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Workplaces were hit hard in 2020 by a huge threat to safety. The pandemic emptied office buildings and sent all kinds of workers to work out of their homes. Since then, employees and employers alike are cautious to return back to in person work. The response to this health crisis gets to the basis of workplace priorities. Prioritizing workplace safety is a crucial part of having employees. Still, many people are left asking: what does a good safety program in the workplace look like? How can it impact my company? One of the best indicators of the success of these health programs is employee retention. A well implemented safety and health program can help improve employee retention by meeting three requirements.

Keeping Employees Safe

The first and most baseline requirement for a well-implemented safety program is just that: it keeps employees safe. On a physical level, it matters to the company and employees that everyone is in good physical health and able to work. That means enforcing guidelines and protocol for safe equipment and minimizing risk of physical injury in the workplace. In addition to avoiding the major risk of legal action and liability for having loose wires or unstable infrastructure, it matters to have a well maintained workplace. If you were renting a house and the landlord kept the building in terrible shape, you would lose trust and respect in that leadership. The same is true from a company perspective. Spacial upkeep shows respect for people and for the space the business pays for. From a holistic side, it is also very important for employees to be able to access services to promote mental health. Just like physical health, poor mental health can be detrimental to a person’s ability to function and stay at a job. Making sure that your employees have the resources they need to stay healthy is key.

Prioritizing People

The second requirement for a good health and safety program is that it prioritizes the people at a company. When an employee feels valued, they are more likely to develop trust and better relationships with their colleagues. The most important asset to any company is the employees. In a company budget, make sure to include the cost of preserving employee wellness. Having a culture that supports safety and well being cultivates a healthy space. As an employer, making sure that your employees feel connected and secure in your workplace will greatly increase the chances that they will stay with your company. Safety increases job satisfaction and engagement. 

Employer Responsibility

Finally, by taking steps to implement effective safety and health programs, employers become more invested in the success of their employees, which reciprocates the first step in a trusting working relationship. Putting systems in place to actively protect employees from physical, mental, or social harm in the workplace benefits the team culture and boosts productivity, both of which are related to job security and retention. Financially, it also makes sense. As reported by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the indirect costs of workplace injuries are over 2.7 times the direct costs of enforcing safety. That doesn’t even include the costs of culture-driven turnover and a lack of trust in a work environment.

So how does a well-implemented safety and health program affect employee retention?

In summary, the most valuable asset at any company is the people who work there. Taking care of their well being is the best way to create a culture that employees don’t want to leave, and the initial investment pays for itself in worth. For employers, asking “how does a well-implemented safety and health program affect employee retention?” is a key step in moving towards an employee wellness focus in your company. For employees, it can be a critical factor in whether a job cares for them or not. By protecting employees holistically and maintaining a strong workplace culture, a clear line is drawn on company values. Employees and their needs and wellness come first.