How to improve your workplace EHS strategy

7 Tactics to Create a People First Workplace

Actionable strategies that promote EHS and sustainability

June 28th, 2018

Concerns about workplace environment vary from person to person – some are interested in having an adjustable workstation while others place a great importance on being eco-conscious. Addressing these concerns is paramount to creating a people-first workplace, so we wrapped up seven actionable tactics in one ebook to help you create a safe and healthy work environment. Whether you are an EHS manager, HR professional, or somewhere in-between, this guide can help benefit your business and employees.

How to Create a People-First Workplace

How and why should you create a people first workplace? Increasing EHS program development and deployment by fostering a safe work environment (and minimizing impacts on the environment) helps to facilitate the growth and sustainability of your business. As to the how, here's a preview of the first three tactics to jump-start your EHS and HR practices – the full list can be found in our ebook below.

Step 1: Don’t be shy about safety

If employees are not comfortable talking about safety and helping their colleagues be safe in the workplace, this will likely limit the effectiveness of your incident and near miss reporting program, injury and illness prevention program, and risk assessment program.

To counter these feelings, focus on facilitating the behavior of intervening as well as accepting advice. Build a safety culture that sets employee intervention as an expectation and encourages employees to point out safety concerns to their coworkers, regardless of title, before they blossom into larger HR or compliance issues.

Step 2: Make safety a priority

Employees care about safety and want it to be taken seriously. Our survey showed that employees care most about their company taking their workplace safety and health needs seriously and the company's ability to control access to building entrances.

To make sure safety is a priority it is key to communicate with your employees about EHS policies and programs and how they keep them safe. Integrate crisis response plans into employee communications and install safety cameras or hire security guards for parking lots. Putting these systems in place addresses the fact that employees hope their company will take their safety needs seriously – by hearing them out you can create a more productive and comfortable work environment for all.

Step 3: Turn concerns into actions

When your employees or clients have concerns, you need to have a response.  

Train your EHS team to respond quickly to employee concerns, such as strange odors or blocked exits, to show employees that EHS is taken seriously at your company. Make EHS visible by launching an annual EHS Awareness Day led by corporate EHS managers and facility managers who can set up interactive stations around offices to shine light on often-overseen EHS issues like stairwell safety and proper ergonomics and provide digital and physical systems to elicit current employee concerns and encourage feedback and reporting. To ensure awareness doesn’t dwindle over time, be sure to plan and initiate EHS training for all new employees – full-time and contract employees alike.

One thing to remember is that employee concerns are diverse. When it comes to concerns, our survey showed employees care the most about feeling personally safe and secure in the workplace, knowing their company has an emergency response plan to manage any crisis, and adjustable and flexible workstation chairs, monitors, and other peripherals. 

For the rest of the steps and additional background information, read the complete ebook below.

Learn more about what the tech industry is doing to create safer workplaces.

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