Social safety at work: 5 tips to promote a safe work environment
By Kirsten van Enk | 28/04/2023
Social safety at work is essential for a healthy work environment where employees feel valued, respected and supported. A safe work environment is not only good for employee well-being, but it also increases productivity, reduces absenteeism and increases talent retention. In this article, we share five tips for promoting social safety at work.
Have you ever experienced an unsafe work environment? If so, you’re certainly not the only one. You would think that we would leave bullying behavior behind us after primary school, but nothing could be further from the truth: 4 out of 10 of employees reported that they have experienced various forms of bullying behavior at work. Therefore, creating a safe work environment and promoting social safety at work is still an important issue. When employees feel safe at work, they can be themselves, have more motivation and feel more committed to the organization.
Why get started with social safety at work?
When employees do not feel safe and cannot be themselves at work, it brings major consequences. Consider the following aspects.
- The employee who does not feel safe will suffer the most on a personal level. He or she may go to work with lead in his or her shoes, may not be able to concentrate well and may suffer more stress. This can ultimately lead to long-term sick leave and burnout.
- The atmosphere in the team in which the situation is taking place will get worse and worse. Perhaps only one person is actually creating an unsafe environment, but people are group animals. If there is no safety to say something about it, people will unconsciously contribute to the bullying behavior. And whether it’s conscious or not, everyone notices the consequences in how the team treats each other.
- Business results will eventually deteriorate because of an unsafe environment. And that has everything to do with points 1 and 2. Employees can’t concentrate as well, feel out of place and don’t put as much effort into the organization. You will start to notice that!
Do a quick, simple measurement now to see how your employees are doing! With 2DAYSMOOD’s tool, you’ll quickly put the right actions in place.
Tips for promoting social safety
Plenty of reasons to get started creating and promoting social safety at work. But how do you do it? Here are five handy tips.
Tip 1: Establish clear policies
Establishing clear policies and procedures around bullying, harassment and discrimination in the workplace is an important first step. Make sure these policies are accessible to everyone and that employees understand them. It is also important that the policies are enforced and that appropriate action is taken if a violation occurs. It’s no surprise that clarity about policies helps: internal communication is one of the 15 determining factors from the Employee Happiness Model.
Tip 2: Offer training to employees and managers
Training on respectful communication and manners is essential to promoting a safe work environment. Make sure all employees and supervisors receive this training. Managers are an essential part of creating a safe atmosphere. They are role models and must be able to quickly identify when things are not going well with someone on the team. Therefore, it is especially important to include them in this type of training. It can also be helpful to provide training on recognizing and dealing with discrimination, bullying and harassment at work.
Tip 3: Create an open culture
An open culture is crucial to promoting social safety at work. Employers must ensure that employees feel safe to share their ideas and opinions without fear of negative consequences. Make sure there is ample opportunity for feedback and communication between managers and employees. Encouraging team-building activities, feedback and social events can also help create a positive work environment.
Tip 4: Measure how employees are doing
Do you regularly have a good conversation with your employees and/or team about how they are doing? And do you also discuss the heavier topics such as bullying at work? In order to properly monitor the atmosphere in the team, you can use short-cycle measurements. With the 2DAYSMOOD tool, you take stock quickly, easily and in a fun way of how employees are feeling. Do you see a lot of stress in the team? Then start the conversation and ask where this stress comes from. There may be more to it than meets the eye.
Tip 5: Respond quickly to complaints
It is critical that employers take complaints of bullying, harassment or discrimination seriously and respond quickly and effectively. Make sure employees know who to contact if they have a complaint. It is also important to ensure that complaints are kept confidential and that those who make a complaint are protected from retaliation.
Get started on social safety at work!
Promoting social safety at work is essential to employee well-being and creating a healthy work environment. By incorporating the tips above, employers can promote a safe work environment where employees feel valued, respected and supported. Remember, social safety at work is an ongoing process and employers must continually work to ensure that it is maintained and further improved.
It is important to remember that social safety at work is not just the responsibility of employers, but rather of employees themselves. Employees must be aware of their behavior and words and ensure that they contribute to a safe and respectful work environment. By working together toward this goal, employers and employees together can contribute to a positive and safe work culture.
Put employee happiness first
Finally, it is important to realize that social safety at work affects not only individual employees, but also the organization as a whole. A safe and healthy work environment can lead to higher productivity, less absenteeism and higher employee engagement. By creating a socially safe work environment, employers can ensure that their organization thrives and grows and employees experience greater job happiness.
In this blog, we have shared five tips for creating a safe work environment. It is important to remember that these tips are just the beginning. Promoting social safety in the workplace is an ongoing process that requires employers and employees to work together and continue to strive for a healthy and respectful work culture.