Building a caring culture: SEIVA’s 7 key initiatives

Terri Green

At SEIVA, we don’t just talk the talk; we walk it. We’ve built a vibrant and safe working culture that puts the wellbeing of our team members and clients first, living and breathing it every day with a heartfelt commitment to action. We believe that by taking care of our exceptional team, we can provide even better support to our valued clients. That’s the SEIVA difference. Here’s how we do just that.


  1. Celebrating Acts of Kindness

RUOK Day is celebrated as a national day of awareness for suicide prevention in Australia. At SEIVA, it’s engrained in our daily rhythm. Every month, our team members to nominate their peers who have demonstrated exceptional kindness and support, going above and beyond to check in with their colleagues. We call these “RUOK nominations” and we publicly recognise nominees at our monthly “all hands” team meeting with a shout out and an RUOK bikkie to have with their coffee. It’s our way of shining a well-deserved spotlight on those who truly make a difference within our team.

  1. Weekly Pulse Surveys & Wellbeing Check-Ins

We’ve introduced weekly pulse surveys within our team to provide insights into performance and wellbeing factors like energy levels and mindset. Being on the front-foot and doing these pulses weekly, enables us to have timely and meaningful discussions with every team member. We can pinpoint specific areas of concern and offer tailored support, ensuring they are supported to thrive in our environment. Just last week, the pulse survey highlighted a couple of our team members felt they were unable to switch off from work. We jumped on it and had meaningful discussions to help prioritise and set boundaries.

  1. Mental Health Training

We invest in developing mental health first aid skills among our team members, providing training on mental health awareness, stress management and resilience. We have a dedicated team of certified Mental Health First Aiders ready to provide support and assistance when needed. We’ve put our skills into practice being able to identify the early warning signs and have provided one of our team members with additional coaching to assist with overcoming a stressful life event. He’s kicking goals again!

  1. Employee Assistance Program (EAP)

Whilst we are trained in Mental Health First Aid, we are not professional counsellors. We provide immediate confidential counselling services and resources through our Employee Assistance Program that gives a safe space to seek help and support for personal and work-related issues. This includes conflicts at work, anxiety and depression or marital and relationship problems. Our uptake has increased over the past 2 years, with over 35% of our team accessing the service and it’s gaining momentum and much appreciated support from the team.

  1. Wellness Programs & Stress Reducing Initiatives

We’re committed to reducing workplace stress and promoting a fun, healthy lifestyle. We’ve implemented programs throughout the year, focusing on physical fitness, nutrition, mindfulness and connection. Our kitchen is abuzz on Tuesdays in Winter where individuals volunteer to make soup for the team lunch. A favourite was Nick’s leek and lentil soup. Every second week you’ll see regulars participating in meditation sessions and our weekly walks and daily trivia gives us a chance to have a break and switch off from work.

  1. Flexible Work Arrangements

For us, work flexibility means finding balance and flow. We asked our team what they wanted and tailored our flexibility policy to ensure it was meaningful to them. Among our team, we have early risers who find their optimal workflow at 6.30am, while others find flow later in the afternoon. And we have parents who handle school pick-ups and drop-offs. We also provide remote work opportunities, allowing our team to enhance their productivity and enjoyment by working from home or other suitable locations for two days each week. The key is with open communication we empower our team members to tailor their work hours to suit their personal needs and responsibilities. This flexibility makes it easier to juggle both work and life commitments effectively. 

  1. Nurturing Wellbeing Beyond Ourselves

We understand that wellbeing extends beyond our immediate workplace, and we actively support causes closes to our hearts. Recently, we raised funds for Genes for Jeans Day as three of our team members shared stories about the heartbreaking effects of Motor Neurone Disease in their families. Additionally, we participated in a 24-hour walking relay for Steptember to raise awareness and funds for Cerebral Palsy, a disease that affects the daughter of one of our leaders. We also volunteer our time to cook meals as a team for the disadvantaged in our community. These experiences have been incredibly bonding for our team. But, it’s more than that; we find that caring for others and extending compassion beyond work is integral to our team’s wellbeing. It reinforces that we are part of a greater community with shared values and a commitment to making the world a better place.

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