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Building Resilience in Local Government

A Victorian Local Government Council was facing pressures of large population growth and increased resourcing constraints. The potential of introducing rate capping in the future meant that their staff needed to do more with less and so were feeling stretched.

Because was approached to implement its Building Resilience Program. This two-day program was developed to provide people with effective tools, strategies and self-insight to increase their ability to “bounce back” in times of increasing work pressures and uncertainty. The focus of the program was to build participants’ resilience through investing in their “energy bank account” in four areas of their life – mental, physical, spiritual and emotional. 

Sixteen participants were selected from senior manager, manager and co-ordinator roles from various functional areas within the Council. They came to the program for a variety of reasons – all of them wanting to learn better ways to manage the choices they were making which was impacting the quality of their working lives.

Over the course of two days, which were held one week apart, the participants learned how to:

·            reconnect with what was important for them in their lives,

·            make different choices to better care for themselves physically,

·            ensure they were in the right “zone” for stimulation at work,

·            be more organised at work

·            work more effectively and get the most from their time at work,

·            be aware of, and better manage, their emotional state

·            better understand areas they could control and influence, and those areas they couldn’t and what to do about that

Prior to the program, Stephen a Building Insepctor was finding that his responsibilities were becoming overwhelming, having to balance many competing demands and large projects.  He was also prone to take work issues home with him that was causing anxiety and affecting his ability to concentrate.

“I would be at home still thinking and lamenting about how the working day had evolved and this would affect me emotionally, he said. The Building Resilience Program was an excellent forum to teach prioritisation and understand what is really important in life.

I have begun to really appreciate the work-life balance and make sure I am looking after myself. I now have the ability to turn off from most of my work anxieties when I get home and concentrate on my family and invest more time in my passion for gardening and my new born.  At work, I now have the capacity to say ‘no’ with conviction and concentrate on delivering quality outcomes without being distracted from the task at hand. This journey is obviously ‘work-in-progress’, but I know I am heading in the direction where I want to be.”

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