Workplace Profiles

2021 Thriving Workplace Score

Rank

#19

of 19

Transport, Postal and Warehousing

62.3/100

+0.2

62.3

+0.2

0
100

The Transport, Postal and Warehousing Industry includes road, rail, water or air transport, couriers, stevedoring, airports, freight forwarding and customs services.

Graph – Thriving Score and Domain Score for the Transport, Postal and Warehousing Industry over time

Industry Thriving Score: Progress over Time

The Transport industry is the lowest ranked industry in Australia in terms of workplace mental health and wellbeing, with a thriving index score considerably below the national average at 62.3 out of 100. Despite this, nearly half (46.1%) of workers have indicated they feel their workplace is supportive of workers’ mental health and wellbeing, and 70% plan to stay with their employer for the next 12 months.

Optimistically, the overall index for the Transport Industry has marginally increased from last years scores, reflecting a gradual upward trend evident since 2018. Despite this, the industry is growing at a much slower rate when compared to the year-on-year growth of other industries and of the Australian national average.

Graph – Thriving Score and Domain Score for the Transport, Postal and Warehousing Industry over time

What’s working well

The capability domain has seen the largest increase across all indicators in the last 12 months, with staff engagement, staff skills, and staff confidence in addressing job-related concerns all increasing relative to last years scores.

Likewise there has been an increase in both the culture and policy domain, with clear information about support services access showing the sharpest increase in that area compared to 2020.

Areas to focus on

Leaders can help workers connect

The leadership and connectedness domains represent key areas of opportunity across the transport industry.

The leadership domain had the most substantial drop of all the domains, with drops related to leaders’ encouraging and championing their teams. This aligns with key psychosocial risks that were identified in this years survey included low recognition and poor management support.

What you can do?

Positive changes starts from the top, and leaders need to be equipped with the skills and knowledge that enable them to support the wellbeing of their teams. Leaders set the tone of their workplace and are uniquely placed to actively listen to the thoughts and experiences of their people, provide individuals with the recognition and support they need, and build positive connections and team culture. Trusted leaders are those who demonstrate their ability and willingness to have open and honest conversations with their people and to create change through action. This trust is the vehicle through which leaders can strengthen connections and provide meaning and purpose to their teams in ways that boost wellbeing, business outcomes, and productivity.

Read more about how leaders can build trust in our blog, Trust + respect = actions, not words

You can also check out SuperFriend’s leadership courses which are designed to equip leaders with the skills and knowledge to have care conversations, build positive team culture, and support individual in their teams.

Leading Mentally Healthy Teams Course
Read more about this course

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

Support workers to connect beyond work

The connectedness domain has also declined, although less steeply, with reported decreases in feelings of trust amongst workers and feeling less like a community beyond the workplace. Compared to last year, less workers also reported their workplaces made an effort to help the find meaning and purpose in their work.

What you can do?

Being connected to the people in our lives is vital for our mental health and wellbeing. Workplaces can play a vital role in providing a sense of belonging and connecting people which can help reduce feelings of isolation and anxiety, especially during difficult times.

Access resources on how to promote connection in your workplace (even in a virtual environment!)
Visit SuperFriend’s Connection hub

Within this industry…

48.2%

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

46.1%

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

70.0%

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

2.4

Low recognition

2.7

Poor change management

2.6

Poor management support

2.6

Low job control

2.4

Poor role clarity

2.4

Poor workplace relationships

2.3

Poor working environment

2.2

Traumatic events

2.2

Key:

Table – Psychosocial Risk Profile for Transport, Postal and Warehousing industry

Highest Psychosocial Risk

The highest psychosocial risk facing the Transport, Postal and Warehousing Industry is low recognition.

How can you manage this risk?

Recognising workers can be challenging when they’re busy and constantly on the move but it’s not impossible. Here are some ideas you can try:

  • Regularly and publicly celebrate successes (e.g., customer satisfaction ratings, % of on-time deliveries)
  • Reward star performers with personalised gifts (e.g., gift card for their favourite brand)
  • Make sure employees are paid fairly for their work (i.e., shift work, working overtime), and
  • Give workers an opportunity to provide feedback on processes and suggest improvements.

