Putting Employees in a Position to EXCEL!
Should we really care about how our employees sit and stand throughout the work day? Should we think twice about the moves and physical demands that we and our employees make to do our jobs? Should we stop rolling our eyes when an employee requests a standing desk? Is there any meaningful impact on whether we provide physical comfort to our employees? Does it really even matter?
The short answer is YES.
Over the last two decades, the science and field of ergonomics exploded. Once an afterthought, there’s been more attention on the physical comfort of employees as they do their job. And, rightfully so, according to three top-shelf researchers that captured the true impact of ergonomics—or how people interact with their work in a safe and comfortable environment. Don’t believe us? Check out the article HERE, but cliff notes follow.
The Method Behind the Madness!
The researchers descended upon a 1200 bed hospital. Their guinea pigs were hospital orderlies who have a physically demanding job caring after our sick and the old. By the way, if you’ve never thanked orderlies, do so now, as they do God’s work.
They looked at injury rates of about 100 orderlies at the hospital. These orderlies then received some focused training on lifting techniques, which is where a majority of the injuries occurred. For a control, they compared the results of the orderlies that received the training to those at the hospital that didn’t get a lick of ergonomic or lifting training.
Training employees on how to better deal with the physical demands of their job resulted in significant gains. For instance, injuries fell from 110 in the years prior to the ergonomic training to only 39 a couple years after the training intervention. From the simple lifting training, injuries resulting in 3 or more lost days of work declined from 136 all the way down to 23. What more evidence do you possibly need that training workers on how to do their job, physically, should be a priority? Well, how about this—
Besides the physical improvements (not to mention workers comp savings), there was a mental change as well. Those that received the training on how to lift properly demonstrated improved mental and psychological—not just physical—benefits that were statistically different than those that received no training.
In particular, those that got the training reported higher job satisfaction scores and lower psychological stressors that those that were left out of the ergonomic training!
The Moral of the Story?!
At the Kimono, we make sure our staff is comfortable! I guess we realize that the physical conditions and space in which they work contributes to their success. If we didn’t know that before, we know it now as the empirical evidence is beyond dispute. So, for all of our Kimono leaders, comfort is not an afterthought. Rather, it’s a source of competitive advantage!
Finish the day smarter than what you started!