Across Australia, there is an increased focus on professional learning and staff wellbeing in the workplace. There are two reasons that these areas are a priority for organisations, businesses, teams and people in 2019.
- Rapidly changing environments create opportunities as well as the challenges of volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity (VUCA). It’s important to respond with flexibility and agility while maintaining competence and confidence in the workplace. This means that individuals and groups need skill development, training and continuous learning opportunities.
- Mental health and wellbeing are important for effective and efficient employee performance and in turn are impacted by the workplace culture. Confident, competent, healthy and happy people equate to a productive and engaged workforce. A workplace focus on staff wellbeing will also meet increasing expectations for a positive and supportive culture.
Mental health conditions are more prevalent than many realise since they tend to be less visible. Recent data from education systems reveals that many staff members and especially early career teachers perceive the workplace as demanding and stressful. In addition, they indicate limited opportunities for support, education about coping strategies or acknowledgment for work effort.
Staff wellbeing: a strategy and a responsibility for leaders
If you are in a leadership role, there are some simple yet effective strategies to improve staff wellbeing in your workplace. These include:
- Show a visible commitment to mental health and wellbeing in the workplace.
- Encourage a climate of speaking openly about mental health and wellbeing in the workplace.
- Make mental health and wellbeing an objective of the organisation or business and incorporate into values and goals.
- Demonstrate a genuine interest in each individual’s unique learning journey
- Talk openly about the importance of learning. Role-model the priority you give to learning.
- Make sure staff have access to confidential professional counselling and psychological support for both personal and work-related issues.
- The Creating a mentally healthy workplace: A guide for managers booklet has more examples to tailor your approach.
Team wellbeing: a focus and a way forward for the group
If you facilitate a team with collaborative problem solving or strategic planning, there are some simple yet effective strategies to lift engagement and efficiency. These include:
- Align the team with a clear direction.
- Work together to overcome interpersonal conflicts.
- Develop team norms and ways of working.
- Facilitate education about mental health, wellbeing and resilience.
- Prepare the team for change and responding to the unexpected.
- Provide access to confidential coaching and professional supervision for the team.
For further information or resources about staff wellbeing, team wellbeing and healthy wellbeing, contact Danielle or Kathryn.