The Organisational HSW Self-Assessment Tool and PERMAH Model

The approaches to health, safety and wellbeing outlined below, require the following factors at an organisational level:

  • Demonstrate an ongoing commitment - this includes training, tools and support.
  • Allocate time and resources - organisations to prioritise time and resources for the support and development of these capabilities as a workplace priority.
  • Show leadership - the willingness of leaders, teams and workers to consistently experiment with tiny and do-able ways to incorporate health, safety and wellbeing practices into the ways they are interacting, working and to share their learnings.

The organisational HSW self-assessment tool

The HSW self-assessment tool and handbook was developed by Lyn Walker on behalf of Safe and Equal. The objective of the HSW self-assessment tool is to assess evidence-based factors that positively contribute to health, safety and wellbeing within organisations. These factors primarily relate to systems and processes at the organisational level.

It draws heavily on a comprehensive evidence review undertaken for the Australian National Mental Health Commission and the Australian Mentally Healthy Workplace Alliance. It encourages mutually reinforcing strategies at the individual, job design, team and organisational level.

It provides a starting point and can be used together with the results of the PERMAH wellbeing survey to provide a holistic view of health, safety and wellbeing levels within an organisation.

The PERMAH Model

The PERMAH model suggests that wellbeing is cultivated by the presence of the following factors:

  • Positive emotion - boosting resilience by lowering stress and mindfully navigating emotions, both positive and negative.
  • Engagement - improving people's confidence by improving people's strengths.
  • Relationships - fuelling psychological safety by creating better connections and creating a culture of collective care.
  • Meaning - making work meaningful without it becoming obsessive, so that people aren't at risk of burning out.
  • Accomplishment - building grit by fostering growth mindsets and self-compassion.
  • Health - cultivating physical health and energy by eating, moving and recovering well.

Although the PERMAH model is not the only approach to care for wellbeing, it was chosen because it is a useful, easy way for us to understand, measure, and take action using evidence-based research and tools (to be developed with the sector) that can be incorporated into existing ways of working at the team and individual level.

Studies have found that each of the PERMAH factors helps shape your organisational, team and individual health and wellbeing.[i] How we feel and function across these factors has been found to vary across time, situations, and experiences, meaning that the ‘right’ wellbeing approaches are tailored and look different for every individual, team, and workplace.[ii] The PERMAH Wellbeing Model helps us understand what may be within your control when it comes to caring for your health, safety and wellbeing.

The approaches in this Guide are designed to cultivate ability, motivation and psychological safety.