October is Healthy Workplace month, an initiative that is close to my heart.
My experience as a nurse and a business manager has given me the opportunity to reflect on the value of a healthy workplace. When individuals are healthy, they are more energetic and capable of achieving great things. Businesses behave similarly. Healthy workplaces are more productive. This benefits the organization and its people.
Healthy workplace means different things to different people. Physical safety and psychosocial support are a component of workplace health. Things that make employees stressed or vulnerable at work are unhealthy and make it harder to get work done.
Every organization and workforce is unique. Sometimes physical safety at a worksite is the biggest concern. Other workplaces demand a supportive environment where employees feel cared for so they can collaborate and learn. Certain work teams prefer less social support but crave innovation so they are challenged and can work towards professional excellence which translates into organizational success.
Managers must figure out what their workers need to be healthy and productive. Anyone – executives, managers or workers – can suggest ideas which may improve workplace health. An employee survey is also a great tool to help identify workplace health problems. Management must then support healthy initiatives and provides leadership to make changes.
Managers who choose to support healthy initiatives understand that a healthy employee is happier and more productive. Just like when people recover from illness, when a work team supports a workplace wellness idea, amazing things happen. Excitement develops as individuals work together on a common, positive goal. The workforce becomes more connected, effective and stronger as the team’s capacities improve.
This October’s Healthy Workplace month is a great reason to plan 1or 2 initiatives to improve life at work. Talk to, observe or survey your employees. Improving workplace health will benefit your organization and employees and create a work environment fit for success.
To learn more, read Excellence Canada’s Healthy Workplace Standard.