How to build your organisation’s capacity to support employees

20 March 2017

Ninety-one per cent of Australian employees¹ believe it is important to work in a mentally healthy organisation.

Beyondblue reports² that one of the key ingredients to creating a mentally healthy workplace is providing staff with access to support at work.

Workplace peer support mentoring is one way to build an organisation’s capacity and achieve a supportive organisational culture³. As part of the Mentor role, Mentors are required to:

– be available to listen to and help others;
– role model positive behaviours that align with the organisation’s values;
– not necessarily have all the answers but know how to assist the mentee to find appropriate support; and
– provide a trusting relationship that brings colleagues together by offering support, information and encouragement.

The real difference peer support can make to your business

A lack of engagement is a real problem for organisations. In the most recent Gallup poll(4) of workplace engagement in over 140 countries, it was reported that just 24 per cent of Australians are engaged at work.

Engagement can be affected by relationships at work, job control and a sense of conducting meaningful work, recognition and psychological wellbeing. Importantly, research(5) tells us that employees who feel supported are more engaged with their workplace.

The measurable benefits of peer support and mentoring include (6):

– increased staff morale and engagement;
– a healthier and safer workplace;
– reduced turnover;
– better interpersonal relationships between colleagues;
– fewer conflicts and complaints; and
– half the number of workers’ compensation claims.

The question, then, is not how to justify the establishment of formalised workplace support, but how to justify not doing it.