In 2020, SuperFriend in partnership with PwC, started work on our long time goal of developing a practical tool workplaces could use based on our annual Indicators of a Thriving Workplace research framework. After a lot of hard work and dedication from our combined teams, the Thriving Workplace Index was ready to test in the latter half of 2021. We piloted the Thriving Workplace Index first internally at SuperFriend and PwC, and with an external organisation. The tool is currently in the second pilot phase and being used with a number of other organisations.

We were excited to try the Thriving Workplace Index ourselves as we’re big believers of not just talking the talk. To us, it’s important that we walk the walk when it comes to workplace mental health and wellbeing. We know we can’t be leaders in this field if we don’t back it up with action.

Our staff completed the Thriving Workplace Index survey during November 2021 and we’re currently working through the recommendations and planning next steps to continue to improve our workplace. SuperFriend’s People & Culture Manager Tonia Sluiter was kind enough to tell us about her experience using the tool and what insights she gained from it. Here’s what she had to say.

SuperFriend and wellbeing

Like all employers, SuperFriend wants to build a mentally healthy and thriving workplace for our team.

As an organisation that is growing, evolving and transforming, we have a range of challenges. Adding two years of global pandemic into the mix has definitely contributed an additional layer of complexity to this. The journey towards a thriving workplace is not a straight line – so it’s really important we are diligent in staying on top of the mental health and wellbeing of our team. By understanding how they are feeling, we can support them while they are focused on supporting other workplaces.

For years, SuperFriend has used our Indicators of a Thriving Workplace Survey in house – and crunched the data ourselves - to get an overview of our workplace. We are committed to getting feedback from our team members and with the Thriving Workplace Index, I was excited to learn whether the initiatives we have in place are hitting the mark, what might be falling short and where we might need to focus our attention – plus what it would recommend for SuperFriend.

I have been impatiently waiting on the sidelines for our Product Development team to announce that it was ready for us to try out. I was incredibly relieved it was ready in time for our deadline of November 2021 so I didn’t have to do any number crunching this year (phew!). The Thriving Workplace Index did it all for me.

Using the tool

It’s really important that we use our products internally, not only so we can appreciate and understand our customer’s experience, but so we can continually improve the products that we do offer. I’m really pleased to say that the Thriving Workplace Index was incredibly quick and painless to use.

After a quick turnaround to get the results (very quick in relation to other products I have used in the past), the report I received was clearly presented. The insights and recommendations were thorough and detailed, yet still accessible and easy to understand.

The psychological risk factor section – which is new to the Thriving Workplace Index and not something we have had access to previously – was incredibly useful as it identified areas of heightened risk for the team. These risks were highlighted using a red-amber-green format and I can’t imagine not having this type of information in my role in the future.

What we’ve gained

The insights and data really helped us understand where SuperFriend sits across the five domains from the Indicators of a Thriving workplaces framework. We also took the added step of doing a Workplace Wellbeing Audit around the same time as using the Thriving Workplace Index. Using both in combination have provided some really rich insights into some of the underlying cultural norms that are potentially at the heart of some of the areas we really need to lean in to and focus on.

The comparison to the national survey and industry specific data has given me a real sense of where SuperFriend sits and how we’re tracking. It has also helped create a fuller picture of the areas where we are having positive impact on the team and the areas where we need to focus our attention moving forwards.

Our results revealed an overall thriving score of 70.8 points out of 100. While this is stronger that the national result for 2021 (65.6), is still short of our goal of 80 points, so we still have a way to go on our journey towards thriving. One of the positives that our results showed was that despite the challenges COVID-19 & working from home have presented, we have really strong levels of connectedness and high quality relationships amongst the SuperFriend team. Which doesn’t surprise me really – the level of genuine care and kindness that the team have for each other, and the passion they bring to work is brilliant.

On the flip side, the Thriving Workplace Index and Workplace Wellbeing Audit results revealed that we have some issues around workload management across the team. This showed up in a number of places and was highlighted as a psychosocial risk impacting team wellbeing, so this is an area the SuperFriend leadership team will be working hard to resolve. As an organisation with a vision for an Australia where all workplaces are mentally healthy, we have to be realistic about the pace we can run towards our goal and balance that with the wellbeing and needs of the team. We need our team to be part of the longer journey and don’t want to risk burning them out along the way.

We presented the results to SuperFriend’s leadership group is currently working through the themes, recommendations, priorities and next steps from both the Thriving Workplace Index and the Workplace Wellbeing Audit. We’ll be using these findings to inform our mental health and wellbeing program and initiatives over the coming months and will be looking to really improve the areas of wellbeing where we’re not performing as well as we want. I can’t wait to put the recommendations into practice.

I absolutely would recommend organisations try out the Thriving Workplace Index. The insights and recommended actions that you receive are incredible and can really have a positive impact in your workplace.

About the Thriving Workplace Index

The Thriving Workplace Index was developed by SuperFriend in partnership with PwC. It is a leading Australian benchmarking tool that helps workplaces identify their current state of mental health and wellbeing based on their employees’ experiences and identifies practical actions to help their business and employees thrive.
Learn more about and register your interest in the Thriving Workplace Index today.