An alternative for regulators – using partners to influence psychological safety
Since 2017, WorkSafe Victoria has pioneered the ‘WorkWell’ program (www.workwell.vic.gov.au), in partnership with the Department of Health and Human Services, which engages stakeholders in multiple industry sectors throughout Victoria to develop and implement initiatives aimed at taking a prevention-led approach to promoting mental health and preventing mental injury in the workplace.
WorkWell program components including; the WorkWell Toolkit, WorkWell Mental Health Improvement Fund, WorkWell Learning Network and The Collaboration, proactively partner with peak employers, unions, consultants, academics, not-for-profit organisations and government departments. Nominated partners of WorkWell then work closely with their industry connections and form new partnerships throughout the duration of pilot projects to deliver bespoke mental health resources for their particular industry sector. These partnerships are crucial in influencing system-wide change, ranging from the initial conceptualisation stages, to the successful implementation of the project and deliverance of resources to employees. These projects, therefore, are an ideal vehicle for highlighting the importance of partnerships in pioneering best practice in creating mentally healthy workplaces.
To analyse these relationships further, WorkSafe Victoria has engaged The University of Melbourne to conduct Social Network Analysis (SNA), a form of analysis which observes the spread and influence of the projects by investigating the nature of the partnerships formed over time to deliver their projects. This analysis provides a multi-faceted yet standardised overview of the projects by allowing an in-depth exploration into factors related to individual partnerships, including how they shared skills, resources, and communicated, throughout the duration of the project. In depth exploration of individual partnerships then informs an overall image of the size, complexity and reach of a particular project over time. Further exploration will unveil the factors that allowed particular partnerships to flourish and deliver optimal outcomes for the mental health of workers in their industry.