What makes workplaces thrive?

20 November 2018

Have you ever wondered what makes a workplace thrive? SuperFriend’s 2018 Indicators of a Thriving Workplace Survey found that only 6 per cent of the 5,047 Australian workers surveyed reported that their workplace was ‘thriving’. A thriving workplace is one where 80% or more of the 40 scientifically-validated indicators across the five domains of Leadership, Connectedness, Policy, Capability and Culture are in place.


What do we know about the workplaces people reported as ‘thriving’?

Our research tells us there are some key themes found in workplaces which are thriving…

  1. People are committed to their work team (96%)
  2. People are motivated to work hard because their job is interesting and important to them personally (95%)
  3. People are courteous and treat each other with respect (95%)
  4. Efforts are made to help people find purpose and meaning in their work (93%)
  5. There is an expectation that all leaders role model the values of the workplace (92%), and
  6. Effective policies and practices against workplace bullying and harassment are in place (91%).
What can I do now to move my workplace towards a state of thriving?

Your copy of the 2018 Indicators of a Thriving Workplace Survey has a range of action ideas for positive leadership, creating connectedness, developing strong policies, building workforce capabilities and improving culture. Building Thriving Workplaces is also jam packed with action ideas across each domain, describing them in detail and detailing the benefits that your workplace stands to gain by investing your time and resources in workplace mental health and wellbeing. Consider what the priority areas are for your workplace, and start in that domain first. Below are some initial ideas to get the ball rolling:

Role model policies for work life integration: It’s good practice and demonstrates the policies are achievable for all. Foster high-quality connections: Include time on meeting agendas to check in with how people are feeling, offering space for narratives and stories. Develop and promote a clear mental health & wellbeing strategy and policies and practices against workplace bullying and harassment. Customise job roles: Consider customising jobs to increase job control and job satisfaction for people. Complete a culture survey: Invite people to provide feedback and to share key findings and organisational actions.
Understand, explore and leverage team members’ strengths: Understanding strengths at work in new and different ways taps into intrinsic motivation and helps improve personal performance. Create spaces to connect: Create informal places for people to interact with others away from their work stations. Complete regular policy reviews: Include people in groups responsible for the implementation and continuous improvement of the mental health and wellbeing strategy. Complete a regular learning needs analysis: Understand the skills and capabilities needed to protect and promote people’s mental health and wellbeing. Set organisational goals: Create goals that contribute towards building a better society or community.


This article was featured in our monthly e-Newsletter SuperFriend News which provides practical advice for employers to in creating positive, cohesive and productive environments for all employees.