Two years ago, Lynne Moran, CEO of Blackmans Bay Childrens Services decided she wanted to do more to improve the mental health and wellbeing of her workplace. The organisation’s super fund, Tasplan sponsored them to undertake a Wellbeing Works program with their workplace mental health foundation partner, SuperFriend. The program is an ideal ‘starting point’ for workplace wellbeing as the short, guided conversation provides an assessment of a workplace’s strengths, gaps and capacity for implementing a workplace wellbeing strategy. Blackmans Bay Childrens Services has 100 employees across seven sites.
Q & A with Lynne
What was your experience of the Wellbeing Works assessment?
The assessment was really easy, someone came out from SuperFriend and lead a discussion with a cross section of our workforce. The session took around 90 minutes and a report was provided to us about a week later. We were slightly apprehensive about what the assessment might bring up but the staff and board are passionate about mental health so we trusted our instincts and went for it. The assessment not only highlighted areas for improvement but showed us we were doing some really positive things in this space.
How did Wellbeing Works help? What were your next steps?
Firstly, workplace mental health and wellbeing was included in the business plan which was set by the board to help us become an employer of choice. Wellbeing Works provided us with the knowledge, tools and insight to be able to take the steps to try and reach this goal and put us on track. Since doing the Wellbeing Works assessment we have put together a Wellbeing Working Group, implemented a staff survey, conducted psychosocial risk assessments and implemented activities related to the needs of the staff. Our board was supportive of the steps we were taking and committed to assigning a budget. This supported us to put a staff member through Mental Health training. This training has helped us to put a different lens over everything we do and support ourselves as well as our peers.
We know to truly create a mentally healthy workplace we must continually assess the risks within the organisation and assess the needs of the staff. We are fully committed to this after seeing the benefits to the whole organisation. It can be difficult to quantify the outcomes of the work we have undergone, however, results will be clearer over time. We expect to see lower staff turnover rates, lower rates of absenteeism and a more engaged and productive workforce. We can definitely see the difference in levels of staff engagement.
Would you recommend Wellbeing Works to other organisations?
Absolutely, without reservation. The Wellbeing Works assessment was the catalyst for the work we have embarked on and provided us with clear direction of what to do next to create a mentally healthy workplace. It’s rare to get something for nothing. By communicating our activities with staff every step of the way they have seen first-hand that we are focussed on their wellbeing and development which has resulted in a better, happier place to work which we know will have an impact on the children we care for and help them to grow up mentally healthy.
Wellbeing Works is available to employers who are associated with SuperFriend’s Partner Funds. The program is partner-sponsored meaning there is no out of pocket costs for the recipient.