Workplace Profiles

2021 Thriving Workplace Score



of 19

Education and Training






The Education and Training Industry includes preschool, primary, secondary, tertiary, adult, community, sport, art and special education.

Graph – Thriving Score and Domain Score for the Education and Training Industry over time

Industry Thriving Score: Progress over Time

Education and Training is ranked 7 out of 19 in terms of workplace mental health and wellbeing in 2021. It has a Thriving Workplace score of 65.8, which is just above the National average of 65.6.

This is an industry that has seen a lot of pivoting from onsite to offsite learning across the year and it is not usual to see the scores across 4 out of the 5 domains to have dropped due to the extraneous work conditions.

The Policy domain has slightly risen, showing effective guidelines are available, however with a drop in connectedness and capability suggests this is not evidenced from the ground level, leaving workers reporting they do not feel respected, or that other people care. Reflecting this culture, is a further decline in culture and in the leadership score.

Graph – Thriving Score and Domain Score for the Education and Training Industry over time

What’s working well

A rise of 2.4% in the policy domain regarding effective policies and practices against workplace bullying and harassment, speaks to the value this industry has in this area and their diligence in this work over the year. Due to the dynamic nature of teaching and learning, layered with speed of translation to remote learning, it is not surprising that there was a 2.7% rise in workers reporting that they rarely feel bored or disengaged.

Areas to focus on

Create a safe and supportive workplace

It is one thing to have great policies in place and another to have them enacted by the learning community. Connectedness is built on how we treat each other day to day. 2021 was a hard year for all, and we all carried our fair share of troubles. Within the connectedness domain, there was a 4.2% drop where workers felt others were not courteous nor respectful and a 4.3% drop in caring for others. It is important to think about how we bring our best selves to each interaction, and how we are looking after ourselves when we are struggling. With less than half (49.4%) of workers feeling their workplace is supportive of worker’s mental health and wellbeing, there is room for improvement

What you can do?

Building connection is part of the role of a leader. Read about SuperFriend’s blog “Leadership is action, not position” at or look to engage in some workplace training Elevate Your Leadership: Positive Strategies for Successful Teams

Read about reflections on positive actions that build connectedness and an inclusive culture at Trust + Respect = Actions not words

SuperFriend’s Peer Support Booklet provides practical suggestions to individuals for listening to and supporting work colleagues who may be experiencing issues with their mental health.

Download the SuperFriend Peer Support Booklet

To learn about the 5 ways to wellbeing and to strengthen your ability to navigate challenge, use this free, confidential learning module to check-in on your wellbeing, get tips on managing your mental health and make your own self-care action plan.

Wellbeing check-in and action plan
Make your own self-care action plan

Communicate openly about mental health

With a big focus on mental health and wellbeing in the Curriculum and when supporting families, it is surprising to see a drop of 5.1% in the Education and Training Industry’s culture in being able to openly discuss issues that affect mental health and wellbeing of employees. A plan to destigmatise and normalise our mental health challenges, particularly in trying times is a must to support a Thriving Workplace.

What you can do?

Learn more about Mental Health and Wellbeing by enrolling in SuperFriend’s Workplace Mental Health Essentials For All Staff Course. This course is designed to promote individual wellbeing and increase shared understanding of its importance within the workplace.

Learn more about SuperFriend’s Workplace Mental Health Essentials For All Staff Course

Leaders play a vital role in creating a mentally healthy work environment. Research consistently tells us that one of the most influential factors on a workplace’s ability to thrive is regular mental health and wellbeing training for leaders.

Check out mental health and wellbeing training for leaders

Help workers connect with each other

With 59.1% of workers reporting they have experienced a mental health condition in the last 12 months, coupled with inappropriate workload being the biggest psychosocial risk factor, it would be beneficial to explore possible changes that are supportive of the workforce feeling connected and heard.

What you can do?

This would be a great opportunity to build capacity in staff to learn more about mental health and wellbeing and how to take care of themselves to ensure they stay mentally well, even through challenging times.

