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Supporting your workers during times of change

Organisation and workplace change is a fact of working life and can bring about positive changes for organisations and workers, such as increased productivity, clarity of role and increased work satisfaction.

Changes can also be challenging, and if not managed well, can affect morale and engagement. Consequences may include reduced work performance, increased absenteeism and the potential for psychological or other injuries that may result in workers' compensation claims.

High performing agencies and organisations need to be flexible, adaptable and able to respond quickly to changes in government direction or in their operating environment—for example, machinery of government changes.

In response organisations should focus on:

  • consultation
  • prevention
  • early intervention
  • recovery and return to work
  • leadership

During times of organisational change it is important to give attention to work health and safety (WHS) as part of an integrated approach to risk management and corporate planning. This includes considering workers who are away from the workplace as a result of injury or illness or taking part in a rehabilitation program.

There are a number of practical resources and case studies available to supplement the guide and support workers during change.

Looking after your employees during times of change

This publication helps employers to integrate WHS and risk management into corporate planning during times of change.

Reducing the psychosocial risk of workplace change–self-assessment tool

It is important to take a preventative approach to managing the risks of change and monitor the impact on workers. This tool is a guided self-assessment, monitoring and review process for workplaces to identify key risks and corrective actions. This will assist in minimising psychosocial risk factors during workplace change. The review process addresses consultation, prevention, early intervention, recovery, return to work, and leadership. This will help you identify your risks and areas for improvement.

CSIRO's Wellbeing Journey

Read about CSIRO's change journey and view the tools and resources they will be using to realise their Wellbeing at Work Vision towards 2018.

Working Together: Promoting mental health and wellbeing at work

This guide, Working Together: Promoting mental health and wellbeing at work, is a key initiative of As One - Disability Employment Strategy. The guide aims to empower managers and employees to work together to build inclusive workplace cultures and effective systems for promoting mental health in the Australian Public Service (APS).

APS Dealing with Change and Planning and Managing Change Training

The APSC has released training to assist agencies to develop the core skills of staff in dealing with and leading change. The training entitled Dealing with Change and Planning and Managing Change focuses on learning outcomes including identifying responses to change, adopting practices to deal with change, reflecting on successful change, strategies to work with change resistance and understanding the role of the manager in implementing change.

Heads Up

The Heads Up initiative has been created to support Australian business to create more mentally healthy workplaces. The initiative is powered by the Mentally Healthy Workplace Alliance and beyondblue. Heads Up offers simple, practical, and tailored information, advice, and resources for all individuals in the workplace from across the Mentally Healthy Workplace Alliance.

People at Work Project

The People at Work (PAW) project involved the development and validation of a psychosocial risk assessment tool. The project was delivered by the Queensland University of Technology and Australian National University, in partnership with Work Health Safety Queensland, Comcare, Safe Work Australia, WorkSafe Victoria, Safe Work NSW and beyondblue. The project involved two successful Australian Research Council (ARC) Linkage Project funding applications as well as significant support from partners.

People Matters with Machinery of Government Changes

This fact sheet is for employers and people managers. It gives an overview of change and how workers often feel and respond in times of uncertainty. It offers practical advice and a simple checklist to guide you through the process of supporting your people.

Health and Productivity

This fact sheet tells employers and workers about how to support people of all ages and abilities at work. It discusses the importance of employee health and wellness programs, well designed work, and integrated strategies to manage health and productivity.

Psychological Injury and Performance

Creating mentally healthy workplaces delivers improved productivity and workplace participation. This fact sheet talks about mental health at work and its relationship to performance.

Rehabilitation and Return to Work

Returning to work is an important part of recovery from illness and injury. Work is the most effective means of improving and maintaining the wellbeing of individuals including their families and communities. This fact sheet covers early and successful return to work and the importance of measuring outcomes to drive rehabilitation performance.

Page last updated: 08 Feb 2017