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Latest Workplace Survey Reveals Key Insights into Australian Workers’ Mental Health

Thursday, 15 June 2023: SuperFriend, a leading mental health not-for-profit organisation, has released key findings from the 2022 Indicators of a Thriving Workplace survey. This national survey encompassed nearly 10,000 Australian workers across 19 industries, representing one of Australia's most extensive research projects on workplace mental health. Using the latest research, this annual longitudinal survey strengthened its indicators to capture the current workplace mental health landscape. Industries were measured across five core Domains – Leadership, Connectedness, Safety, Work Design, and Capability. Connectedness emerged as the top-scoring domain, reflecting the prevalence of high-quality relationships between co-workers across many industries.

However, the survey also highlighted areas that require attention and improvement. Capability received the lowest score, indicating the need for targeted efforts to empower workers with the skills and resources necessary to support their mental health and that of their colleagues.

When analysing industry performance, the Information Media and Telecommunications and Arts and Recreation Services industries demonstrated the highest scores, showcasing their commitment to fostering workplace mental health. The Education and Training industry recorded lower scores, indicating areas for improvement.

The survey also assessed psychological hazards, with Inappropriate Workload identified as the most poorly addressed hazard in Australian workplaces. Other risks, such as Low Recognition, Poor Change Management, Poor Management Support, and Low Job Control, also scored low, emphasising the need for proactive measures to mitigate these risks.

The survey findings also revealed interesting insights about the impact of various factors on workplace mental health. Connectedness scores were higher in smaller organisations, highlighting the importance of close-knit work communities in larger work environments. A balanced amount of remote work positively affected multiple Domains, while appropriate workload and supportive leadership correlated with higher scores across all Domains.

Commenting on the findings, Darren Black, Chief Executive Officer of SuperFriend, said, "These survey results provide valuable insights into the state of workplace mental health in Australia. They underscore the need for targeted interventions and support to address challenges and foster thriving workplace practices specific to each industry. Having such practices in place provides mutual benefits, that is, better wellbeing for workers and improved business productivity and outcomes for employers ." Said Darren.

Ross Iles, Associate Professor and Chief Research Officer at SuperFriend, said, "As workplaces change, our measurements must change. We drew from the most recent research to update the Indicators of a Thriving Workplace, leading to a new set of Domains. Our focus is on drawing insights from this dataset to demonstrate the impact of a thriving workplace culture. 

The latest Indicators of a Thriving Workplace survey identifies priority action areas for organisations and policymakers looking to improve mental health and wellbeing in the workplace. By focusing on the identified Domains and addressing psychosocial hazards, Australian workplaces can create environments that promote positive mental health outcomes for all employees.


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