Ask the HR Department: How to create a healthy work environment

By HR and health & safety consultancy Peninsula Canada

While salary does matter, the working environment in a company is also a major reason why people stay or leave. A workplace where employees are treated fairly and with respect will attract workers who enjoy their work and value their employer. Here are some ways to create a positive working atmosphere.

Encourage a work-life balance. Be realistic about the workload and deadlines that you set for your staff. They should not be neglecting their health or personal life due to work. Overworked employees are at a greater risk of burning out, being stressed and being less productive. They are also more likely to view their work and workplace negatively.

Train managers on soft skills. People don’t quit jobs, they quit bosses. This often-quoted saying is true. Bad supervisors create low morale and can demotivate the best of workers. At times it is not even a temperament issue but rather one of not having acquired the necessary people management skills. You will benefit when you train your managers in crisis management, stress and conflict management, and on how to be effective leaders.

Provide opportunities for growth. Opportunities for career advancement, or the lack of it, are also a reason why employees may look to switch jobs or feel demotivated. Through workshops, training, or flexible work hours (to make part-time studies possible), you can help your staff improve and update their skills.

Recognize and reward good work. Make your employees feel appreciated by acknowledging their hard work. Mentor them through constructive feedback and give them ownership of their projects. Organizing work socials and holding contests around holidays with rewards, such as gift cards, is another way to keep employees motivated at work.

Peninsula is an HR and Health and Safety consulting firm serving over 80,000 small businesses worldwide, including dealers in home improvement. Clients are supported with ongoing updates to their workplace documentation and policies as legislation changes. Additionally, clients benefit from 24/7 employer HR advice and are protected by legal insurance.