Social wellbeing for a healthy and happy workforce

Risk Matters - Autumn 2024

Tradies laugh and talking

The relationships we build at work play a crucial role in our overall wellbeing. Social connections in the workplace can boost mental wellbeing, job contentment, and productivity of employees.

The concept of social connection refers to feeling that you belong to a group and generally feel close to other people. Scientific evidence strongly suggests that this is a core psychological need, essential to feeling satisfied with your life. Given that many people spend nearly eight hours a day at work, it’s vital that staff have a sense of belonging in the workplace.

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Where we’ve been – Autumn 2024

LGIS, together with WorkCover WA and legal partners Mills Oakley and Moray & Agnew have delivered four sector specific information sessions on the new Workers Compensation and Injury Management Act (2023) WA.

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The benefits of social connection in the workplace

Reduce stress

Creating a supportive and inclusive workplace culture, can help reduce stress levels and promote mental wellbeing among their staff. When employees feel supported and connected to their colleagues, they are more likely to have a sense of belonging and experience lower levels of anxiety and depression.

Boost teamwork and collaboration

When employees have positive relationships with their colleagues, they are more likely to communicate effectively, share knowledge, and work together towards common goals. This leads to improved teamwork, innovation, and better problem-solving capabilities within the organisation.

Reduce internal conflict

An environment of dignity, respect, and civility in the workplace fosters a sense of connection and support among individuals. Additionally, it plays a significant role in mitigating psychosocial risks like bullying, sexual harassment, and unhealthy conflict.

Improve employee engagement and job satisfaction

Social connections at work can provide a sense of purpose and fulfilment, leading to higher levels of job satisfaction. Employees who are satisfied with their work are more likely to stay with the organisation, reducing attrition rates and the associated costs of recruitment and training.

Improve overall health and wellbeing

Social connection has been shown to have a positive impact
on physical health, reducing the risk of chronic diseases and promoting a healthier lifestyle. By creating a supportive and inclusive work environment, members can encourage their staff to engage in healthy behaviours, such as exercise, healthy eating, and stress management. This, in turn, leads to reduced absenteeism, lower healthcare costs, and improved overall wellbeing.

Promoting social wellbeing initiatives in the workplace is essential for creating a healthy and happy workforce.

Looking for ideas to improve social connection?

The LGIS Health and Wellbeing Program is encouraging members to get involved in the Cancer Council’s ‘Australia’s Biggest Morning Tea’ in May and June. It’s a great opportunity to foster social connection and contribute to a cause. Working together towards a cause is an excellent way of building connection across an organisation.

We also have a range of services and resources to support members in developing social connection initiatives. For more information, please get in touch with our WorkCare Services Manager, James Larkin on 0419 355 943 or email [email protected]

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