Safety & Security and Culture
Shawnee Love •
May 27, 2016
Safety and security are basic human needs. In the workplace they occur as:
- Physical Safety and Security: That is, a workplace needs to be safe and secure for its workers. There are some jobs naturally more dangerous than others and usually people working in those jobs have to be more stringently trained and prepared for those risks. But in general, employers are mandated via law, regulations, and policies to ensure safety and security standards are met in their workplaces which includes taking the appropriate precautions, training workers, and investigating and addressing potential hazards.
- Psychological Health and Safety: Recently, standards for psychological health and safety have also been introduced. While not mandatory yet, Canadian employers and employees are becoming increasingly aware of these factors and their connection to productivity and personal health.
It turns out, physical and psychological health and safety also are directly linked to organizational culture in that the absence of a safe and secure environment (physically or psychologically) makes it impossible for employees to feel the company has a good culture.
Basically, people don’t enjoy workplaces where they feel unsafe, insecure and/or hung out to dry. To have a great culture, you must create an environment where the employee feels:
Safe: To make mistakes, to try new things, to raise concerns, to question authority, to be his or her true self.
Secure: In his or her value, contributions, knowledge, capabilities, expectations, purpose and potential.
If your employee experiences your workplace as safe and secure, you have the foundation for a great culture. In practice, you can cultivate safety and security by being approachable, empathetic and supportive, so work on strengthening those competencies while you are taking the other 11 steps.
If you want to know more about the new Canadian Psychological Health and Safety standards and how to meet or beat them in your workplace, we are here to help as a Certified Psychological Health and Safety Advisor.
We also offer tools to develop your emotional intelligence so you can foster a great culture.