And yes – The Health and Safety Assessment is ‘the child’ in this scenario.
Because it is your safest and best way to good well-being and a good working environment in the company. Precisely by giving you the necessary insight into the employees’ thoughts, experiences and measuring the temperature of their daily well-being, well-being and feeling of being an important part of the company.
The main role in your workplace assessment is – and will always be – the questions chosen in the measurement itself.
And a Workplace Assessment can be decidedly useless if you are not asked about exactly the right things in relation to exactly YOUR company and YOUR employees.
So, the first step in The Health and Safety Assessment process is to map which question frames are relevant for your industry.
It is clear that if it is a construction site, then there are different questions in The Health and Safety Assessment than if it is, for example, a company with only office work.
After all, The Health and Safety Assessment must take into account both the physical and the psychological working environment.
In relation to the physical working environment, the various risks of heavy lifting, crooked working positions and working with dangerous chemicals are looked at.
With the psychological work environment, the focus is on stress levels, profits, flexibility and work pressure, among other things.
So, what industry is your business in?
– Are there premises for the performance of the work that involve risks for the employees?
– Do you work with dangerous chemicals?
– Are employees exposed to general health risks?
– Is it primarily office work?
Once you have mapped the industry and which premises are primarily applicable in relation to the working environment, you can start choosing the right question frame.
All new employees deserve a good start. And the same applies to employees who are moving on.
One of the best things you can do to take care of the company’s Employee Branding and general well-being is to have complete control over these two processes, so that both hello and goodbye are said in exactly the right way.
(Source: Allied Workforce Mobility Survey)
25% is a really high number. And that is precisely why it is extremely important that you take the onboarding process very seriously.
One is that recruitment itself has become more challenged in the current society, but you have to think far beyond ‘just’ the famous signature on the contract.
The hard work only begins from the employee’s first day of work and then 45 days onwards.
22% of new hires who leave their jobs do so within the first 45 days of employment.
It goes without saying that the entire startup process is important. But what are the exact factors that come into play here?
We have made a list of the factors. They come here.
Not surprisingly, research indicates that a good onboarding increases employee satisfaction.
When the newly hired employee gets all the necessary knowledge, the best tools and creates close relationships from the start, the whole process will have a much better starting point – and the individual employee will feel welcome and safe in all the new impressions.
And general satisfaction and well-being bring many good things with them. It is scientifically proven that happy employees perform better.
In fact, studies from Oxford University show that happy employees are 13% more productive than unhappy employees.
So yes, another important factor!
It pretty much goes without saying that employee retention is inextricably linked to employee well-being.
The most important indicator of loyalty is well-being. And well-being does not come by itself.
Well-being is the result of recognition, meaningfulness, relationships and job satisfaction – and all the different factors that now lie under those concepts.
When an employee thrives, there is far less risk of him/her resigning. And that’s a pretty powerful incentive for any business. Terminations are the absolute most expensive entry in the accounts, as it costs the company around one million to replace an employee.
And that well-being must be prioritized from the time the contract is signed.
If the employee has felt well and safely onboard, then she/he is also more engaged and motivated in the work.
A good and safe onboarding creates peace of mind.
And that calmness is essential for the individual’s motivation to do their best, develop and become even better within the field and engage more deeply in collegial relationships and the company’s values.
It is said that a realistic onboarding – at its best – takes approx. 3 months.
This means that the newly hired employee is only expected to perform 100% 3 months into the employment.
It’s a long time.
But it only takes even longer if the onboarding process is not optimal.
There are even studies that show that the time before performance can be further reduced if love is really put into the onboarding – and that is only preferable – for both employee and company.
High job satisfaction equals high efficiency and low risk of termination.
When you are in a job that gives you daily joy and satisfaction, you will also want to stay there – for a long time!
And then life is made extra difficult for all the thousands of recruitment agencies out there who are diligently poaching employees from one company to another.
You create a much tougher framework for your employees’ loyalty and commitment when you ensure that they are satisfied with the job. And at the same time, you must ensure that if there is something they are not satisfied with, there must be a sense of security in being able to say it out loud – or report it in the ongoing well-being measurement.
