As a business owner, it is both your legal and moral duty to protect your employees. In short, you need to focus on your ‘duty of care.’
If you don’t, and you are negligent in any way, then several things might happen.
- Your employees might leave your employ due to frustration or health problems caused by your business.
- You will quickly gain a reputation as a bad employer because of the neglect you have shown your employees.
- As a consequence of each of the above, your business will suffer. Should you have a shortfall of employees or if they suffer from low morale while remaining at your business, there will be loss in productivity. And if you have earned a bad reputation, you are going to struggle to keep customers and clients on your side.
Therefore, don’t be a bad employer. Your duty of care goes beyond paying your employees a wage each month, so concentrate on the following.
- Provide your employees with a safe work environment. Risk-assessments need to be carried out, machinery needs to be checked, and the appropriate measures need to be taken to safeguard your employees’ lives. The last thing you want to happen is to end up on the wrong side of a personal injury lawyer, or worst, a wrongful death attorney because of your negligence, as not only will you face the financial repercussions, you will also be plagued with guilt by the consequences of your lack of care.
- Protect your employees from bullying and harassment. It’s sad to say, but workplace bullying is rife, and as you will know just by turning on the news, so is sexual harassment. If any of your employees find themselves in uncomfortable situations, you need to take steps to help them. This includes taking concerns seriously by investigating them, and if appropriate, dealing with the offending parties according to the policies that should already be in place in your business. Oh, and FYI, unless you want to scupper your reputation, ensure you aren’t guilty of bullying or harassment yourself. Not only will you end up with a walkout of your employees, but you will be at the wrong end of a lawsuit too.
- Don’t burn your employees out. Your employees are only human, so don’t treat them like Duracell-charged worker drones, as they will only face exhaustion if you do. Ensure they have the means to take breaks throughout the day, give them a break room that is fit for relaxation purposes, and don’t overload them with more work than they can reasonably handle. Once they burn out, their productivity will suffer, and they will be forced to take time away from work with ill health, so for your best interests as well as theirs, take steps to care for your employees’ wellbeing. They will thank you with their increased productivity if you do.
Today, think about your employees. If you have fallen down with your duty of care, for whatever reason, take steps to rectify the matter. You need them as much as they need you, after all.
Thanks for reading.