplace culture.
Happy, healthy, valued, appreciated team members become loyal brand advocates.

When leaders CARE, there is low staff turnover, and your workplace becomes a ‘workplace of choice’.
The whole community hears about how well you treat your people and they want to support your brand.
Never forget your team members are the mother’s, father’s, brother, sister’s and children of your loyal customers.

Allow for 'safe spaces'..

Make space for communication of workplace concerns such as harassment, bullying, health concerns OR troubles at home. (Trouble at home can be helped by mindful leaders by providing support - by providing appropriate support workers will feel safe, remain focused and will be incredibly loyal to the company that loves them).
Provide lists of local support services and counsellors in easy to access but private areas.

Prioritize safety and education..

Safety is a fundamental human need. If you hire people who must work alone in the office or out and about in the community, ask your team members if they feel safe.
If there are risks to physical safety, do everything possible to minimize them.

Seek to understand if team members feel emotionally safe, with bullying and harassment being huge workplace issues it’s worth putting a survey out there.
If there are problems, take steps to address them. Safety plans can be put in place for team members who may be facing violence at home to help facilitate their ‘getting out’ and staying out.

Huge social issues spill into the workplace and It takes a whole community to change these major problems.

Without compassionate leadership, poor engagement due to trauma may be mistook as a simple ‘performance issue’.
Vulnerable people need their employers to back them if they are to start fresh.
Highly supportive policies around harassment, bullying and any form of assault should be firmly in place with easy access to reporting.

If a team member requires support following a traumatic incident, there should be an accessible list that human resources can refer to for violence support agencies in the local area.

Apart from continued sector specific learning and growth opportunities to build engagement, It’s a great idea to provide all team members with optional education around empathy, communication and bystander intervention skills.