The power of positivity
Staff members are at the heart of any successful business and crucial to a healthy workplace, writes Nikki Brouwers
As business owners and managers, you will no doubt be aware of the current buzz around Net Promoter Score (NPS) and the importance of providing a positive customer experience.
I know I certainly am. An often overlooked component in this commentary is the importance of starting with a positive experience for staff.
As the saying goes, ‘home is where the heart is’, referring to the affection we have for a particular place. I’m not pretending that the workplace is a home, but we do want to engender positive feelings in our staff when they think about their workplace and colleagues. A happy team undoubtedly leads to a healthy business.
From a workplace health perspective, the importance of the work environment itself, including colleagues, supervisors and job satisfaction, is critical to ensuring positive returnto-work outcomes for injured workers.
Earlier this year, I was in Canberra presenting at the National Industrial Relations seminar hosted by the Bus Industry Confederation on this very topic.
My presentation focused on the importance of building the capabilities of supervisors and managers to improve return to work outcomes following injury. It was based on Australian research from 2016 highlighting the huge influence employers have on helping get people back to work and ultimately driving good workplace and business outcomes.
This groundbreaking research identified the following factors as key to improved return-towork outcomes: • Supportive colleagues • Timely contact from the employer following the
injury • Understanding and support from supervisors.
All of these factors speak to the fundamental importance of respect for the employer and the workplace, and much of this is reflected in the behavior of a worker’s immediate supervisor or manager. The question we all need to ask ourselves is this: What do we do to identify and focus on these as success factors?
For me, it’s the importance of doing the ‘little things’ right and putting myself in the worker’s shoes to gain an understanding of what I would expect if I were on a return-to-work journey. This means taking the time to explore what the person may be experiencing, being open and transparent and discussing what people can expect, and keeping people informed and updated.
At Interact, we call this a human-centered approach with a focus on delivering the right service, at the right time, in the right way. This approach to workplace rehabilitation has held us in good stead for the past 23 years and it’s all founded on getting the basics right.
I would encourage all of you to take this approach with your workers following an injury. Not only will it contribute to a positive workplace environment, it will give workers the confidence to recover at work knowing they are supported every step of the way.
“We want to engender positive feelings in our staff when they think about their workplace and colleagues”