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NSW tasks business leaders with improving employee wellbeing

By Juliet Helmke | |5 minute read

The NSW government is stressing the importance of fostering mentally healthy environments for the state’s workforce.

SafeWork NSW has asked employers throughout the state to consider making use of its Workplace Wellbeing Assessment, which can help businesses improve their understanding and management of mental fitness in the workplace.

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A free tool, the resource guides businesses through the process of confidentially surveying their staff to get a true picture of their satisfaction. Based on the results, the tool creates a detailed report with recommendations on how businesses can change to better foster a positive environment for mental health.

The state acknowledged, however, that the survey tool might not be right for some companies, depending on the size or skills of their workforce. For those entities, the government’s Workplace Pulse Check might be a better fit.

Filled out by the employer, it’s a short questionnaire to help leaders gauge the state of their workplace based on observable data. Similar to the Workplace Assessment, the Pulse Check provides a report with action points that businesses can use to improve their support of employee wellness.

The state’s Minister for Work Health and Safety, Sophie Cotsis, encouraged businesses to explore their options, noting that while the focus is on ensuring individuals are well cared for, cultivating a positive workplace has flow-on effects for businesses as well.

“When a workplace addresses psychosocial risks and other factors affecting mental health, it makes it easier to attract and keep great workers and support businesses to thrive,” Ms Cotsis said.

She noted the outsized effect that employment stress can have on Australians, given the amount of time and effort devoted to work.

“Many of us spend more than a third of our days at work, and if the workplace environment has unmanaged risks, including high workloads, exposure to trauma, stress or bullying, work can have a significant impact on what the rest of our lives look like,” Ms Cotsis stated.

Minister for Mental Health Rose Jackson added that it is time for Australians to make mental health a priority.

“When you’re not taking care of your mental wellbeing, you cannot function at 100 per cent in any aspect of your life, so it’s important to prioritise moments of self-care,” she said.

Ms Jackson further acknowledged that many have been battling particular hardships in their working and personal lives.

“We’ve had a tough few years, particularly for those working on the front lines, facing a pandemic, fires, floods and now an El Nino declaration,” she said, encouraging everyone to take a moment to check in on their mental wellbeing in all aspects of their lives.

This article was originally published on HR Leader’s sister brand, Real Estate Business (REB).

RELATED TERMS

Employee

An employee is a person who has signed a contract with a company to provide services in exchange for pay or benefits. Employees vary from other employees like contractors in that their employer has the legal authority to set their working conditions, hours, and working practises.

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