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How to ensure your staff feel safe at work

Office managers have many responsibilities, from deciding the most efficient layout of the workplace to procuring the various products and services required for people to do their jobs properly.

One of the biggest concerns of all for managers is staff safety - something that should take precedence over all other priorities and objectives. No business can hope to run successfully without a safe working environment and employees who feel secure and happy in their jobs.

So what can managers do to show they are prioritising safety and taking all necessary steps to protect their workforce?

Invest in security

There are few sights more likely to make people safe and protected when they arrive at work than a visible, reassuring security presence at entry points. Manned guarding also provides an effective deterrent to unlawful intruders who could be targeting your business.

Consulting with a professional security provider can also help you gain a better understanding of how to protect your premises, while investing in technology like CCTV can provide an additional layer of security.

In a recent survey by Pew Research Centre in the US, more than half (54 per cent) of office workers said they would be happy for their employer to install surveillance cameras and retain the footage for the company's own purposes, as long as the measure was designed to make the workplace more secure.

Communicate

A sense of openness and communication in the workplace is absolutely crucial for businesses that want to ensure their employees feel comfortable coming to their managers with any concerns about safety, however minor they might seem.

Encouraging positive interaction and collaboration across all levels of the company will make all members of the workforce feel like part of a collective whole, creating a sense of safety and togetherness.

Furthermore, managers will be much more likely to pick up on any potential security issues or risks if they are regularly communicating and getting feedback from their staff.

Engage with vulnerable workers

Workplace safety is of universal importance across the workforce, but it should be remembered that some members of staff - such as those who spend a lot of time working alone or on night shifts - could be more vulnerable than others.

Managers should ensure they are always up to date with which employees are carrying out certain responsibilities at particular times, with lone working kept to a minimum whenever possible.

Regularly engaging and speaking with staff who could be perceived to be vulnerable will make those workers feel supported and confident to raise any concerns they might have.

Be vigilant to workplace conflict

Workplace security threats don't always come from the outside - sometimes the most concerning and potential disruptive issues result from internal feuds and disagreements.

Good managers will always be keeping an eye on how their employees are mixing with one another, looking out for any warning signs of conflict or disharmony and showing a zero-tolerance attitude to bullying or violence in the workplace.

These sorts of issues should be confronted directly and resolved as quickly and decisively as possible, before they escalate into a serious problem and a potential threat to staff safety.

 

Posted by Julie Tucker

Image courtesy of iStock/Shironosov

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