Ensuring staff wellbeing is monitored and issues addressed in a timely and sensitive manner is a key leadership skill. It's easy for wellbeing issues to creep up on an organisation if this important area is not attended to proactively. Bullying not followed up, unclear complaints processes and poor or inconsistent staff management practices can all contribute to undermining and damaging staff wellbeing.
In addition to the workplace, there could be other issues happening outside of work that have an impact on staff wellbeing - as the employer we need to be sensitive to these to ensure that the workplace does not inadvertently contribute additional negative impact on staff wellbeing.
This article summarises a proactive approach to wellbeing through taking the initiative in your organisation to conduct a staff wellbeing audit. The scope of the audit is summarised as follows:
Management of psychological hazards in the workplace
Review current processes - identify hazards, assess the risks, add control measures and respond/review the hazards.
Consider changes to policies, processes and practices that might be contributing to challenges to staff wellbeing
Mental health resources for staff
Review mental health information available to staff as to its continuing relevance to their work environment
Review any Employee Assistance Program offerings you provide for ongoing suitability and effectiveness.
Review the number of mental health first aiders is still appropriate and that training is up to date
Review current internal mental health training content for staff for ongoing appropriateness against best practice resources e.g lifeline
Review incident response and reporting processes
Monitor/review the active management of WHS cases
Review and confirm accurate record keeping
Review current accommodations made for staff who have mental health conditions
Review resources, policies and processes in place to support staff including onsite, hybrid and remote working
Review return to work processes used for any staff returning to work after a long absence due to leave (e.g LSL or maternity) or recovering from a known mental health leave of absence
Comparison of duties to WHS legislation to ensure current practices continue to meet WHS requirements
Taking a pro active approach to auditing staff wellbeing will help allow you to stay ahead of potential issues that might be developing in this important area of care for your staff.