"People are feeling far more valued and supported. We've noticed an increased ability and prevalence of staff being able to speak up, reduced sick days, increased productivity, and certainly less turnover."

About the initiatives

Entity Solutions provides holistic engagement, management and value-add services for white-collar contractors and the organisations engaging them. The company also offers migration, backoffice, business establishment and management services.

Entity Solutions runs a range of initiatives to support a mentally healthy workplace – formal and informal, financial and non-financial, and recurring and one-off. These are linked to the company’s corporate social responsibility mission statement. Its approach to workplace mental health emphasises embedding mental health within the organisation and its culture.

A committee made up of people from across the organisation engages all employees in the decision-making process, such as deciding which charities to support. Staff are encouraged to submit their own proposals for consideration.

Key mental health and wellbeing initiatives include:

  • association with SANE and incorporation of SANE’s Mindful Employer Program into its induction process to promote understanding of mental health and equip employees with the knowledge and skills to identify and respond to symptoms. The program also has modules specifically designed for managers and people in leadership positions.
  • an employee assistance program
  • leadership training workshops that provide an avenue to discuss mental health issues (such as stress management and anxiety)
  • participation in mental health-related events, such as the R U OK Day
  • participation in charity fundraising events, such as the National Bandana Day and the CEO Sleep Out
  • supporting the gardening project at Croxton School, a school for students who are intellectually challenged or have learning difficulties – staff volunteer for a few hours each week during work hours to assist the children with gardening activities
  • supporting good physical health through, for example, the provision of fresh fruit, water jugs and glasses
  • a pleasant, enjoyable and comfortable working environment and promoting opportunities for social interactions – one-third of the office space is dedicated to breakout space, including a large lunch room with pool tables and café booths
  • mental health support information and resources are available on the company intranet.

How the initiatives came about

The company's leaders have a strong commitment to creating and maintaining a work environment and culture that facilitate positive mental health. They decided an effective way to implement this would be to establish a partnership with SANE.

Supporting mental wellness is inherent in the company’s strategic plan, with one of the key strategies relating to staff retention and productivity.

Benefits and outcomes

  • reduced sick days and increased productivity create financial benefits for the company
  • increased willingness among staff members to speak up about mental health issues and increased help-seeking, such as accessing the EAP
  • employee engagement and morale have improved as they feel valued and supported
  • initiatives not only have a positive impact on staff wellbeing while they are at work, but often have flow-on effects in their personal life
  • there is a positive vibe in the office.

Recommendations, considerations and lessons learned

Challenge: Financial resources 

Action:

  • Senior managers agree that the financial resources allocated are an investment with future financial benefits

Challenge: Prioritise mental health and reduce stigma 

  • Engage staff in mental health issues by making it relevant to them
  • Educate staff using the Mindful Employer Program as part of induction
  • Lead by example. For example, a middle manager spoke publicly about her experience with depression

Challenge: Engaging staff

Action:

  • Ensure that information and communications are relevant to all staff
  • Ensure that everyone feels comfortable about their level of involvement
  • Invite involvement in a range of programs – new or existing – from anyone who is enthusiastic

Challenge: Instilling confidence

Action:

  • Provide a confidential support line for employees

Challenge: Whole-of-organisation approach

Action:

  • Provide a mechanism for additional types of wellbeing, such as enabling staff to contribute to charitable causes as part of work programs or during work hours
  • Ensure that the range of initiatives work in harmony, not discretely
Matthew Franceschini
Entity Solutions

Matthew Franceschini
CEO
Entity Solutions