Key Insight

Warehousing and storage services are furthest from thriving

It’s encouraging to see that workplaces in the transport and postal sectors have steadily become healthier places to work, despite the challenges posed by record demand for consumer goods. Compared to pre-pandemic levels in 2019, the transport sector’s overall thriving workplace score has improved substantially (up 4.3 points to 63.9 out of 100), followed closely by the postal sector (+3.6 points to 61.8).

However, workplaces in the warehousing and storage services sector have shown minimal improvement (+1.1 points to 58.1), and are falling further behind each year. Leadership and connectedness in the sector has suffered recently, which is reflected in workers’ intentions to stay with their employer: only 32.4% of warehousing and storage services workers definitely plan to stay another 12 months, whereas planned retention is higher in the transport (43.2%) and postal (35.3%) sectors.

If they felt supported they would talk about [mental health conditions] more…the stigma around it is that it’s a sign of weakness, but it’s just being human.”

Key Insight

There are dramatic differences in the rewards and recognition given to these essential workers

Within the transport, postal and warehousing industry, only 1 in 8 workers strongly agree that they receive appropriate rewards and recognition for doing a great job. Given the increased workloads, and more pressure on these essential workers than ever before, it’s no real surprise that many (23.9%) are considering exiting the industry and working elsewhere.

Pay rate is a massive thing, I lose motivation when I work really hard with no recognition of this.”

Food delivery drivers have built in stress in the job, getting people’s food to them in the best condition possible, in all weather and conditions. Paying hourly instead of piece work would have a positive influence on mental health. Piece work means people cut corners or make risky choices just to try and secure a minimum wage.”

Benefits of rewarding and recognising workers

The workers who felt they were rewarded and recognised appropriately often referred to how their mental health and wellbeing also benefited:

I am allowed to take genuine mental health days off. I’m still getting paid and it doesn’t get taken out of my sick leave.”

We were given a bonus and a pay rise during covid times.”

They offered to pay for therapy sessions as well as offered paid stress leave.”

Given time off work [if struggling with mental health] with compassionate leave without loss of pay.”

They give us 3 weeks off with pay.”

Key Insight

Flexibility is vital to keeping workers healthy in this schedule-driven industry

Workers who were able to access flexible working hours less commonly experienced mental health conditions in the last 12 months (45.5%) than those who couldn’t access the flexibility they needed (65.2%). It’s important to remember that flexible working arrangements that work for one person might not suit another, so it’s better to offer a variety of options such as those outlined by industry workers:

Checked in regularly with those who opted not to work.”

They allowed flexibility in regards to days off and in hours worked.”

Workers who were able to access flexible working hours less commonly experienced mental health conditions in the last 12 months (45.5%) than those who couldn’t access the flexibility they needed (65.2%). It’s important to remember that flexible working arrangements that work for one person might not suit another, so it’s better to offer a variety of options such as those outlined by industry workers:

Staff were allowed the choice as to whether they wished to work during the pandemic and the business accepted their decisions.”

Continued to give hours to casual workers to help them.”

Been very flexible with what days are worked and the hours worked per day.”

Offer extra holidays – can take extra week if required. [Also have the option of] TOIL or pay for extra hours worked.”

Learn More

Watch this Heads Up case study to learn how Linfox uses leader training and a value-oriented approach to build mentally health workplaces across all their sites.

Heads Up: Linfox Case Study

We’d also encourage to check out the resources on the Healthy Heads Trucks and Sheds website and read over the National Mental Health and Wellbeing Roadmap the developed for the transport industry.

Healthy Heads Trucks and Sheds: Resources
Healthy Heads Trucks and Sheds: National mental health and wellbeing roadmap

SuperFriend recognises that every workplace is different – if you want to improve mental health and wellbeing at your workplace using the industry framework above but aren’t sure where to start, you can sign up to get an obligation-free call from of our Workplace Wellbeing Consultants.

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