A healthy business owner is a non-negotiable for a healthy business.
Healthy employees are the other side of that coin. That’s as much about physical health as it is about the mental and emotional side of things.
It’s not enough to simply pay your employees for a job well done and cut a bonus once in a while. You’ve got to build an environment that makes your workers want to keep coming back.
Intentionality is a game changer with staff. Trust me, they’ll sit up and take notice when you start shifting company policies that are conscious of their health.
So, what does that look like? Let’s find out.
The TCG Accounting Team’s
“Real World” Business Strategy Note
The Health of Your Employees is Your Company’s Health
“Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live in.” – Jim Rohn
What are the best metrics for company health? Small-business owners tend to hone in on bottom lines and numbers to tell us our company is healthy. But there are all kinds of health and all kinds of ways to preserve it for your staff — from comfort to culture to cutting stress in everyday tasks. There are tactics you can use to alleviate stress and impact your staff’s sanity, productivity, and ability to avoid mistakes.
Let’s look at three different ideas you can put to work right away.
The first thing most people think of with workplace health is ergonomics, which, in plain English, is making sure everyone has the most comfortable workspace possible. Anybody who’s had an aching neck or a pain singing up their mouse arm after a few hours at their desk knows exactly what we’re talking about.
If you have workers who sit at a computer:
- Get chairs that support the spines they’re supposed to. Workers will feel better and won’t take personal days to go to the back doctor. Don’t skimp on price for adjustability and sturdiness.
- Adjust the chair’s height so your people’s feet rest flat on the floor or on a footrest. Adjust armrests so arms gently rest with shoulders relaxed.
- Have your staff keep office phones, staplers or printouts close. Keep reaching to a minimum.
- While typing or using the mouse, wrists should be straight and upper arms close to the body with hands at or slightly below elbows. Under the desk, make sure there’s clearance for knees, thighs, and feet. If the desk has a hard edge, pad the edge or use a wrist rest.
- Place monitors directly in front of workers, about an arm’s length away. The top of the screen should be at or slightly below eye level. Place your monitor so the brightest light sources are to the side.
Mental Improvements (Culture)
Plenty has been written about company “culture”… but what does it mean, and how does it relate to employee health?
Most small business owners liken company culture to game nights and team lunches. Let’s broaden that horizon. Giving people power is, well, empowering. It generally leads to people feeling better about themselves and about where they spend their workdays.
- The biggest power you can impart to your staffers is the power to change their environment. Whether you use a chatbot, an automated or paper survey, or an old-fashioned wooden suggestion box, give your people a voice.
- Make listening a cornerstone value. Then, act on suggestions from your employees, even if just to acknowledge them. Spread their suggestions to your senior staff.
- The same goes for appreciation. You may think, I’m not here to pat them on the back every two seconds. That’s true, but it shows no weakness on your part to say thanks. In fact: It shows you’re paying attention. Spread the “good jobs” company-wide to build confidence.
When people solve problems for themselves, it lets your people take ownership of small parts of your operation. Your employees build a healthier relationship with their work, and in general, everyone is just a whole lot happier to be there.
We realize that this goes against the grain of some business leaders, but you can’t be the bottleneck for the growth of your company. If you feel you’re the only one who can do something in your company, you probably are — and that stunts real growth.
‘You’ve got stress’
Stress is the enemy of a healthy workspace. Some workplace experts say one good way to attack stress is to cut back on the “always-on” notion that workers must be online and available every minute of every day, and sometimes night.
The experts, in this case, are right. Some measures protect and respect focus. Start with your email:
- Do as little email as possible internally.
- Fix policies and boundaries for communication — and use a direct messaging software application, such as Slack.
- Bear in mind that DMing co-workers is akin to barging into someone’s office with a question (particularly if every message is “urgent” and comes with a sound effect).
- Make your people aware of your internal communication tools and policies — and, frankly, don’t be afraid to fire someone who just doesn’t get (and adhere to) that aspect of your culture.
The health of your company and staff is worth it.
Cultivating a company that runs smoothly and happily is our biggest passion here at TCG Accounting. Let us know if there’s anything we can do for you.
To health and happiness,
The TCG Accounting Team
The TCG Accounting Team