Working in Australia’s resources industry comes with its own unique set of challenges, especially on remote job sites. At any given moment, around 60,000 fly-in, fly-out workers are accepting these challenges to keep this country moving forward. But when the challenges include a toxic workplace culture and lack of strong leadership, the stress of living and working in a remote location can become unbearable.
How can employers and managers better support their remote-area workers so they’re happy and productive? Here are a few tips:
- Create a workplace where safety is prioritised and where employees view each other as mates and not competitors; replace fear and uncertainty with a sense of community and teamwork
- Take bullying incidents seriously and be prompt, assertive and upfront in dealing with negative behaviours; bullying doesn’t go away by itself – it’s stamped out with proactive leadership
- Make safety a workplace priority and ensure your workplace promotes healthy emotional well-being as well as physical safety
- Encourage honest, open communication based on mutual respect; employees produce their best work when they feel valued – not just as profit-making tools but as human beings with a voice
- Isolated work environments can lead to extra stress, which means employee health is paramount; look after your employees by encouraging fun social activities, exercise and healthy eating and be attuned to their personal and professional needs by truly listening when they have issues that need discussing
- Reward workers when the excel and earn their trust by setting an example as an advocate for positive cultural change
Workplace bullying costs time and money and can reduce a job site’s overall productivity by as much as 40%… and that’s a loss no business can afford.
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Jessica Hickman is a professional member of these associations: