Prioritizing Employee Safety and Mental Health in the Post-Pandemic Workplace

Really, what is the importance of having a good workplace experience and the importance of the workplace safety culture in this post-pandemic era?

One year after the pandemic, health and safety protocols concerning the administration of COVID-19 vaccines are more flexible. Employers are now looking into a return to the office workplace. Is this a good idea, or is it too soon to return to normalcy?

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In the United States, regulations and policiesOpens in a new tab. are still a significant concern of employers seeking to return to the office. The challenge is navigating through these regulatory waters while also ensuring the health and safety of employees. Technology and innovation are identified to be major tools to aid in this transition.

However, employers must consider another perspective – their employees’ mental health and its impact on working conditions. Addressing mental healthOpens in a new tab. in the context of the workplace and working conditions is vital. Effective leadership strategies and management structures would be a good entry point to establish good mental health. 

The Importance of Workplace Experience

In essence, workplace experienceOpens in a new tab. refers to all of the experiences an employee goes through in any given organization. Good workplace experience is key in ensuring employee retention/loyalty, productivity, mental health, and profitability.  

Focusing on technology, communication, and collaboration is a must, especially during the digital age. Millennials are in the working-age brackets, and the Gen Z population is slowly entering the workplace. The experience overall must be productive, engaging, and enjoyable. The desire for growth and learning is strong among the generations mentioned before, and businesses must prioritize this mindset to create a stimulating workplace or working environment. 

We must avoid unreasonable amounts of workplace stressOpens in a new tab.. It is stressful when the demands or pressures are excessive, confusing, vague, unclear, or simply not part of the job description or role. This causes harm to employees’ physical and mental state, ultimately leading to a group of individuals with low morale and low productivity levels. Management and human resources must heavily guard against workplace stress to optimize the employee experience for everyone involved.

The Workplace Culture and the Value in Integrating a Workplace Safety Culture

The workplace cultureOpens in a new tab. is another important concept. This refers to the main characteristics and attributes of the workplace.

As opposed to the employee experience, the workplace culture represents what the environment and working conditions feel like, taking into consideration co-workers, supervisors, leadership, and the physical environment. This culture plays a decisive role in job satisfaction and productivity. Having a great workplace culture is essential to ensuring that employees are connected with the organization, each other, and a great employee experience.

An important subset of the workplace culture, especially during these times, is workplace safety cultureOpens in a new tab.. In general terms, safety culture is putting all potential harms and hazards to a minimum. Despite the projected costs of adhering to protocols promoting the workplace safety culture, there are several benefits in the long run, including: 

– Preparedness

– Decision-making

– Accountability

– Stability

– Employee Retention

– Regulatory Compliance

What Should Management Deal With First: Workplace Strategy or Change Management?

In these health-conscious times, it is difficult for organizations to find aspects of their business that they need to or prioritize to keep everything afloat. 

In one of my interviews with Cristina HerreraOpens in a new tab., an innovator, strategist, people-centered change enablement expert, and founder of Cristina Herrera Consulting LLC. She talks about the major adjustments needed due to the pandemic and emphasizes looking after employees financially and psychologically. We discussed a lot of important points during the interview, including the following:

  • The essence and two definitions of change management and how important it is to consider in these difficult times
  • The space you create for your people and preparing your people for that space
  • The meaning of workplace strategy and its relationship to change management

If you are interested to know more about Cristina’s views and insights regarding change management and workplace strategy, check out the video below:

Now for your thinking time – Take five minutes and think through these questions. Write the answers on paper so you truly think them over.

1. What does the workplace look like to you right now?

2. Are you used to the changes at this point or would you prefer a return to the pre-pandemic office?

3. How has your management team helped the organization transition to this post-pandemic working paradigm?

Join our discussion on our Discord server via the following link and share your thoughts: in a new tab.

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