The last parameter, which is also one of the most important.
A good onboarding means a lower risk for a stressed employee.
All beginnings and change are difficult. To everyone. So it is not surprising that just changing jobs, colleagues, locations, work equipment etc. causes a lot of unrest and uncertainty for the individual.
If the onboarding is at the same time chaotic or unsatisfactory, then even more salt is rubbed into the big, open wound of change.
And that can cause stress.
A stress that costs the employee and the company dearly!
Do you know that a Whistleblower scheme is required by law from January 2023?
This means that if your company has more than 50 employees, you MUST have a Whistleblower scheme that follows the adopted EU regulations.
You are employed in a company and suddenly discover that laws and regulations are being violated in the company.
Now comes the whole dilemma because you know illegal things are going on, but you don’t want to jeopardize your own employment by going to your management with your knowledge.
You really don’t want to focus on yourself as a person and as an employee in this scenario. And what if you report something and it doesn’t lead to any action or consequences? What if those involved find out that it was you who reported the whole thing, how will the working environment be in the future?
There are really many unknowns in such a situation and the uncertainty will most often (with good reason) lead to you simply keeping your knowledge to yourself and letting things continue.
But what do you do?
In its entirety, the Whistleblower scheme is a legal requirement which was introduced on the basis of creating the possibility to report various breaches of rules. It can be criminal offences, breach of confidentiality, misuse of financial resources, theft, fraud, embezzlement, fraud or bribery.
How likely is it that you would recommend your workplace to others?
You don’t really need more questions if you want to brand your company and ensure that it appears attractive to both your current employees and your future ones.
As a starting point, you must think of The Health and Safety Assessment as an important project every three years.
This is what the legislation says, but there are also other instances that you have to take into account.
Clear rules have been drawn up by the Working Environment Authority in relation to how often The Health and Safety Assessment must be carried out.
According to the Danish Working Environment Authority’s executive order no. 1234 of 29 October 2018. Chapter 2a – § 6 b, subsection 4.
And what exactly does this paragraph mean?
This means that, as a rule, The Health and Safety Assessment must be carried out every three years – as a minimum. It cannot be avoided.
But… If there have been any radical changes in the workplace in the meantime, then every three years is not quite enough.
– Have you introduced hybrid workplaces where employees are allowed to work more at home?
– Have you moved into new premises recently?
– Have you optimized work processes and working methods so that they have undergone a relatively large change for the employees?
Well, then the company is qualified to carry out a workplace assessment subsequently according to the legislation.
And there is a pretty good chance that right now you are in a company that has just undergone a few significant changes in recent years.
The post-corona era means a completely new approach to the hybrid workplace, where many employees and companies have now seen the value in working at home a few days a week.
A great value. But also an agency that changes the workplace and that the working environment and well-being can be exposed to different and new forms of challenges and problems.
It is important for the company and not least the working environment that these problems are discovered, analyzed and dealt with at an early stage – which the Workplace Assessment can help to ensure.
‘Happy and satisfied customers – that’s our drive‘.
– This is how STEP Transport begins the cover text on their website. And it is not a completely random motto.
For CEO Stephanie Ørnfeldt and the company have, over the past 12 years, positioned themselves as one of the country’s leading transport companies.
And it’s no accident either.
For STEP Transport, it takes its task seriously and puts the customers first, which gives the company a wealth of happy and satisfied customers.
‘The Great Resignation’ is upon us – and more than 40% of all employees are currently considering quitting their jobs. Even if they don’t have a new one in sight.
These are tough times for companies. Because a turnover costs a lot on any financial bottom line.
So, what can you do?
The employee development interview is your planned and close conversation with your employees.
According to Krifa, 85% of Danish companies hold annual employee development interviews.
And it’s a good idea, as these conversations are an important part of the big, essential well-being work.
Well-being and daily job satisfaction can change relatively quickly for the individual employee – Therefore hold the interview at least once a year to be sure that you keep up to date with the individual’s well-being, expectations and job satisfaction.
