What’s “Under the Hardhat” Matters
To help contractors have a better understanding how to approach a worker wellbeing culture, we’ve created a Construction Wellbeing Model that provides a framework for developing and implementing a tactical strategy.
This integrated model consists of wellbeing tools, strategies, and outcomes. It focuses on efforts that address initiatives and services for the six areas of construction wellbeing — workplace, workforce, worker, worksites, work tasks, and work groups.
What Is a Worker Wellbeing Culture?
The discussion around worker wellbeing on the jobsite is an important one to have. Workplace culture isn’t how your company operates, but how you treat your workers, and more importantly, how your company supports these efforts.
A positive, hardworking culture isn’t created overnight. Your culture needs to focus on your workers. You will reap the benefits when your workers see, hear, and feel the commitment your company has invested into worker wellbeing and addresses the critical areas to support their wellbeing challenges.
Benefits of a Worker Wellbeing Culture
The benefits from a well-defined and management-supported wellbeing culture includes:
- Improved connections with crewmates and coworkers
- More focus and engagement on work tasks
- Increased awareness of physical health risks
- Reduced stigma and avoidance talking about emotional health
- Willingness to talk about wellbeing at home with family or loved ones
- Decreased levels of stress and anxiety
- Decreased tardiness, absenteeism, and voluntary/involuntary turnover
- Improved psychological safety among crews and coworkers, thereby reflecting greater empathy, trust, and engagement of the workforce
- Increased productivity
- Decreased presenteeism combined with increased focus/concentration
- Fewer jobsite incidents, accidents, and injuries
Tools and Resources to Build a Worker Wellbeing Culture
This integrated model consists of wellbeing tools, strategies, and outcomes. It focuses on efforts that address initiatives and services for the six different areas of construction wellbeing — workplace, workforce, worker, worksites, work tasks, and work groups.
We’ve created tools and resources that can assist with this.
Critical Incident Response
One of the most important aspects of a worker wellbeing platform is the ability for your company to swiftly and effectively respond to a critical incident, such as:
- A catastrophic incident that disrupts a construction jobsite and affects the emotional wellbeing of the workforce
- An intervention for a worker who is experiencing an emotional/mental health challenge
We have developed a Worker Wellbeing Scorecard which analyzes all levels of an organization, focusing on six the areas of wellbeing:
- Work Tasks
- Work Group
The questions on the scorecard have been assigned a relative weighting based on several factors to provide an overall aggregate score and an individual score.
An effective worker wellbeing strategy requires more than top-down leadership support. Instilling wellbeing into your company culture requires close alignment between safety and health, HR, and operational functions, such as:
- Training and development
- Employee benefits
- Employee Assistance Program (EAP)
- Leaves/accommodation tracking
- Labor relations
- Workforce development
Likewise, effective wellbeing strategies focus on how to integrate the physical aspects of safety with the emotional and behavioral health to reduce risks and improve worker performance.
Employee Perception Survey
The Employee Perception Survey helps engage with your workers to identify and understand their perception of the wellbeing culture within your company. The survey helps to identify opportunities for not only enhancing existing initiatives but also developing new initiatives focusing on worker wellbeing.
Leadership and Supervisor Development
Education and training courses are focused on the field supervisor/crew lead or, as we call it, “The Point of Impact.”
Employee Assistance Program Evaluation
An Employee Assistance Program (EAP) helps employees and their dependent family members address challenges that arise in everyday life — both at work and at home.
Many companies have a limited understanding of what an EAP can offer or even how it can respond to an employee’s needs. Evaluating and understanding your EAP is critical for a worker wellbeing initiative.
Wellbeing and Suicide Prevention Initiatives
So, how can your company incorporate mental wellbeing, substance use, addiction recovery, and suicide prevention into your safety, health, and wellness programs? Glad you asked! We have ideas for you.
New Hire Orientation
During new hire orientation, discuss the importance of worker wellbeing, the company’s EAP and how to access it, and crisis hotline information.
Promote your EAP through the use of workplace posters, wallet cards, or other tools, like refrigerator magnets.
Workplace posters provide important information to workers on worker wellbeing and suicide prevention support and suicide crisis hotlines.
Use communication tools, such as newsletters and blogs, to share with employees your company’s vision and leadership’s commitment to worker wellbeing and suicide prevention.
Safety huddles are an effective way to continue the dialogue and break down mental health stigma at the crew level. Use this as an opportunity to observe and ask employees if they are ready to work without distractions and allow a “safety timeout” if someone needs to refocus.
Pre-Meeting Safety Moments
Share focused safety moments on behavioral health topics (and not just traditional safety topics), including mental health, substance use, and crisis hotlines.
Pre-Season or Pre-Project Safety Kickoff Meetings
During pre-season or pre-project safety kickoff meetings, reiterate “It is OK to not be OK” and how workers can seek help and support for behavioral and mental health challenges.
Supervisory and Employee Training Sessions
These types of sessions are effective for providing more information and to expand awareness for wellbeing support and suicide prevention.
Holding safety stand-downs can boldly demonstrate leadership support for worker wellbeing.
Hard Hat Stickers
Stickers are worn like badges of honor on workers’ hardhats. The use of stickers can be one of the best ways to promote worker wellbeing. On these stickers, be sure to provide EAP and/or crisis hotline information.
Provide wallet cards that explain how to access the crisis hotline and EAP numbers.
Your Company Is Built on Your Crew’s Wellbeing
Are you ready to implement the CSDZ Construction Wellbeing Model? Let’s talk today!
Or, if you need some more resources, check out our Worker Wellbeing and Suicide Prevention service. We also cover numerous topics with action steps available to your through our own thought leadership via our Risk & Safety blog and in the public spotlight via the media. Take a look for yourself!
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