Wellbeing is a fundamental human need that goes beyond superficial perks. It encompasses physical, mental, and emotional health, as well as social connections and a sense of purpose. This is especially true for social service organisations. The wellbeing of employees in these organisations is critical to their ability to provide quality services to clients. However, prioritising wellbeing in social service organisations goes beyond token gestures. It becomes a strategic advantage for organisations.
Collective care is an important concept that social service organisations should consider when prioritising wellbeing. Collective care is the idea that individuals are responsible for each other's wellbeing and that the community has a responsibility to promote wellbeing.
In New Zealand, social service organisations face unique challenges due to the country's history of colonisation and ongoing issues related to inequality and social justice. Prioritising collective care in social service organisations can help address these challenges by creating a culture of support and collaboration.
By moving from self-care to collective care, social workers can create a culture of support and collaboration that promotes wellbeing for everyone. By prioritising collective care in social work, we can create a culture of support and collaboration that promotes wellbeing for everyone.
Here are some ways that social workers can prioritise collective care:
1. Create a culture of care: Leaders should model healthy behaviours and encourage employees to prioritise their own wellbeing. Organisations should provide resources such as mental health services, wellness programs, and flexible work arrangements.
2. Foster social connections: Social connections are critical to wellbeing. Organisations should encourage team-building activities and opportunities for employees to connect with one another.
3. Recognise the importance of purpose: Social workers who feel that their work has meaning are more engaged and productive. Organisations should help employees connect their work to a larger purpose.
4. Address systemic issues: Social workers should work together to address systemic issues related to inequality and social justice. This includes advocating for policy changes and working with communities to promote positive change.
Prioritising collective care in social service organisations contributes to increased engagement, productivity, and overall organisational performance. It becomes a competitive differentiator and supports long-term success.
In conclusion, collective care is an important concept that social service organisations should consider when prioritising wellbeing. By creating a culture of collective care and providing resources for self-care, social service organisations can prioritise the wellbeing of their employees and improve outcomes for whānau.
Picture from @kkellyyoga