Employee development interview is an important tool in the whole great well-being work. It cannot stand alone, because of course you also have to run workplace assessment and engagement surveys on an ongoing basis, but the employee development interview is definitely a crucial part.
Pernille Ristorp Sørensen is HR-Business Partner at Group Logistic (hverdag.dk) and in 2020 entered into collaboration with Woba to acquire a dynamic and more realtime picture of employee engagement.
(Pernille Ristorp Sørensen, HR Business Partner, Group Logistic (hverdag.dk))
A realization that employee well-being and engagement are the key words in the fight against ‘The Great Resignation’ – which counts a significant increase in sick leave and resignations, made Pernille choose Woba back in 2020.
Group Logistic actually had a fairly well-functioning working environment at the time, but after realizing the need to get a more realtime picture of the employees’ well-being and prioritizing the close feeling with the internal atmosphere, Pernille saw a need to learn more about the company’s working environment and not least to prevent any problems and dissatisfaction.
In order to clarify a valid starting point for the well-being and commitment as a whole, Pernille decided in consultation with Woba that they should start the collaboration with ongoing pulsing engagement surveys – in order to ‘take the pulse’ and get a solid, quick insight into the situation.
After some time with continuous pulse surveys, it was followed up with the implementation of the statutory workplace assessment.
Having an effective engagement platform implemented to maintain and increase the entire working environment and employee well-being is an extremely important decision.
But if you have to go all out and ring the big, solid well-being bell, then you should consider getting a certified working environment advisor on board in the process.
Well, it probably goes without saying that the question frame is crucial for your engagement measurements.
The questions MUST reflect the company’s framework and be decidedly industry-specific. Otherwise, you might get an answer in the West, even if you ask in the East – and that doesn’t add much value in the end.
So, it is a good idea to get expert guidance from someone who has carried out a lot of well-being surveys and who has knowledge of the various industries and from there can put together the right questionnaire for the company.
A small side note here is that Woba.io actually offers (as one of the few providers) the possibility to design a completely specific and self-selected question frame for the individual measurement – and in this way it is ensured that the frames are not standardized, but on the contrary tailored for both industry, employees and company.
You have probed the market and have concluded that Woba.io is the absolute best match for your company and your employees.
Wonderful. Then you already come a long way.
But now there is an inevitable question when it comes to the technical side.
Can this new software integrate with what we already have?
And that is important. Because it can take immeasurable amounts of time and effort if this part can’t just be put in place easily and clearly.
We know it ourselves – diversity and internationalization in companies around the country has led to an exciting trend.
The workplaces often consist of several nationalities. This is how we feel at Woba, where a large part of the employees are English-speaking and originally come from Belgium, Romania and India, among others.
And then of course it is not an option to send out a well-being survey – which is only in Danish.
We thought about this when we built our well-being platform and therefore all question frames in the various surveys are available in both Danish and English.
The company Cookie Information chose, at the beginning of 2022, Woba.io to carry out their important engagement surveys.
The company’s CEO, Karsten Rendemann wanted a clear insight into the employees’ well-being and wanted the process of the well-being work to be easy, clear, dynamic and not least efficient.
You have already recognized that working with well-being and the working environment is definitely important for your company.
Keeping up to date with your employees and continuously taking the pulse of well-being will be your most important means of being a well-functioning company with satisfied employees – who do not fall ill with stress or leave you in favor of the competitor.
Well. Important realization. Then you are that far.
But now you have to research the market and find the best provider – and not least the most optimal match for you and your company.
In this phase, ask yourself the following:
– What do we want to achieve with the platform?
– Should it be digital and dynamic?
– How much time do you want to spend on well-being work yourself?
– How much should employees be involved?
– Should the platform offer action plans built on valid research?
When you have asked yourself these questions – and not least the answer to them, well then it is just starting to probe the market for providers who have just the right solution for you and your company.
“Uh, we don’t really want to say that out loud!“
– we often hear company owners, HR directors or working environment representatives say when we ask if we should tell the outside world about their effective well-being work and increase in employee satisfaction after using Woba.
