As a First Nations organisation, we appreciate and respect the significance that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people place on culture, family, and country, and that these elements are all connected. We strive to provide meaningful career pathways for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples by removing barriers to real job opportunities and ongoing employment. By ensuring our policies and practices allow employees to balance work commitments with their family responsibilities, The Healing Foundation hopes to establish a family friendly, inclusive workplace culture which benefits all employees.
In the midst of COVID lockdowns and restrictions, The Healing Foundation implemented a wellbeing policy that included 5 wellbeing days and a 2% wellbeing allowance for staff to use toward maintaining optimal wellbeing. Staff are encouraged to use wellbeing leave in whatever way benefits their individual and family wellbeing – including taking time to connect with family and visiting Country.
Our staff have embraced this offering, with many using their wellbeing allowance to improve their physical health (through gym memberships) and mental health (through self-care and therapeutic services). Some staff have chosen to take their wellbeing days as full days – taking long weekends to go away with family; while others have taken their leave in smaller increments and used their wellbeing leave to start an hour late every second Friday so they can take their nieces and nephews for breakfast before school, for example.
By supporting a healthy work-life balance for all employees, The Healing Foundation can create an environment where our team feel engaged, supported, and able to bring their authentic selves to the workplace. Family friendly organisations attract and retain talented staff, improve diversity in our workforce and ensure all employees are supported to reach their full potential – which would have significant, positive flow-on effects for our colleagues, stakeholders, and First Nations communities.
Josh – ICT Manager, The Healing Foundation
When I started at The Healing Foundation in mid-2021, just as people were returning to offices after a year of COVID lockdowns, I was nervous about how my family would be impacted. I was the sole income earner in a family with two young children, and my ability to work from home and support my wife during the lockdowns had been invaluable. As we were welcomed to return to the office, the organisation put no pressure on us to attend in person activities, and we were given the flexibility to make decisions that best suited ourselves and our families. This flexibility has been the most important thing for me, and I feel so lucky to have a Leadership Team that accept WFH as a necessary reality for staff mental health and productivity.
This has become even more important for our family as my wife returned to work. I could never have imagined I would still have the flexibility to look after my son. And it doesn’t stop there. The culture of prioritising wellbeing and our family’s health is driven from the top down – Our Executive are regularly encouraging us to feel no pressure to work from the office – and reminding us that we have the support to make decisions in the best interest of our families. This attitude is further promoted by management and is modelled across the organisation. It’s really become ingrained in our workplace culture, and I couldn’t have wished for a better situation for myself and my family.