Three ways to access funding for workplace wellbeing in Australia
As a parent of primary-school aged children, I want them to have the opportunity to be in supportive places of work when they enter the labour market. We know from research that our workplaces need to change in order to support, rather than detract from, our wellbeing.
I am confident that work can be part of the wellbeing solution rather than the problem. A healthy workplace can provide a supportive space that encourages ongoing positive physical and mental health, prevent issues arising and support recovery. When I was experiencing a challenging personal time with a divorce, bereavement and family law proceedings all occurring within a short span of time, my career played a significant part in preventing my health and wellbeing from shifting into an ongoing anxiety and/or depression condition. My job made me feel more confident, increased my sense of purpose and it reminded me that I was more than my personal situation and past experiences. When employers get it right, workplaces play an important part in helping employees to flourish and stay healthy, both at work and also in their personal lives.
Competence and confidence
Most of the managers and leaders that we speak with want to support their employees to be healthy and to flourish. The common barriers that they experience to execute wellbeing strategies effectively are usually around skills competencies, confidence and funding.
There’s a plethora of basic resources, tools and online programs available nowadays that provide a starting point to kickoff wellness practices within workplaces and with the availability of specific skills training courses in the key areas of wellness and management for workplaces, manager confidence is boosted to effectively embed wellness into organisational frameworks and operational procedures.
Funding for wellbeing competency skills in workplaces
There is still a void however around the issue of funding for businesses to attain these skills. Larger corporations have larger budgets that can be directed to the attainment of such skills however, SME’s (small to medium-sized enterprises) that drive the Australian economy, are greatly challenged to meet the wellbeing needs of their employees and their legislative obligations of the WHS Act 2011.
As a small business, ASWA is leading an employer application for subsidised funding of these higher level skills of wellness management for workplaces. The goal of this funding application is to have the ASWA nationally recognised 10299NAT Diploma of Wellness added to the list of accredited vocational courses subsidised by the Australian Government. In doing so, organisations will have the option to provide this upskilling training option of wellness and management competencies to their employees at a subsidised rate. This is of particular importance to small and medium sized organisations that need effective, practical and low-cost options to enable their teams with competence and confidence to provide a supportive and healthy workplace environment.
The outcome will be that more people in more Australian organisations will have the essential skills of wellness and management to embed and integrate wellbeing throughout workplaces – for healthier (physically and mentally) people and places of work in Australia.
What you can do
If you or your organisation are looking to access funding to enable the development of key competencies in workplace wellness management skills, here’s three ways that you can get started:
- Join us and other small to medium-sized businesses to apply for much-needed funding by adding your organisation to our ‘funding support list’ that will go to the Australian Government. This list is essential to demonstrate that Australian employers want and need financial support to upskill their workforce in essential wellbeing management skills.
- At ASWA, we are compiling a list of Australian and New Zealand organisations interested in joining our ‘Employers that Innovate‘ group to pilot our workplace wellness skills training skills program – Contact us and ask to be added to the ‘EI list’.
- For mentoring purposes, the Australian government has grants available to help businesses. When searching for grants, keep in mind that you’ll generally need to meet certain criteria to be eligible.
Contact us and ask to discuss the options available to help you achieve your workplace health and wellbeing goals.
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Alone we can do a little, together we can do so much” – Helen Keller
With purpose and passion