And here, of course, it’s not the great results that they don’t want to share.
No, these are the original risk areas that are found at the starting point for their completed surveys – i.e. the problems that come to light via Woba’s well-being platform.
The reasons for this can be many.
But our experience tells us that it basically deals with vulnerability and “brand image”.
Are you faced with having to start an engagement survey?
Then it is a completely unavoidable part of the process that you first of all decide when the study is a success.
Without a set goal, you can quickly find yourself groping blindly for what you really want to achieve with the effort.
One of the parameters you can set your mind on is how high a response rate you want to achieve in your measurement – so that the measurement can be characterized as being a success and can be called representative.
Diversity is the brand new hyped term that you come across everywhere.
The concept was seriously put on the Danish map at the Danish Diversity Awards – which were held for the first time this year – in ‘Industriens hus’.
Without squeezing too much juice out of the pineapple, it was actually Woba’s own CEO, Malene Madsen, who won the title of ‘CEO of the Year’ at the award show. Which we are insanely proud of.
I am 38 years old and currently work as Head of Communications here in Woba.
3 years ago I worked as a department manager in a marketing agency. I experienced a myriad of symptoms of stress but failed to act on them until a Thursday in September 2019.
“I had felt burnt out and exhausted for a long time. For 3-4 months I had difficulty breathing, enormous pressure in the chest, constant dizziness and an inexplicable (and very uncomfortable) tingling in my fingers and arms. I thought it would pass. Besides, I also didn’t have the time to call in sick for a few days and pull the famous plug. After all, I was a manager and had to look after my employees in the department. But then it happened. Without warning, I passed out right there in the middle of the office. A quite ordinary Thursday morning. My colleague had to pick me up – and I quickly got to the hooks again. However, I was shaken. After that I took myself seriously and went to the doctor. From there followed a clear and serious sick report – which went hand in hand with numerous investigations for brain tumours, heart diseases, lung infections etc. All investigations pointed to one thing – a clear and serious stress diagnosis. – ‘You should expect to be on sick leave for at least a year’, the doctors said. I was knocked out. My entire career was going down the drain – along with my self-esteem, drive and personal power. It ended in months of struggle with anxiety, depression and great hopelessness. I couldn’t go out among people, couldn’t go to the grocery shop, couldn’t pick up my phone when it rang, became completely frantic when my daughter asked me to do her lunch for school. I was set back in everything socially. And it all ended with a definite hospitalization.
Today, I am back at full blast – but with a clear respect for my own limits and a knowledge of how much it means to maintain a sharp balance between work life and private life. I can still feel the symptoms every now and then. I will never completely get rid of them. But today I use them as a good, invisible guide – a huge signal with a cart pole – that I’m about to exceed my limit and that it’s TOTALLY okay to say ‘NO’, ‘I can’t make it’ and ‘I’d really like to help, but it won’t be until tomorrow’ …”
And my described situation reflects exactly what it is all about.
Work-related stress occurs when more and higher demands are placed on you at work than you can realistically handle.
When you repeatedly experience being faced with work-related challenges and problems that you cannot understand or see possible solutions to, the energy and surplus begin to shrink – and then all the stress symptoms come roaring.
Stress has gradually become a widely used term in many respects.
It is positive that there is a focus on this important problem. Absolutely.
But it’s a shame that stress has become such a used – and in many ways – diluted term.
Especially stress at the workplace is an incredibly important problem to deal with. In fact, you should ideally focus on preventing – and completely avoiding stress at work.
Because once the employee has been hit hard, it is difficult to get well again – and as you know, long-term sick leave costs an average of DKK 1,000,000 for the company.
As you can see from the visualization here, you can use the stairs to place yourself and your employees in relation to stress level.
The ladder can give you a constant and continuous tool to know if there is something you need to pay extra attention to in relation to the stress level at your workplace.
It is also a really good idea to introduce the ‘Stress Ladder’ to all employees, so that everyone has a chance to register symptoms at the forefront – instead of being left with a sick note at the back.
