icare’s Community Engagement team has been very active engaging with employers and community groups about the value of social connection in the workplace. In response to their requests for resources and ideas on how to build social connections, the team has produced the online Social Connections Toolkit.
“It’s very simple really – social connections matter, at work, at home and in the community,” says Andrew.
“Last year we spoke with public and private sector managers and supervisors about the results of our research, and that a socially connected workplace is a more productive and safer workplace. Overwhelmingly they all wanted to know how they could create their own environments that promote positive social connections and support better return to work outcomes."
“We decided to support them by producing a kit of resources and ideas so that they could take action, regardless of their industry, location or workforce.”
“The attendees on the Central Coast were really excited about the idea. I’m hoping they’ll download the resources, use them and let us know about the impact it has on their workplace,” says Andrew.
The kit includes background information on the research, fact sheets, posters, videos, a calendar and a PowerPoint presentation. Social connections are critical to physical health and cognitive functioning – we become physically and mentally healthier. Regardless of work role, age, gender or background, social relationships are crucial for good physical and mental wellbeing.
“In an increasingly isolated world, feeling socially connected is more important than ever,” Andrew continued.
“When we support social connections in the workplace and form strong relationships with one another, it helps build a more inclusive, engaged and successful workforce."
“We are very keen to get feedback from businesses who use the kit because we’ll be measuring the effectiveness of the resources and evaluating our toolkit and making any necessary improvements.”