Keeping people physically and emotionally safe, communicating, monitoring changing needs, leadership, and getting people back to work – which includes providing support and flexibility.

Read about your rights and responsibilities when managing a crisis

A leader has oversight of the whole organisation. Building a Thriving workforce requires planning. Enrol in SuperFriend’s Elevate Your Leadership: Positive Strategies for Successful Teams training. Leaders will gain an understanding of the strategies and skills they can implement with their own team, including a strengths-based approach, building motivation, creating a positive team culture, cultivating a growth mindset and empowering job crafting.

Learn more about Elevate Your Leadership: Positive Strategies for Successful

Book a 15 minute Chat
Learn more about how SuperFriend can help

Within this industry…


of workers have experienced a mental health condition* in the last 12 months
*Refer to Technical report notes


of workers feel their workplace is highly supportive of workers’ mental health and wellbeing


of workers plan to stay with their workplace for the next 12 months

Psychosocial Risk Profile

Psychosocial risks are workplace operations that increase stress and reduce mental wellbeing.
Read more

Inappropriate workload


Low recognition


Poor change management


Poor management support


Low job control


Poor role clarity


Poor workplace relationships


Poor working environment


Traumatic events



Table – Psychosocial Risk Profile for Education and Training industry

Highest Psychosocial Risk

The highest psychosocial risk facing the Education and Training Industry is inappropriate workload and low recognition.

How can you manage this risk?

The combination of inappropriate workload and low recognition can reduce employee morale and increase the possibility of burnout. Leaders in this industry can focus on these areas to reduce the likelihood of these risks occurring.

Shared responsibility includes all staff not only those in a teaching capacity. Some areas for exploration might include:

  • Clearly documented, defined and upheld protocols and expectations across all areas – from student support, behaviour management to team planning, curriculum implementation & report writing
  • Encouraging staff to approach leadership where they will be listened to and concerns respected and addressed, which will build trust and strengthen culture and connectedness
  • Clear distinction that is well communicated and documented between roles, responsibilities and tasks (i.e.: those teaching curriculum, those supporting students, engagement with stakeholders)
  • Mandated requirements (i.e.; mandatory reporting) to be scheduled during work hours, rather than an expectation that it is completed in own time
  • Clearly defining how your values, strengths, and passions connect to what you do on a day-to-day basis
  • As an individual, learn about stress levels and know when you are being pushed to the limit
  • Learn to switch off at the end of a day/shift to relax and unwind to ensure you have enough reserves for the new workday/shift
  • Focus on what is controllable and realistic when workload is high
  • Team leader/leadership check-ins with workers on a regular basis to see how they’re going.

Through valuing each team member and recognising good work, each individual will feel more connected to the team, improving connectedness and culture
Examples of this may include:

  • Celebrate achievements and/or best practice e.g., weekly team meetings round the table ‘what went well’, written acknowledgements in staff bulletin/newsletter, published article in parent newsletter, opportunities to share/lead at staff meetings and/or mentor others
  • Leadership making time to provide positive one-on-one feedback regarding excellence/skill in pedagogy and practice, e.g., what is going well and what could be shared to support other’s growth and development
  • A focus on people, not just the process in promotion of a positive work environment.

Learn More

Explore a TED Talk by Psychologist Kelly McGonigal who encourages us to see stress as a positive, and introduces us to an unsung mechanism for stress reduction.

TED: Make Stress your Friend

Read more about the principles of good job design from SafeWork Australia.

SafeWork Australia: Principles of Good Work Design

Listen to Amy Wrzesniewski, Professor of Organisational Behaviour at the Yale School of Management speak about ‘Job Crafting’ and creating meaning in your own work.

YouTube: Amy Wrzesniewski on Job Crafting

Check out WorkSafe Victoria’s page on how to promote workplace recognition and reward.

WorkSafe Victoria: Work-related stress – low recognition and reward

SuperFriend’s Be Your Best at Work: Positive Strategies for Success course provides individual team members with clear knowledge and practical ways to foster a positively engaged and thriving workplace.

SuperFriend’s Be Your Best at Work: Positive Strategies for Success