What does a sustainable working life mean and how does it affect your employees? It can be a great challenge to create a sustainable workplace, where employees feel good and can work for a longer period of time. In this article, we’ll have a look at what a sustainable working life is and how you can achieve it.
What does a sustainable working life mean?
The topic of sustainable working is something that’s gaining increasing traction lately. In essence, it means that your employees should be able, and willing, to work for their entire working life. A sustainable workplace therefore actively ensures that employees do not suffer from ill health or injuries due to the job. In order to do this, you need to be aware of the risks that exist in the workplace and which measures you can take to counteract them. It is also important to follow up on those measures to ensure that the changes you implement yield results.
Why is it important to have a sustainable workplace?
Life expectancy is increasing, which probably means that we will have to work until later in life. You should therefore create conditions for your employees to succeed in their work in the best way without risking their health. Otherwise, it is not certain that they will be able or willing to work their entire working life. A sustainable workplace also contributes to increased staff well-being, satisfaction, and higher employee engagement in the workplace. If employees are happy at work, it will also be easier to retain competent staff, for example. The work towards a sustainable working life is thus something that benefits the entire business.
What can you do to promote a sustainable working life?
Get an overview of systematic changes to the work environment
Making systematic changes to the environment work means that you examine the work environment and take measures to improve it in order to prevent accidents and ill health. To get an overview of the current situation in the workplace, it’s good to make a risk assessment. This risk assessment makes it possible to map out the risks of ill health and accidents. You can make an assessment by conducting an anonymous employee survey, for instance, to get relevant feedback from your employees.
When you have made a risk assessment, it’s important to address the risks and work towards preventing them. Therefore, set realistic and measurable goals and an action plan for how you will achieve this. Then make sure to follow up on the plan, track the changes, and see if the goals are achieved. The follow-up is important as it shows if the changes in the workplace are actually taking root and improving circumstances. Anonymous surveys can be conducted as needed and make it possible to measure the results over time.
Providing a safe work environment for your employees
To promote a sustainable working life, you should make sure that your employees feel safe in their workplace. Employees want to know what they can expect from you, even during times of change. Therefore, inform your employees about the company’s future plans. You can also create engagement by letting employees be involved and influence their work tasks and the development of the business.
It is also important that you talk about what your expectations are for your employees. Have high expectations, but do not push them too much. Give them responsibility and be clear about what their duties are. When employees have performed their duties in a good way, you should acknowledge this through praise.
Review your employees’ health
To contribute to a sustainable working life, your employees must feel good both physically and mentally. The first thing you can do is to perform a health examination and map the health of employees in the business. A survey is an excellent tool for compiling data and creating an overall picture of the company’s average health.
Depending on the results of the survey, you can take different measures to improve your health at work. For example, you can offer employees wellness grants or give them access to healthy snacks. You can also introduce remedial measures for employees who return to the workplace after sick leave.
To work on the aspect of health, be aware that you can consult experts outside of the business. This can be, for example, a health developer, company doctor, or ergonomist.
Protect the social work environment
The social work environment is a crucial factor for a sustainable working life. A sustainable workplace should ensure that employees feel included in the workplace. Togetherness strengthens both cooperation and motivation and makes your employees feel better. To improve the work climate, you can arrange social activities that nurture togetherness and bonds.
Listen to your employees
It is important that you, as a manager, listen to your employees. To ensure that, be open to constructive feedback and give your employees the opportunity to make their voices heard. This can be done in several different ways. For example, you can perform employee surveys to investigate, among other things, employee satisfaction, employee engagement, and much more. It is important to share the results of the survey with your employees and ensure that the survey leads to positive change. This way, you promote a sustainable workplace where your employees feel seen and involved.
It is also important to listen to your employees to know how to promote their personal and professional development. Show that there are opportunities for development in the workplace. This creates loyal employees who thrive better in the workplace and stay on for longer.
Do you want to learn how to nurture a sustainable working life at your company?
Netigate gives you the tools you need to listen to your employees and promote a sustainable workplace. Create surveys and gain insights about your employees. Onboarding, eNPS, Pulse, and annual employee satisfaction surveys are just a few examples of the solutions we offer.