Safe spaces are areas where the aim is that employees feel comfortable opening up and expressing themselves. Ideally employees would be able to talk about difficulties and important issues they face and want to deal with.
It makes sense that the workplace should be a space where employees can feel comfortable and valued. If work is just stressful and demanding, the result will be negative for both the company and the employees.
Why is a safe space at the workplace important?
The decisions an employer takes when investing in wellbeing and mental health will affect the way employees feel and work. Valued and supported staff are more likely to deliver the best outcomes for the company, increasing productivity and engagement.
A company only hurts themselves if they’re not working in the best interest of the employees.
When creating a safe space at work, the wellbeing of employees becomes a priority, having positive results for both the company and employees.
Ways to create a safe space at work
1. Set up the workplace
- Decorating your workplace with posters about wellbeing and mental health.
- Organising small events, like team lunches or dinners, where colleagues can
interact in a different way.
2. Raise mental health awareness
- Inviting a speaker on mental health to an event. We can help you with this.
- Providing mental health workshops to line managers and staff.
- Offering information and resources about wellbeing.
3. Reach out to your employees
- Establish a regular group meeting where people talk about wellbeing, stress, and
difficulties they may be experiencing. For some might it be easier face-to-face,
but you can try different things.
- As a supervisor or team leader, speak regularly with the staff to see how they are
feeling and coping with the workload, relationships at work, etc.
4. Promote diversity and inclusion
- Open a dialogue about gender pay inequality.
- Acknowledge a company culture where every voice is welcome, heard, and
- Strengthen anti-discriminatory policies.
5. Create Affinity Groups
These kinds of safe space groups can be about any shared affinity employees may have. It can be based on goals, gender, identity, interests, issues, etc. Set up a survey to get to know what they would like to share with others.
6. Offer mental health support (during and out-of-hours)
Provide professional mental health support to your employees. Many companies give access to mental health services from 9-5, without being able to support out-of-hours issues.
Some Employee Assistance Programmes like ours offer additional support beyond those hours, complementing other support mechanisms that the company might have.
Check our out-of-hours service here.here.