Building a Culture of Total Worker Health

Albert Roth

This presentation seeks to engage attendees in a discussion on how our varied workplaces can be influenced to develop and sustain such a culture. Especially as organizations are guiding themselves through the continued human and operational wake of the COVID-19 Pandemic, this is a pivotal opportunity to assess where their workplace culture is, what improvements are needed to meet their EHS & business goals and how to get there. This assessment and the decisions made from it will not only communicate to employees on how their personal health and safety is valued, but set the foundation for overall organizational resilience in the future. When attendees leave the session, the goal is that they see their current cultures in an honest and positive way, obtaining some ideas or tools for improvements, but also realizing they might be closer than they may think to their desired future state.

The concept of what creates the workplace culture of an organization is the foundation of the presentation. This includes defining it, components, benefits, challenges, along with the with behavioral influences that can affect it and their importance. Key in this discussion is how valuing the total physical, emotional and mental health of our employees is made a critical part of our workplace cultures, especially at this point in history. To assist attendees in initiating cultural change within their organizations, some simple and fundamental methods or “tools” are provided. These include steps for assessing their current culture and establishing a foundation for successful change initiatives. How the attitudes towards safety in the workplace can be identified and either reinforced or changed is a key part of this discussion. Methods for taking action to create and sustain opportunities for positive employee involvement in the safety processes, at all, are also discussed. The importance of how appropriate recognition to individuals and groups can influence workplace culture is strongly emphasized.

Additionally, the importance of communicating a clear understanding of roles and responsibilities to support success in safety, business and personal satisfaction is also discussed. The various potential issues that can arise in working to affect cultural change are reviewed, along with the positive results that can come from those situations. Some brief examples of successes in affecting positive change for safety and organizational culture are also provided for attendees.

As the presentation summarizes, an organization has to decide whether maintaining the “status quo” of their workplace safety and business culture is acceptable, especially as employees are evaluating their personal and career paths coming through the pandemic. Is it time to stand pat or if it is time to make that journey to a new and more rewarding environment? This presentation will hopefully provide attendees the motivation and some tools to make that move.

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