Staff/Organisation Wellness and Enhancement Services
For several years Wakai Waian Healing (WWH) has been delivery Psychology and Counselling services across regional and remote Queensland embedded within a variety of local services. Subsequent to this and due to increasing demand, WWH has been requested to enhance its delivery of Staff/Organisation selfcare and Wellness initiatives across a number of host sites. This initiative is consistent with WWH’s focus to enhance direct Psychology and Counselling services, promote the growth and development of professionals and invest into community capacity building across the state.
At it’s core this initiative/service acknowledges the complexities of delivering healing and community orientated services in remote locations particularly to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander consumer groups. It is proposed that this type of initiative/service relates not only to organisational effectiveness and efficiency, but also to the recruitment, retention, sustainability and wellbeing of staff as a valuable resource for any organisation.
A typical service delivery contracts for this type of initiative/service, and our deliverables might include the following;
- Conduct of an organisation/staff selfcare and wellness assessment;
- Delivery of individual and group (small team) selfcare and professional capacity development activities;
- Organisational support with the establishing of routine, structure, procedures and policies focused on selfcare and wellness;
- Provision of regular verbal and written feedback reports as a running commentary to levels of Management;
- Conduct of ongoing layered staff wellness monitoring and evaluation;
- If or when required, support the referral of staff to the individual and/or group Psychology/Counselling services as delivered by WWH or other healing services; and
- Exploration of ongoing professional development and supervision and mentoring arrangements possibly tailored to profession, group, or individuals
Our experience is that while the above are offered as suggestions and have been commonly been adopted there is scope to adapt required deliverables to the uniqueness of individual organisations.
Service contracts are tailored made to the uniqueness of each individual site.
Typical Focus Areas
As an example, following initial assessment, a organisations have chosen to undertaken the introduction of individual and group (small team) sessions and processes and procedures which include a focus on the following areas;
- Resilience building;
- Trauma informed service delivery;
- Experiential learning;
- Reflective practice;
- Knowledge translation;
- Change management;
- Managing work and private life conflicts;
- Presentations on Mental Health and Holistic Healing;
- Stress management and self-care;
- Dual relationships, Conflicts of Interest;
- Ethical, Moral, Legal Considerations, Human Rights considerations within the workplace; and
- Other topics as identified during consultations.
Part of the intent of this type of service offered by WWH is to increased selfcare, team work, cohesion, and the promotion of staff potential. The above is not an exhaustive listed of topics/ focus areas and are very dependent on the individual organization. The above focus area’s are seen as mechanisms that support a process of healing and change across and organisation.
Why an organisation might want these services
Some of the existing circumstances that have lead to WWH being asked to undertake it’s Staff/Organisation selfcare and wellness service include the following;
- High staff absenteeism rates for a variety of reasons;
- There are a number of staff that currently require extended support for depression and anxiety related health matters some of which are seeking support some are not;
- A number of staff are being performance managed for a variety of reasons;
- There appears to be an internal negative and unhealthy culture which appears to be undermining work performance and relationships with the services community;
- The organisation now has a Quality Assurance measure attached to staff health and wellbeing and the health and wellbeing rating of the organisation in terms of workforce stability and functioning;
- There is a need to dismantle community myths and perceptions of the organisation which might not be helpful as this has an impact on morale and organisation functioning;
- There have been a number of unofficial complaints made about the organisations performance in terms of providing health services to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in regional and remote locations;
- There have been elevated levels of verbal abuse within the organisation and between the organisation and the community.
- The service has been unwilling to ‘ban’ family members even when they may have been abusive towards staff and in breach of company policy; and
- There has been a growth or actual and/or perceived conflicts of interest within the organisation.
WWH expressed that the above is not an exhaustive list and acknowledges that each services is unique. It is highlighted here that when WWH undertake an Organisation/Staff assessment it seeks to identify not only ‘issues’ but also the ‘strengths’ and ‘positives’ of an Organisation/Staff.
WWH as an organisation acknowledges that in this type of work we may become exposed to sensitive matters which could be considered internal issues to the host organisation. WWH prioritises confidentiality, the management of information, respectful professional relationships that provide safety of groups and individuals and the management of issues/matters that may be considered sensitive in nature.