What this is

A safe working environment makes it easier for staff to be themselves.

As a people manager, you play a core role in building a safe work environment.

When your staff feel safe, they’re more likely to contribute to the team and speak up when something is wrong.

Why you need to focus on this

If you create a safe environment and are empathetic to your staff, you’ll help:

  • build trust in your working relationships
  • build collaboration in the team
  • give them more satisfaction in their work
  • increase work performance
  • reduce distress

What happens if you don’t focus on this

If the environment for your staff is unsafe and you ignore the needs of your staff, they may:

  • become alienated
  • become disengaged with their work
  • develop a combative approach that escalates to conflict
  • experience distress
  • feel unsafe
  • find it hard to comply with agreed values and protocols
  • seek legal action

Tips to use

If matters escalate, be empathetic to each member of your team’s needs and help prevent harm to their wellbeing.

Check your team has a good physical environment to work in, whether this is in the office or remotely. Ask them if the software or equipment they have is okay.

If your team works in a non-office role, ask your team if there’s anything you can do the help them in their work environment.

Other things you can do are:

  • balance work outcomes and what’s happening at work or in their lives
  • check any survey results your organisation has about staff wellbeing to work out what you can do
  • make sure your team is taking enough breaks
  • support your team to do the best they can based on their circumstances
  • tell your team it’s okay to not always feel good and to speak up about it or seek help