Happy workplaces are important. Everyone is inspired to come to work every day, there’s no gossip and collaboration is the norm. These are all signs of a healthy workplace environment.
We’re breaking down exactly what having a healthy workplace means and some great tips on how to obtain and retain one. Let’s go, guys!
What is a healthy workplace?
By healthy we don’t mean clean, green, and having an office full of chai (even though that is a contributing factor to a healthy work environment) – we’re talking about a work environment where staff want to come to work, they want to work their hardest, and at the end of the day feel good about what they are doing.
A work environment that they can brag about and one that they never want to leave!
What are the signs of good workplace health?
We’ve pulled together the top 9 signs that you’ve got a healthy workplace below:
1. People are inspired, not scared
One of the key signs you have a healthy workplace is when people feel inspired, not scared. A lot of businesses have big things they want to achieve in the world and there is scientific evidence that finding “flow” (that magical place where you’re being challenged but not overwhelmed) is the best state that we can be in.
You want your employees to come in each day inspired to change the world, being challenged and engaged by the business. You don’t want employees coming in thinking they will never achieve what’s been asked of them and therefore, unwilling to even try.
2. People take responsibility
To err is human, to forgive divine and if your workplace embraces that motto, then it’s healthy. No one likes to make mistakes, but it happens. In a positive workplace environment, when someone makes a mistake, they don’t try to hide it, and they don’t point fingers at other people.
If people feel comfortable taking responsibility for what’s gone wrong (and getting help from their teammates to fix it), then you’re in a good place.
3. People work collaboratively
In dynamic businesses, everyone needs to pull in the right direction to get things done.
If you’ve got teams that are happy to work together on a project and are pulling in people with different skill sets from other teams to solve a problem, then you’re on the right track.
4. People trust each other
Trust follows from taking responsibility and working collaboratively. It takes trust to do both those things.
If your employees trust each other, then they’ll truly be able to work as a team to better the company – a sign of a truly healthy workplace.
5. Everyone in the company knows when they’ve done a good job
We like to feel like we’ve contributed to a business. We also like to know whether or not we’re doing a good job. No one should have to wait for someone else to tell them if they’ve made the grade or not.
If your people know how to measure whether or not they’ve been successful in their roles every single day, it’s a good sign that you have a healthy workplace.
One way of making sure your employees know their worth is by implementing employee benefits. That way they can recognise when they are being appreciated.
At Employment Hero, we believe that recognition is a really important factor of any great company – so we built a product feature that allows you to recognise team players anytime, anywhere. Check out HeroThanks here.
6. You can take down time and not feel guilty
Work hard, play hard right? But sometimes you need downtime to recover.
To stay healthy, both mentally and physically, it’s important to have some time away from work. This could be in the form of annual leave, sick days or even just taking a break during the day.
If your workplace supports (and encourages) employees to take some time out when they need it, then that’s another good sign that you are in a healthy work environment.
7. Your company promotes healthy lifestyle practices
We’re not talking about green smoothies and yoga here (although those things are great), but rather health-promoting activities that help reduce stress, improve productivity and promote creativity.
For example, things like flexible working arrangements, remote working, meditation classes or even just a healthy food policy in the office can improve work-life balance and contribute to mentally healthy employees.
If your company is promoting healthy lifestyle practices, then it’s likely that they are also interested in employee wellness.
Another great sign of a healthy workplace environment is when companies encourage their employees to take regular breaks from their desks. Regular breaks will help improve the physical health of employees, as they are not stuck sitting in the same position throughout the day.
Something we do at Employment Hero is creating stations in the kitchen every now and again that allow our employees to walk away from their desks for ten minutes and enjoy something!
We’ve done a ‘Healthy Hero Juice Station’ and a ‘Donut Day Celebration!’ as you can see below:
Our heroes loved these small moments! It should we cared, and got them away from their desks for 10 minutes of the day to just focus on something a little different.
8. People feel like they belong in a healthy working environment
Inclusion means that everyone feels like they’re part of the team and that they belong to the business. If team members feel isolated or that their opinion doesn’t matter, this can inhibit their active contribution to the team and weaken overall collaboration within the workplace.
It’s important to talk about and celebrate people’s differences, as often the success of a business is built upon the strength of the diversity within its ranks.
9. There’s no gossip or politics in a healthy workplace
Gossip and politics are the worst! If you’re in an unhealthy workplace, the office banter can very quickly turn into gossip and politics. It can be really harmful to the morale of the team and something that you need to nip in the bud really quickly.
It’s perfectly normal to have disagreements or criticism (hopefully constructive) and conversations that are off the record, but there are proper channels and processes to address these.
The best way to do this is by encouraging an open and honest working environment where employees feel comfortable sharing their concerns with management. This way, you can address any issues early on before they have a chance to fester and turn into something bigger.
If constructive feedback is given in a healthy workplace, it should be welcomed by employees as an opportunity to improve and grow. On the other hand, if feedback is given with the intention to hurt or humiliate someone, this is definitely not healthy workplace behaviour.
Putting employee mental health first
By prioritising workplace wellness and creating healthy work environments, businesses will reap the rewards of increased productivity, higher employee engagement, and more.
We know from experience that when our team is healthy and happy, they are more productive and creative.