Workplace Profiles

2021 Thriving Workplace Score



of 19

Public Administration and Safety






The Public Administration and Safety Industry includes Public Administration and Safety.

Graph – Thriving Score and Domain Score for the Public Administration and Safety Industry over time

Industry Thriving Score: Progress over Time

The Public Administration and Safety industry improved in all five thriving domains jumping 2.3 points overall to 65.2 out of 100 from 2020, to sit just below the national average of 65.6. However, with 49.5% of workers in the industry experiencing a mental health condition in the last 12 months there is a need for workplaces to continue to invest in high-quality and practical mental health and wellbeing initiatives that make a difference.

What’s working well

Workers in the industry reported strong levels of connectedness and culture compared to the other thriving domains. In particular workers are connected and committed to their team and feed respected by their colleagues. Access to confidential support and counselling was also highlighted as an area that is doing well.

Graph – Thriving Score and Domain Score for the Public Administration and Safety Industry over time

Areas to focus on

Workers need support to find meaning

The lowest scoring indicator for the industry in 2021 relates to workers feeling that effort has been made to help them feel purpose and meaning in their work. Workers in this industry often want to contribute to their community but they also manage many difficult situations so leadership support is vital to their wellbeing.

What you can do?

Leaders can help workers find meaning in their roles through positive leader strategies such as strengths-based leadership, motivations, and supporting job crafting. Applying positive leadership at work has wide-ranging benefits for an organisation and has been shown to improve productivity, satisfaction and wellbeing.

Elevate Your Leadership: Positive Strategies for Successful Teams
Learn more about this course

It’s time to talk openly about mental health

Although workers in this industry support and respect each other, they reported a lack of open discussion about mental health and wellbeing, and skills to support each other’s mental health and wellbeing.

What you can do?

Support from colleagues can play an important role in supporting mental wellbeing and creating a culture that talks openly about mental health is a great place to start.

SuperFriend’s free Peer Support booklet also has great tips for worker on how to support their colleagues.

Download the SuperFriend Peer Support Booklet

Policies need to be more than just documents

Although the policy domain increased in 2021, workers reported that mental health policy are not being seen in action.

What you can do?

Making sure policies are being used and walking the talk is extremely important for mental health and wellbeing. If you’re not sure if your policies are working why not complete a policy review to understand what steps you should take.

SuperFriend’s Workplace Wellbeing Audit
Learn how a workplace wellbeing audit can help your organisation

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 Public Administration and Safety industry

Highest Psychosocial Risk

The highest psychosocial risk facing the Public Administration and Safety Industry is low recognition.

How can you manage this risk?

The combination of high workload, low job control, and low recognition and support can result in negative mental health outcomes. This combination is often the result or poor job design where the demands of a role are not balanced with the ability to control when and how work is done and appropriate support such as having the tools required to succeed and support from leaders.

Leaders can work to understand what demands workers are facing and how to best support them through co-design sessions where workers can provide feedback and ideas for solutions.

Learn More

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

SafeWork Australia: Handbook – Principles of Good Work Design

The Australian Work Health and Safety Strategy 2012–2022 has identified the public administration and safety industry as a priority industry. Read more below.

SafeWork Australia: Australian Work Health and Safety Strategy 2012–2022

Read about the Police and Emergency Services Program from Heads Up.

Heads Up: Police and Emergency Services Program