Through the year there can be changes in staff morale, and certain times where there is always an increase in positivity.
However, employees can often feel overworked during busy periods of the year.
Your organisation can make a difference by creating a happier and healthy workplace in Australia. In almost every company, there is scope to improve the wellbeing and happiness of their staff.
According to research by Robert Half of 2,000 working professionals across Australia, on a scale of 0-100, employees ranked an average score of 68 when questioned about happiness at work, outlining their is still room for improvement.
The World Health Organisation offers a wealth of data demonstrating that in the long term, companies that promote and protect workers' health are among the most successful and competitive, and also enjoy better rates of employee retention.
In recognition of World Mental Health Day, here are nine ideas to encourage change, with a view to creating a healthy workplace for your employees:
1. Encourage creativity
Do overly-restrictive rules and processes impede the creativity of your employees? By giving workers a little more autonomy, and the flexibility to work how suits them best, you may be able to boost productivity and employee morale, helping to increase output in the long run.
You may even be able to retain talented workers for longer that might otherwise have been possible. Invite suggestions from your employees as to ways your organisations can improve and be a healthy workplace that is conducive to working.
2. Clear out your old IT
Have your employees been using the same tired old PCs for as long as you can remember?
If so, an upgrade may be well overdue. The rapid pace of innovation within the technology sector means the latest computers and devices are much more powerful and functional than those on the market just a few years ago.
Equipping your employees with web-enabled tablets, smartphones and other devices can allow them to maximise their potential.
3. Boost employee health
Healthy employees are much more likely to be happy ones; individuals who turn up for work and put in a good shift. Is there anything you can do to improve the physical and mental wellbeing of your staff, and detox the workplace?
Examples might be subsidising gym memberships and providing complimentary fresh fruit, in order to encourage healthier dietary habits. Cycle-to-work schemes and fun competitions that support healthy behaviour such as losing weight or reducing/eliminating alcohol or cigarette consumption can be welcomed ways to promote a healthy start to the New Year.
4. Improve relationships
Can you take steps to create a more integrated and healthy workplace, where everyone is committed to the same goals and values?
If staff throughout your organisation are 100 per cent willing to work as part of a team - where everyone brings their own strengths and capabilities to the table - there's a much greater chance of collective success.
As a business leader, you need to ensure there is harmony between management and the general workforce, and also individual employees within teams. If need be, take the time to sit down with your team to discuss their job satisfaction and goals.
5. Remove negative influences
Are there people working for your organisation who are a negative presence in the office?
It could be a workplace bully, an employee who turns up for work but does nothing, or someone who simply isn't up to the job. Do you have managers who simply can't manage?
Think about ways you can combat these problems, initially through a performance review and staff training. If you are unable to encourage a change in behaviour, there may be grounds to deliver an official warning.
6. Be more efficient
Do meetings run on too long without actually delivering anything of value? Does your organisation spend too much on overheads and office supplies? Do you have employees duplicating each others' work?
There are various ways your organisation may be able to work more efficiently, by making a few day-to-day changes. Consider streamlining systems and processes to cut away some of the slack.
7. Develop career pathways
Are lower-ranked employees frustrated about a lack of opportunities for progression?
If so, you can expect them to be looking for career opportunities elsewhere. Make it a new year's resolution to focus more on staff development, by giving your staff the chance to develop new skills, take on additional responsibilities, and improve their status in the workplace.
If there are no openings for promotion, think about creating new tiers with different job titles, or offering a pay rise and flexible benefits to valued staff members as this may help with employee retention.
8. Recognise achievement
If your employees produce good work, and constantly exceed performance expectations, do you have ways of rewarding them?
You want to encourage employees to make as positive a contribution as possible, and having a recognition scheme in place - potentially with bonuses and other incentives - can help reinforce desired behaviours.
9. Employ the right people for a healthy workplace
When you come to take on new staff, are you hiring the right people?
Do your new recruits stay with your organisation for a good length of time, and get actively involved in everything that's going on, or do they do simply do their job until they have the chance to move on?
Working with a recruitment agency can help identify people who are the right match for your organisation - not just in terms of skills and experience, but also personality and values helping you achieve a healthy workplace.