Why It Pays To Take Care Of Your Most Valuable Asset – Your Employees

Why It Pays To Take Care Of Your Most Valuable Asset - Your Employees

If you’re in businesses, the people you employ keep it running, the customers coming in, the product churning out. If you lose focus on this and start to take your people for granted, they will notice.

Lack of appreciation demotivates people, so the first consequence is likely to be a drop in productivity.

So how on earth can an ISO standard help you to deal with this?

Many managers, if they’re really honest, would admit that they don’t like the emotional side of dealing with staff. ‘People’ issues are often side-lined in favour of examining facts and figures – the tangible and less confrontational aspects of running a company.

But there is a problem with this approach. When productivity, efficiency and profit become major business drivers, the wellbeing of the workforce on the shop floor can easily be overlooked. As myriad studies show, this is a mistake.

In the 21st-century it is now expected that employers will diligently exercise their duty of care to their staff. The ISO Standards have this emphasis on wellbeing written into their requirements.

For example, ISO 9001 includes a clause that requires employers to minimise the negative effects of work on the emotional well-being and mental health of those who work in your business and the recently published ISO 45003 focuses on psychological health and safety at work.

It’s a horrible history

For hundreds, possibly thousands of years, the importance of a happy workforce has been entirely ignored by. Employees have been seen as little more then units of production. Their happiness in their work and lives was irrelevant as far as the bosses were concerned.

This cavalier attitude to the wellbeing of the people who work for you is no longer acceptable, thank goodness. But the need to create better staff welfare does, of course, add pressure to management and HR roles in any organisation.

ISO 45003

The recently published ISO 45003 provides guidelines for managing psychosocial risks within an occupational health and safety management system based on ISO 45001.  Applicable to businesses of all sizes and sectors it provides a structured framework to develop, implement, maintain and continually improve health and safety in the workplace.

The pandemic has elevated employee well-being on employer agendas. Isolation, stress, burnout and depression. Supporting mental health has never been more important. 

The Standard is written to support companies with an occupational health and safety management system based on ISO 45001. However, any business can benefit from this global best practice on addressing psychosocial health and wellbeing.

The standard addresses how to recognize psychosocial hazards that can affect workers, such as those caused by home working and offers examples of effective – and often simple – actions to manage these and improve employee wellbeing.

But what business benefit does it bring?

The evidence is clear – a host of academic and professional studies have researched the positive effects of a happy workforce and an optimised working environment. Google scholar lists many essays and reports that provide ample facts and figures showing that it pays to look after employee wellbeing.

These research studies quantify the effect, and that should persuade the most resistant manager that taking care of employee welfare reaps huge rewards for your business and your customers.

In conclusion, there is now much more to ‘staff welfare’ than ergonomic chairs and ladder training. Look into the additional factors ISO now requires. It will clarify your understanding that it pays dividends to give attention to employee welfare in your business.

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