UnitingCare Wesley Country SA in partnership with ac.care and Flinders University has recently finalized a research project examining the connection people have to their workplace. 

Country social service organisations, which operate multiple offices over large geographical areas, face unique challenges. People in ‘spoke’ offices need appropriate supports from the “hub” office to foster connectedness with the organisation, its culture, its mission, systems and processes.

The study aimed to inform and to provide opportunities to enhance staff communication and connectedness in Australian country community service organisations.

The research focuses on questions that test workplace connection in terms of geographical location, organisational culture and support from colleagues and line managers.  

The report confirmed that hub and spoke business models are known to be an efficient and cost effective way to deliver services in regional areas.  It gives rise to the question can hub-and-spoke models be enhanced to take a more networked approach that incorporates values found to exist in Organisations like UnitingCare Wesley Country SA.

Key findings indicated that people felt more connected where they could identify with the values of their organisation and that a networked approach could foster this connection.

Ms Anthea Pavy, CEO of UnitingCare Wesley Country SA, said “Our people are our most important asset and we are constantly looking at ways to learn from them and improve their engagement with us.” 

She said “This project and the recommendations which have come out of it will form the basis of our values based leadership approach moving forward”

Recommendations from the report include the ongoing development of our next generation of leaders, increased utilization of video conferencing and the exploration of ways to foster social activities. Underpinning these though is the notion that our people value quality connections over a quantity of connections. 

If you would like to read more about this research, click below to download the full report

Download report