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Clear boundaries to maintain a healthy work-life balance and reduce burnout

Organisational case studies: Northern Integrated Family Violence Services Partnership (NIFV).

Wednesday, 23 November 2022 at 6:03 am

The Centre Against Violence (CAV) in the Ovens Murray area provides a range of wellbeing initiatives that its workforce find valuable. Information collected at exit interviews and a direct request for feedback have highlighted the following initiatives are the most impactful:

  • promoting a healthy work-life balance
  • prioritising and supporting workers in their work, life-and family spheres
  • being flexible with leave and enabling people to use it freely, even for appointments
  • providing generous professional development and ownership of how it’s used.

Starting with the Chief Executive Officer, CAV promotes setting healthy boundaries between work and life. They also have a core value of seeing the ‘whole person’ and recognising that everyone has commitments and passions outside of work. Workers reflect on how this has positively impacted them:

“Being precious about the separation of work time and personal time, that is not working beyond set hours. That for me is like having permission to let work be at work and not take it outside those hours. I think that especially helped when working from home began. I’m sure it would have been tempting to blur those boundaries for some who have not had that idea instilled.”

“Respect for, and support for, my role as a mum.”

“Commitment to keeping after hours as minimal as possible and identifying we need to switch off.”

“Prompt starting and finishing times – not staying back at work but having my workload supported by the team leaders.”

CAV supports and encourages flexible work arrangements and the use of leave entitlements. Both of which have empowered the workforce in overseeing their own wellbeing and sending a message that they matter and are trusted to know what they need. Workers reflect on how they have benefitted from these practices:

“The opportunity to work part-time for my health and wellbeing and family life.”

“Support to use leave entitlements when I need to, unlike my past workplace where we racked up months and years of leave and yet were not easily able to take it.”

The workforce also values managers checking in, providing regular supervision and reflective practice sessions. This has enhanced everyone’s sense of connection to the organisation and its culture.

“Check-ins with me person to person even via zoom or phone and moments of exchange in the office which keep up the personal connection”

“Supervision and reflective practice are the most helpful for my wellbeing, which also includes all the consults or check- in’s with leaders that are not officially scheduled ‘supervision”.