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Attracting Workers: Workplace Health & Safety Is Key Right Now

You’re an employer who’s hiring. In the midst of a pandemic your business is thriving, and you need skilled help. A big hurdle to a full workforce? People are worried about coming to work. It’s not that they don't want to work, they're scared of getting sick.  

Good news is, as an employer you can make your workplace appealing to workers who are nervous about leaving the safety of their homes. And it’s not only about the COVID-19 threat, it’s about needing childcare or flexible hours. It’s about knowing their families' needs are taken care of during the pandemic and beyond. Workplace health and safety and a work-life balance are integral to offering a workplace that job seekers will search for and workers will be loyal to.

Here’s 3 Ways Employers Can Make Their Workplace Popular to Job Seekers:

1. Safety First - Letting your employees and potential employees know that their health and well-being are more important than your bottom line is a hugely effective way to attract workers. 

Offering sick leave and health benefits gives employees confidence that they can stay home when they’re unwell. And, when workers can get the health-related help they need (like glasses, dental and mental health services) without worrying about the costs, they are less stressed and have more time to do good work for you. Younger workers look for and expect this kind of contribution from employers. During the pandemic, you can continue to make your company the kind of place where people feel safe with these three health and safety considerations:

a. Procuring personal protective equipment (PPE) - spending the money to provide good quality, effective PPE to your staff is step one to creating a healthy, lower-stress working environment. 
b. Incorporating technology to detect viruses and illness. Taking the guesswork out of whether or not employees should work, by providing technology such as temperature scanners, removes the trepidation your employees might feel when they come to work. Temperature too high? Go home. No punishment or reliance on self-evaluation, just facts and defined actions. 
c. Establishing policies and procedures in event of an outbreak. Providing your employees with a plan of action should an outbreak occur at your business makes navigating the workplace more manageable. Again, facts and actions provide employees with the confidence they need to work and know they’ll be looked after and directed about what to do in the event of an outbreak.

So a common theme within these workplace safety suggestions is leadership. Give your employees the equipment and the direction they need to safely do their work. They’ll be less stressed and more productive for you. 

workplace health and safety image

2. Reasonable Flexibility - Sometimes it’s just not possible for work to be done at home. However, when work can be done from home or a remote location and outside regular working hours (like day shifts), offer your employees the freedom to do it, guilt free. 

Traditional management styles resist unconventional work hours and places. However, giving an employee the option for things like tending to a family matter, and making up the time later in the day, lifts the barriers of balancing family life and work responsibilities. 

If you’re concerned about productivity when your staff is working remotely, communicate with your management team to keep on top of it. Work with your staff to ensure they know your expectations and have all the tools and guidance they need to be productive. More remote work means fewer people on site means more room for distancing for the people who have to be there and less use of PPE so quantities last longer, and a safer workplace.

3. Approachability and Compassion - Even outside the stresses of the current pandemic, family responsibility is a challenge for your workers. 

Whether caregiving for their children or elderly parents, employees fret about how to manage both work and home life. Being approachable as an employer lets your staff know they can come to you with issues without feeling guilty, judged or nervous of losing their jobs. Creating an atmosphere that promotes honesty and provides compassion for circumstances helps ease employee anxiety around trying to manage time off and not look bad to their employer. 

Workforce Strategies for Workplace Health & Safety

If you’re an employer in eastern Ontario and having difficulty finding employees or maneuvering through the COVID-19 era, here’s some workforce strategies in place to help your business cope and thrive in the new working climate.

On a positive note, there are sectors doing well during the pandemic such as:

  1. Health care 
  2. Public administration
  3. Construction 
  4. Manufacturing
  5. Agriculture

Even better, these types of businesses are prevalent in eastern Ontario, which is also committed to quality of life. Job seekers looking for work-life balance can find it in the region. Forward-thinking employers and educators have created workplaces and training facilities in the manufacturing, aviation, food processing and transportation sectors and more to create strong business sectors that benefit both you, the employer, and your staff. 

Interested in what the eastern Ontario region has to offer whether you’re an employer attracting workers or a job seeker looking for an ideal location? Download this Quality of Life infographic.

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External links are provided as informational resources only and are not necessarily endorsed by Ontario East.




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