Tips for Creating a Safe Workspace During COVID

Before the pandemic, many employers were struggling to find ways to engage employees.  As the pandemic unfolds, employers are discovering that employees’ basic needs are a precursor to engagement and productivity.  Employees can’t even think about their level of engagement until they feel safe, but this isn’t necessarily a new concept.  

With safety measures in place, businesses across the country are welcoming employees back to their offices and facilities. However, some employees may feel hesitant to return to company premises, which is why HR teams are working around the clock to address all employee concerns.

For most HR leaders, employee safety has become the number one priority as they work alongside organizational leaders to return to normal business operations.

Over the years, our exit interview data has shown that safety is a high priority for employees across all sectors. Plant workers, teachers, and physicians alike all need and want to feel safe in the workplace. Employees rely on their employers to look out for their best interests. If employees feel that their health is in danger, they will become frustrated and look for an employer who is more conscious of their well-being.

Feedback from our survey data can help employers understand what it takes to make employees feel safe in the workplace:

  • Develop and enforce a clearly-stated company policy regarding mask-wearing, social-distancing, etc. 
  • Provide health and safety training to make sure employees are following safety best practices as they perform their job duties. 
  • Establish safety goals at three levels: company-wide, department-wide, and for individuals. Establish safety audits and benchmarks periodically.
  • Make accountability a priority. “I am responsible for my health and well-being” needs to be a way of life. Encourage employees to hold one another accountable to the health and safety rules outlined in your company policy.
  • Keep communication open. Make sure employees know they can come to you at any time if they feel they are being put in a dangerous situation they shouldn’t be in.
  • Implement a COVID-19 symptom self-assessment to monitor symptoms and possible exposure among your workforce.

If an employee doesn’t feel safe in their workspace, they will not feel connected to the organization, which means they will be unlikely to be productive at work. This will lead them to look for employment elsewhere. By following the few preventative measures listed above, you can help employees feel safe in their workplace so that they can spend their time focusing on job duties.

If you’d like to learn how your employees feel you are doing before, during, and after making changes like this in your workplace, our StayRight Pulse Surveys will give you timely, actionable data that you can use. And you can ask your staff to take the survey repeatedly to gauge their sentiment. Contact us today, or call us at 877-439-9315 to see how we can help.