Becoming an employer can be hard work. When we first start out in business, the vast majority of us take the bulk of the company’s workload on our own two shoulders. This is understandable. When you begin in business, budgets tend to be low and you can’t simply build a team straight away. Instead, you’ll work on creating a brand, building awareness, generating demand for your products and services and eventually making sales.
Once the ball is rolling, it’s generally time to take on some helping hands in the form of part- or full-time staff members. This is a huge step in any business’ journey and, generally speaking, it’s a hugely positive one. But with staff members comes responsibility. It then falls on your shoulders to make sure that everyone is as healthy, safe and happy as possible while working for you. Here are a few areas that you may want to focus on to begin with!
Health & Wellbeing Should Be A Priority
No matter what kind of environment that you and your team work in, you must make health and wellbeing a main priority to ensure you can all stay happy and comfortable during your shifts. Far too many businesses put such little value on their employees, and this can result in them being forgotten or seen as nothing but workers rather than human beings.
All people need to be taken care of no matter what their age, gender or skill level, so you must make an effort to maintain great levels of satisfaction and security inside your business. Start by providing your staff with access to cold drinking water and fresh fruit throughout the day, as this will help them to stay hydrated and full of energy.
Next, make sure they all feel as one interconnected team by finding sustainable work uniforms that allow them to better identify with your brand and their fellow staff members. Be sure to encourage your team to take regular rest breaks during longer shifts, motivating those who spend a lot of time sitting down to get up and start moving.
You may also find it beneficial to invest in some kind of health insurance for your staff, too. Health insurance can help your employees in many ways, as they’ll be able to access more affordable treatments and care to improve their wellbeing and therefore increase their potential. Making an effort to take great care of your staff’s health and wellbeing will not go unnoticed, as they’re sure to recognise and appreciate your efforts.
Check In On Staff Satisfaction
We all like to think that we’re good employers. But at the end of the day, so much can go on within our companies that we’re not even aware of. At the end of the day, we’re just one person and if you have multiple levels of operations and management beneath you, it can be impossible to keep a track of every single staff member and how happy they are. This is why you need to keep a constant eye on staff satisfaction.
Checking in on your staff and asking how they are can give them the opportunity to raise their hand and let you know about problems that need to be resolved. Of course, few staff members are likely to say anything straight to any managerial figure’s face, for fear of repercussion. But it’s important to still get answers. So, why not hold an anonymous survey at the end of each quarter? This can ask broad questions and more niche questions, giving staff an opportunity to express their views and giving you the chance to put wrongs to rights and improve everyone’s general working protocol and environment.
Make Sure You Uphold Employee Rights
Your employees have rights in the workplace. So, you need to make sure that they are all upheld. This is particularly important to remember in potentially legal situations. Make sure that you always have the right witnesses or professionals present when conducting meetings that could hold potential for issues to arise.
For example, if you are drugs testing your employees, you should make sure that there is an expert witness present. If you are asking your employees to sign any declarations or documents, you should make sure that they have had the necessary legal advice before doing so.
Follow Working Time Regulations
There are working time regulations in place to make sure that your staff aren’t overworked. This isn’t just important for your staff members’ wellbeing. It’s also important when it comes to productivity. Tired staff members are more liable to make mistakes and produce fewer results. At the end of the day, work isn’t everything and the world doesn’t revolve around it.
Everybody needs time to themselves outside of the workplace and away from their jobs. So, make sure that you have arranged your staff members’ working hours to ensure that they aren’t working for more than 48 hours a week on average (this average is usually averaged over the time period of 17 weeks). Of course, this will differ depending on the country you are operating your business in and the industry or field of specialism that you are operating within. But all in all, you simply need to make sure that you’re not pushing your staff too far and that you’re giving them enough time to rest up and recuperate.
It’s your responsibility to make sure that your workplace is completely free of prejudice. You need to make sure that you don’t treat anyone with prejudice at any point of running your business – that runs from the recruitment process to day to day activities in the workplace. Prejudice comments or actions could be racist, homophobic, transphobic, sexist, ableist or a whole other array of negative and hateful views directed towards anyone in the vicinity of your business. You need to make sure that your business is never prejudiced to anyone based on:
- Sexual orientation
- Marital or civil partnership status
These characteristics are all protected by law. It’s up to you to make sure that nobody ever feels attacked, judged or discriminated against. After all, this is another part of your staff’s workplace experience that becomes your responsibility. If any issues are reported, you need to ensure that they are dealt with accordingly. You should have a zero-tolerance policy in place when it comes to discrimination.
Get Legal Help
If you’re ever concerned about the way a situation with a staff member is going and want to know what is best to do in the situation, it’s important that you reach out for legal help. Here, you can get in touch with someone who knows the ins and outs of what should be done to prevent any harm from coming to anyone.
These, of course, are just a few areas you’ll really have to focus on to make sure that all of your team members are treated as well and as fairly as possible. There are countless other areas you’ll inevitably have to tackle at some point or another. But for now, this should get things off to a good start. Never underestimate the sheer importance of the fair treatment of your staff. At the end of the day, they’re the backbone of your company, and without them, you would crumble!