Wellbeing on Call: Creating thriving contact centres

From October 2018 – February 2020, we worked on a pilot program called Wellbeing on Call, aimed at protecting and promoting the mental health and wellbeing of Victorian contact centre workers. The program was funded through WorkSafe’s WorkWell Mental Health Improvement Fund, and was run in collaboration with five organisations in the superannuation and insurance industry – UniSuper, Sunsuper, Link Group, MLC Life Insurance and Concentrix.

In February 2020, the final evaluation for the Wellbeing on Call pilot was completed. The Wellbeing on Call project team fulfilled the following planned activities:

  1. Final program evaluation – consisting of data collection, analysis and reporting
  2. Final program meetings with each of the five participating organisations
  3. Final WorkSafe Victoria reporting
  4. Development of the Wellbeing on Call microsite case study
  5. Development of eight case study videos.

Evaluation insights

Data was collected through online surveys (Team Members) and interviews (Team Leaders and HR-based staff) at three time points: baseline, immediately post-intervention, and at the final evaluation, four months later (February 2020).

Team Members rated their workplace on multiple factors including:

  • Indicators of a Thriving Workplace (ITW), consisting of 40 separate indicators to generate scores for five domains: leadership, connectedness, policy, capability and culture
  • Engagement and satisfaction with work
  • Self-care practices
  • Mental wellbeing
  • Strengths
  • Psychological capital, and
  • Implementation of, and reflections on, the program interventions

Overall, the evaluation indicates the program had a positive impact on wellbeing. Participating teams made gains in each of the ITW domains, consistently outscoring those who did not.

Other positive outcomes for participants of the program included:

  • Increased ability to recognise and respond to mental distress
  • Increased self-care activities
  • Increased knowledge of mental health conditions
  • A shared commitment to wellbeing
  • Confidence to discuss mental health
  • Practical strategies for Team Leaders to implement, including:
    • Strengths-based coaching
    • Team meetings/activities
    • Open conversations
  • Reduced stigma about mental health
  • Reduced absenteeism
  • Increased likelihood to stay in role

What’s next?

  • Elements from the Wellbeing on Call program interventions are being incorporated into SuperFriend’s new online training modules
  • Ongoing discussions are occurring with the participating organisations, enabling SuperFriend to continue supporting contact centre workers’ workplace mental health.

Visit the wellbeing on call website for a full overview of the program’s aims, timeline, interventions, evaluation, key insights and other positive outcomes, as well as videos, resources and to hear from the program’s participants.

What did participants have to say about Wellbeing on Call?

“Your sessions have been so beneficial to my team and to my personal learning as a leader as well. Absolutely invaluable. I don’t want to think of what my leadership style would be today if I hadn’t come into contact with this course because you’ve added quite a lot to my skill set and the way I interact with my consultants where I’m just, I’m almost a different leader than I was a few months ago so I’m very thankful for the knowledge you’ve imparted upon me.”

– Team Leader, participating

“I think I don’t have a vast knowledge of [mental health conditions]. Do I have more knowledge of it since going through SuperFriend’s training? One million per cent.”

– Team Leader, participating

“What I see as being the real value from the program is that we’ve been able to develop a culture focused on wellbeing, focused on identifying those strengths and how we operate and use them. We’ve also then been able to develop those individuals which has been really successful for them. I think that continuous communication and focus on whether it was strengths or the goals meant that we sort of had a step change improvement.”

— HR-based staff

“It’s helped me engage more with my team on a more personal level I think, rather than just focus on their performance metrics, all of that sort of stuff.”

— Team Leader, participating