Most employees of small businesses wear multiple hats and for this reason ergonomics are very important to that small business. When every employee is that essential, their health and well-being equates directly to the health and well-being of the company.
If ergonomics is a new concept for the employees of your small business, the following 4 tips will help you introduce the idea and help get your employees enthusiastically on board:
1. Start with the Employees
Begin with a meeting on the topic of pain in the workplace, including information about Repetitive Stress Injury (RSI), musculoskeletal disorders, computer vision syndrome (CVS) and Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS).
Let your employees know that you’re looking into ways to make working at the office safer and pain-free, and ask them for any thoughts on what they think could help. After they’ve had the chance to advocate for themselves, offer your own solutions, such as split keyboards, how to properly sit throughout the day, and where best to position the computer monitor.
In this way, employees will feel included in every step of the process, and therefore will be more apt to be interested in the new process
2. Make It a Team Effort
Ergonomics can save your employees from pain and lost productivity, but it will require some retraining to use, especially if employees have been working in less than ideal ways for some time.
To start with, set a few office-wide initiatives. For instance, encourage employees to hold walking meetings. While this kind of meeting may not be ideal for every type of meeting, walking meetings are a great way to get blood pumping to everyone’s brains.
Exercise, as we all know, has clear benefits for the heart, muscles, bones and joints, and can also lower the risk of developing major diseases like cancer and diabetes.
You could also establish set stretch times or even yoga times.
3. Make It Fun
One way to keep your employees engaged in the new concept of office ergonomics is to host a 30-Day Challenge.
For example, announce to your employees, “This coming month you are challenged to try out one ergonomic product at work, to hold a walking meeting every day, to stand while you type, or simply to get moving. This is a 30- day challenge of ergonomics – 30 days of reduced arm, wrist, neck and back pain.”
Host a party to celebrate your employees’ success, and even give out prizes for the most inventive ergonomic solutions. The more fun and engaging your ergonomics initiative is, the more likely it will be to stick.
4. Incorporate Your Ergonomics Program into a Wellness Program
Wellness programs are all about making your employee feel nurtured and valued. Combining a wellness program with your ergonomics program will only strengthen that feeling, which in turn will keep your employee retention high and your retraining rates low. It will also provide an undeniable base for safety and well-being during work.