26 August 2021

7 ways to sustain a healthy working environment in event management

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Martine Herheim Guindani

Martine Herheim Guindani

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“A healthy working environment is one in which there is not only an absence of harmful conditions that can cause injury and illness but an abundance of health-promoting ones”, THE WHO. A healthy working environment doesn’t only lead to happy employees, but also better work performance. Norms of caring behaviour in a team contribute to team effectiveness by increasing members’ sense of safety, cohesion, and satisfaction, which in turn facilitates member engagement at work and reduced costs related to absenteeism. Caring orientation builds workplace relationships that provide a “secure base” for individuals, which allows them to take risks that facilitate personal learning and development. 

A caring leader breeds happy teammates which leads to greater achievements: caring events managers leads to better events! You as an events manager have a great ability to influence your event outcomes by caring for the ones working with you by learning how to sustain a healthy working environment.​

 

1. Communicate 🗣​

 As we can learn in the interview with Hayley May, communication is one of the most important things when it comes to working with others. Hayley said that communication can help you” …pick up issues before they really become issues.” Communication provides a common understanding, new ideas, better relationships and therefore decreases the level of stress, confusion and conflict. Firstly, an example of good communication practice is to establish a common understanding of roles, goals and rules in the initiation stage. An easy way to go through this is by filling out a team canvas which you can access here. This way you can prevent conflicts about accountability and expectations in the future. Secondly, having an open-door policy will show that you are there to support your teammates and that you’re open to feedback.

2. Create a productive environment 🌱​

 The physical environment at work has a significant effect on the behaviour, productivity and well-being of employees, so it’s worth checking if you have:

– A decent temperature

– Good air quality

– Good lighting

– Space to take a break

– Quiet space without noise 

– Collaboration space 

3. Health and safety. ❤️​

If the members of the team don’t feel physically safe they can’t achieve a high level of wellbeing in their workplace. The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 says that “It shall be the duty of every employer to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health, safety and welfare at work of all his employees”. Remember to communicate the safety measures you implement to your teammates. ​

 

4. Psychological safety 🧠​

 Psychological safety is “a belief that one will not be punished or humiliated for speaking up with ideas, questions, concerns, or mistakes” according to Amy Edmundson, the Novartis Professor of Leadership and Management at the Harvard Business School. Teams that feel psychologically safe perform better (Edmundson 2019). She explains that to create psychological safety, you need to:

– Acknowledge your own fallibility 

– Show curiosity

– Frame the work as a learning problem, not an execution problem

5. Learning organisation 👨‍🏫​

 “In the long run, the only sustainable source of competitive edge is your organisation’s ability to learn faster than its competitors”  Pete Senge – The Fifth Discipline. A Learning Organisation is an organisation that encourages and promotes continuous learning and modifies its behaviour to reflect the new knowledge and insights. With a Learning Organisation, we don’t only learn how to be better than competitors, but how to create a better environment and better working methods for ourselves as well. 

A learning organisation requires you to:

– Cherish an open culture

– Design and implement feedback loops

– Promote personal mastery

– Learn from your mistakes

– Steal best practices

To enter the learning zone you need motivation and accountability in addition to psychological safety and you can achieve that through team building and communication​

 

6. Team building 🤝​

Team building activities not only bond employees closer but also motivate them, creating a positive workplace environment. These activities help improve internal communication and productivity, boosting morale at the workplace.

 

7. Team environment appraisal 🙌​

The best way to find out how you can improve your working environment is by asking the people working there. Ask what works well and what doesn’t and work from there. 

Creating a healthy working environment might seem like hard work, but remember that only showing that you care and want to support can go a long way and that this can help you know what to do next.​

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