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The Solution To U.S. Labor Shortages May Involve A Surprising Combination: Diversity, Technology and Entertainment Meet Occupational Health and Safety

The Covid-19 pandemic has changed the way employees view health and safety in their communities, especially in the workplace. This has produced a new workforce and it is burdened with emotional stress, mask-wearing fatigue and a renewed focus on family, friends and work/life balance. Employees are demanding businesses to adapt to their needs and concerns, if companies expect to secure the talent they require. Wage increases, alone, are proving unsuccessful in luring today’s workers. They want more.

Staffing firms and human resources departments have been unable to provide the candidates needed to fill the vacancies in industrial and office environments. Occupational health and safety service providers have been tasked with helping companies establish procedures to ease each employee’s hesitance on returning to work, but these efforts are being executed with traditional measures rejected by this new workforce. A business’ focus must shift to total worker health and integrated workplace improvements, rather than generalized approaches based on algorithms, spreadsheets and data-tracking. The total worker health approach aims not only to protect workers from harm or disease, but to promote their overall well-being. There are multiple conditions that were previously viewed as unrelated to workers’ occupations. This view has shifted with role players recognizing that seemingly unrelated mental and physical health conditions can be affected by work. 

Combining Traditional and Innovative Workplace Services

Workplace health and safety services provider, Audiosha™, is leading the charge in assisting companies to employ creative workplace solutions that will begin to ease the labor shortage issues, in the United States. Audiosha™ offers businesses the ability to attract workers, by adopting their Safety-Relationship™ Philosophy. They are a group of regulatory compliance professionals and entertainment industry influencers who comprise their team of Safety-Relationship™ Experts. The traditional approach to occupational health and safety, does not take into account the unregulated  aspects of an employee’s daily work experiences. Companies who embrace these necessary changes are implementing creative workspace solutions, as they improve their employee relations processes. Partnering with a minority-owned business like Audiosha™ also highlights a company’s dedication to diverse business practices, which is very important to the new workforce. A large bonus is Audiosha’s custom-tailored tools used to keep employees safe, comfortable, and engaged. The goal of this approach is to protect hard workers by providing every product an employer needs, as well as providing the occupational health & safety services needed to keep them compliant. Some of the innovative tools and techniques are discussed in more detail below. 

A well-rounded workplace service provider must now have the ability to provide all the necessary services modern facilities need, including the supplies for maintenance, repair and operations (MRO), site management, industrial tool provision, and all the health and safety services required by OSHA and the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA). Employees must be entertained and their points of views must be respected, in order to achieve production-increasing engagement. Audiosha™ is the pandemic-year startup who understands the new worker and uses technology and entertainment to garner favorable results for employers. 

A significant benefit of utilizing Audiosha™, as a supplies and services provider, is its certification as a minority business enterprise (MBE). In 2020, there were no other wholly, African American-owned businesses in the national occupational hearing conservation industry. Previously, there was a lack of African American-owned companies even qualified to offer a large catalog of daily operations supplies and workplace health and safety services to Fortune 500 companies and government organizations. Today, the Texas-based supplier with the plan to help relieve the national labor shortage stresses and take the strain off of staffing professionals, just happens to be as diverse and innovative as the solutions it offers its clients. 

Enhancing Employee Productivity

The total worker health approach to workplace health and safety recognizes that when employees feel looked after, they are more likely to actively engage in and have interest in the business. A happy employee is also less likely to seek work elsewhere or miss work. Making sure employees are comfortable will therefore help ensure that employers retain their best employees and maintain their productivity levels. 

Rethinking the Approach to Compliance

While it is the responsibility of the employer to ensure workplace compliance, it is the employees who generally do the work in making sure compliance standards are met. Audiosha™ provides a creative example of how to address employee engagement in compliance by making mandatory compliance training and presentations exciting, ensuring employees both remember and implement the lessons they have learned. 

Promote A Balanced Working Environment

The old way of thinking, that you could keep employees happy by compensating them well, no longer seems to apply. A more balanced approach to employee satisfaction considers events, workplace campaigns and other innovative ideas as potentially just as important as compensation. 

Prioritizing Overall Health and Safety

During the peak of the Covid-19 pandemic, 40.9% of adults in the US over the age of 18 reported mental health difficulties. The total worker health approach recognizes this. Holistic approaches to workplace health and safety that include emotional and mental well-being and relating to employees are therefore increasingly important. Audiosha’s approach includes a realization that relationships in the workplace environment, including Safety-Relationships™, need to be promoted and cultivated. Relationships and partnerships need to be built with employees, clients, networks, communities and in all aspects of business practice. 

Final Thoughts

Whether it is due to Covid-19, digitalization, or increasing global integration of world economies, every industry is adjusting to the new requirements of today’s socio-economic climate. The health and safety industry is no different. Focus has shifted to an integrated, total worker health approach, that is more holistic in its approach. Industry role players are taking on this challenge in innovative ways to provide creative solutions. 

Adriaan Brits

Adriaan Brits is a multi-sector analyst and business consultant with notable commentary on the S&P500. He loves to evaluate fast-movers and to be ahead of the trend.

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Adriaan Brits

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