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Each of your employees is responsible for performing their role to the best of their ability. However, the contract goes both ways: your responsibility is to ensure that they have a work environment that makes them feel safe and secure, enabling them to do the best work they are capable of. These tips will help you ensure that your team feels supported in their roles. (Once you’ve got all these bases covered, you might like to move on to ensuring that your employees’ health is taken care of, too.)
Don’t Make Assumptions
Say you have an underperforming employee. What do you do? As the owner of your business, your experience and knowledge about your industry qualifies you to make assumptions about your employees’ performance, right? This could not be more wrong. Never make the mistake of assuming that you know why an employee is regularly underperforming, or what has resulted in a slump in productivity. The best way to find out why a member of your team is struggling to meet the requirements of their role is to be upfront with them and ask them directly. The moment you make assumptions about their experience of the role, your employee will feel attacked, which is not what you want, if you’re trying to make your team feel safe in the workplace.
Be ‘Above Board’ at All Times
Keeping your employees up to date of the safety considerations you employ for your workplace, even for things that won’t directly impact their day-to-day, will give them a sense that everything has been thought of and is under control. This goes for everything from warehouse pallet racking safety, to HR-related things like diversity quotas and workplace sexual harassment training, demonstrating at all times that your business is up-to-date on all the requirements applicable in your industry, and that you care about creating a safe space for your employees. If your team can see that you go to great lengths to be above board in every possible way, they are more likely to feel safe at work, and will give you the benefit of the doubt when issues arise, rather than suddenly feeling insecure.
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Great leaders famously possess the ability to give even the lowest-rung employee the sense that their work—and they as individuals—matter to the business. The most effective way to make your employees feel seen is to insist on regular one-on-ones with your team, no matter what role they have in the company, and regardless of how busy you are. By creating a formal channel for them to give you honest feedback, or simply providing a space for the two of you to get to know each other, you’ll be making your employees feel safe by showing that you care about their opinions and experiences. Getting to know your staff as individuals means you become a more approachable boss, fostering trust among your team.
One of the things that top business leaders have in common is that they foster a sense of safety and trust among their employees. These tips will help you make your team feel secure at work.
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