Case Studies

Improving psychological safety and supporting cultural change within state and local government image

Improving psychological safety and supporting cultural change within state and local government

Prominence has a proud history of supporting organisations with psychosocial safety and culture change initiatives.

Managing psychosocial hazards in the workplace has increasingly become recognised as pivotal to ensuring holistic workplace health and safety (WHS) and optimal organisation performance. In April 2023, the management of these hazards became legally enforceable to all workplaces covered by the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (WHS Act) through the new Code of Practice and Regulation.

Psychosocial hazards at work – anything that could cause psychological harm at work – may include, but are not limited to, violence and aggression, bullying, poor physical environment, low job control, poor organisational justice, or traumatic events which may result in psychological and/or physical harm. It is the responsibility of workplaces covered by the WHS Act to eliminate or minimise these hazards as far as is reasonably practicable. The new Managing the risk of psychosocial hazards at work Code of Practice (Code of Practice) provides guidance on how to achieve minimum health and safety standards however, many organisations are facing significant internal and external challenges that are further impacting on the psychosocial safety and culture of their workplaces, making interpretation and implementation of the new standards additionally challenging.

To improve workplace psychosocial safety and support culture change, Prominence has worked with organisations including the Department of Justice and Attorney-General and Ipswich City Council to:

  • articulate People and Culture (P&C) roles, responsibilities and services, including performance measures
  • conduct assessments of organisational fairness, organisational leadership, learning and development pathways, the operating environment, organisational structures and workload pressures
  • conduct workshops to enable deep dives into understanding the current state – understanding how staff are feeling why, and the desired future state
  • conduct gap analyses and identify opportunities for improvement 
  • identify opportunities to link psychosocial safety with KPIs
  • build conflict resilient workplaces and complaint and grievance management frameworks, including a focus on early intervention and resolution
  • develop performance management frameworks
  • co-design practical actions to make iterative improvements.

Our clients have reported high value from a psychosocial safety assessment tool, the Conductor PS25TM psychological safety survey. The survey is a proven, validated survey instrument based on neuroscience that measures psychological safety in organisations. It is comprehensive (25 questions), fast to complete (<4 minutes), easy to understand, and provides current state information from which to base staff interviews and workshops. The survey measures the fundamental human aspects that drive job behaviour, links how people feel to how they perform, showcases the importance of human-centric leadership and provides actionable common-sense insights that target the organisation’s priorities.

At Prominence, we have delivered:

  • baseline assessments and evaluation reviews
  • review reports and recommendations in the areas of leadership, equity, communication, inclusion, wellbeing, organisation (information and knowledge management, operating procedures and process, public service versus judiciary, roles and responsibilities and standard ways or working procedures)
  • leadership debriefs to review and discuss findings, key observations, recommendations and next steps
  • people and culture frameworks based on the review report, best practice and unique organisational needs 
  • action plans to guide implementation, including scope, resource requirements, duration, expected outcomes and metrics, communication plan and responsible owners.

We have received reports of great engagement with staff and the opportunities that were offered for them to be heard, and feedback that we provided a wide range of new, clear insights into the psychological safety of the team and its impact on people and behaviours, a clear plan forward, and a sense of optimism for the future.

Following the completion of a Development of a Human Resources (People and Culture) Framework project, Prominence was engaged to assist with the development of a People and Culture Strategy and the development of the new People and Culture structure. We were further engaged in the development of a new Grievance Management Framework, including supporting tools and resources.