We will all move back and forth on the Staircase – all depending on the work and personal situation. The most important thing here is that the situation on the 2nd and 3rd step is taken care of, so that the employee (or yourself) can move back again to step 1.
You cannot avoid experiencing stress symptoms in between. It’s perfectly okay and natural. The problem only arises when you have been in the condition for so long that your body and brain can no longer cope. And then it gets dangerous.
So use the stairs – and keep up to date with where your employees and yourself are at all times. Because of course – as a manager, you can also be pressured and called in sick!
More than 81 % of our surveys show cases of ‘offensive actions’.
‘Offensive actions’ is an umbrella term that includes bullying, sexusual harrasment, physical violence and threats of violence are characterised. In this article I will focus on: violence at the workplace.
First of all it is important to mention the fact that many workplaces will never experience problems with violence.
Nonetheless, it is still everyday life for many employees in Denmark why it is important to take a closer look at it.
According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration of the United States
“Workplace violence is any act or threat of physical violence, harassment, intimidation, or other threatening disruptive behaviour that occurs at the work site. It ranges from threats and verbal abuse to physical assaults and even homicide. It can affect and involve employees, clients, customers and visitors”
Now we have the definition in place.
But ‘psychological violence’ can also happen through social media, text messages, emails and websites.
‘Psychological violence’ that takes place on social media uses the same mechanisms as other forms of psychological violence. It affects the victim’s self-esteem, creates anxiety and discomfort. The psychological violence through social media can seem extra harmful because it is anonymous.
We therefore always recommend our customers to have a clear zero tolerance policy about physical and psychological violence and documented guides for preventing.
You probably remember the wave.
The overwhelming wave that hit the whole world in 2017.
The MeToo wave.
Here the world became aware of how big a problem sexual abuse really is – and it soon became clear that most women have experienced some form of unwanted sexual attention at some point in their lives.
“… And a grown man can be terribly injured
Of pats on the butt and hands on the thigh
We do not engage in sexual harassment
We do not find ourselves in sexual harassment”
Maybe you have heard about the old SHU-BI-DUA song that blew up all the danish charts back in the 1990s.
Back then, sexual harassment was presented as ‘a pat on the rear’ or ‘a hand on the thigh’.
Today it covers a somewhat wider range of situations between people.
Sexual harassment is now defined as ‘any form of unwanted sexual attention’.
And it is quite subjective, in that we all have different and very individual limits.
The statistics show that 11-12% of young women report experiencing sexual harassment every year.
And these are primarily women between the ages of 18 and 34.
Sexual harassment can occur in many guises and in many different scenarios.
It can be between an employee and a customer/citizen.
It can be internal between employees.
And of course it can also occur between manager and employee.
If the scenario is internal to the workplace, then a distinction is made between four different situations:
– Sexual harassment as punishment for breaking norms
– Sexual harassment as group culture
– Sexual harassment after the breakup of a romantic relationship
– Interplay that is misunderstood
You may primarily associate bullying with children and classroom environments.
But bullying occurs in particular (and unfortunately) also in adult workplaces.
Bullying is an abusive act that takes place repeatedly over a long period of time.
The Danish Working Environment Authority defines bullying as:
Then we have the definition in place.
And so we have come to the conclusion that bullying is not just a simple argument or a form of disagreement between two parties.
And yet there are several gray areas. Because it will always be the subjective perception of the situation and the relationship that determines whether it is bullying.
And it is difficult.
Because people are different and we have very different limits.
What is purely sarcastic humor to the receptionist can be decidedly offensive behavior to the cleaning manager.
The Danish Working Environment Authority therefore attaches great importance to the quantity – i.e. how large a volume these actions constitute – how often they actually occur.
Isolated situations will rarely be categorized as bullying – depending on the severity of course.
Examples of workplace bullying could be:
– Spreading rumours
– That you consistently talk down to an employee
– That you deliberately give an employee a very large amount of work compared to the other employees
– That an employee is excluded from social events
– When an employee consistently undermines their manager’s authority
– Posting humiliating, offensive and threatening comments or images on social media
So yes, bullying can come in many guises and none of them are particularly fun for the recipient or for well-being in general.