26 September 2023

New QPS program to de-stress workplace

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The Public Service Commission has launched an online program to help Queensland public sector leaders develop the skills needed to create safe, mentally healthy workplaces through their everyday interactions with colleagues.

In partnership with the Queensland University of Technology and its program QUTex, the Commission poses situations aimed at reducing psychological injuries, absences and turnover.

“We share five top hacks which will set you and your team up for improved mental health and wellbeing,” the Commission said in a statement.

“Getting to know your colleagues and forming meaningful relationships is fundamental to creating mentally healthy workplaces,” it said as its first hack.

“Take the time to meet with colleagues individually and at a team level to talk about things that matter in their lives right now,”

It said that while showing compassion can be dismissed as too ‘touchy-feely’ for the workplace, its second hank involved showing an interest in the wellbeing and potential of others was one of the most powerful things leaders could do to create psychological safety.

Its third point was to realise that supervisors could have a significant impact on the mental health and wellbeing of those they lead.

“As a team leader, one of the things you are valued for is your ability to manage team members,” the Commission said.

“To create a mentally healthy workplace, the first person you need to manage is yourself, including your emotions, behaviour, resilience and energy.”

The fourth hack was about creating a sense of belonging and inclusion.

“If people in your team feel socially isolated, treated like an outsider, or feel left out, not only will they not be able think at their best, but their physical and mental health will suffer too,” the Commission said.

“When it comes to creating a sense of connection and belonging, small moments can make a big difference.”

Finally, it said, leaders should be mindful and provide support.

“When it comes to mentally healthy workplaces, people all do different things. What they have in common is how they feel — safe, included, belong, inspired, valued, respected and the list goes on.

“It’s worth thinking about how your actions, words, and interactions are contributing to your workplace.”

The Commission said the free online program would help public sector leaders develop the skills needed to create safe, mentally healthy workplaces through their everyday interactions with colleagues.

It said the program aligned to Leadership competencies for Queensland and the sector’s approach to creating mentally healthy workplaces as well as seeking to expand on the Everyday coaching skills for better conversations program.

All three initiatives can be accessed on the Forgov website at this PS News link.

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