There’s no denying that a healthy work environment is a top concern for most employees. Review any employee satisfaction survey and you’re apt to find this issue among the top five concerns of your staff – sometimes above the issue of pay.

So how do you know if your organization provides a safe, healthy environment for employees? Well, there are some signs to look for.

1. Employees laugh often.

Generally, humor is a sign of comfort. Employees that feel comfortable with co-workers and have joy in their work will exhibit laughter throughout the day.

2. Employees freely share their ideas.

Does management truly have an open-door policy? Employees need a safe environment to share their ideas. Most employees have an opinion about how to make things better. Lack of unsolicited feedback from staff may indicate that they do not feel safe in presenting their opinions.

3. Employee values and expectations are clear.

Staff must know what is expected from them. Codes of conduct, expectations of behavior on the job, and professional values must be included in each job description and reviewed at each performance evaluation.

4. We work simply.

Frivolous demands and activities can add stress to an already busy schedule. You’d be surprised how many non-essential duties staff are asked to perform. Some are hidden. How many reports and activities are collecting the same data?

5. Our organization is reasonably orderly and comfortable.

A cluttered, disorganized environment is not healthy. A healthy work environment is also comfortable. How many chairs do you have that employees refuse to sit in because they are uncomfortable? Why are they still around?

6. Employees have strong connections with others.

A link to the community is a sign of caring. Encourage and reward staff that volunteer outside of work. Have a special event that the organization supports as a whole.

Creating a healthy work environment is possible. First, make having a healthy work environment a priority. Then, look for the above indicators. Some areas you have control, others you do not. Lastly, support actions that encourage improvements in the above areas.

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