How to Create a Safe Working Environment at Your Business

A safe working environment involves more than physical safety. Employees should also feel they are treated fairly and equally by supervisors and coworkers alike. Everyone must take part in creating and maintaining this culture, but it’s up to business leaders to set the tone and take action that makes a difference.

Value Employee Input

All employees should feel like their voices count. That’s sometimes not the case, especially when a select few dominate the workplace due to their position, longevity, or personality. Quieter workers who have something valuable to contribute may feel intimidated or overlooked. If they decide to just stay silent, the business could lose out.

In these cases, business leaders must develop a communication protocol that allows each person’s voice to be heard in both formal and informal settings in the workplace. Set the ground rules at each meeting about who can speak when, and proactively seek the opinions of the quieter ones while encouraging others to listen. Soliciting comments on paper or email can also help.

Introduce Diversity

Diversity and inclusion are important to a thriving modern workplace. A diverse workforce results in increased creativity and problem-solving. Moreover, when workers feel they are appreciated for who they are, they will be more engaged in their work.

Diversity and inclusion don’t happen by chance. You should create a culture of equality and inclusiveness beginning with your hiring and onboarding practices. Broaden your recruiting efforts, examine pay equity, and put policies in place that protect against discriminatory practices. Diversity and sensitivity training can also be helpful.

Use Teamwork

Teams foster a sense of community and belonging among employees. They allow workers to develop relationships of trust and support, which makes everyone feel safer in the workplace. Whether an employee has a problem or a great new idea, chances are, they’ll share it with their teammates first.

Teams can also provide peer mentorships with the right mix of people. Newer workers can gain confidence and they learn from more seasoned employees. Teams can also help promote diversity and inclusion as employees get to know and appreciate one another as individuals.

Everyone benefits when employees feel secure, supported, and valued for who they are and what they can contribute. A safe working environment can result in stronger employee engagement and increased productivity. The culture begins at the top, as managers and supervisors lead by example.

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