Workplace Culture Reviews

Improve communication and reset team relationships

There are plenty of bumps in the road when a group of people work together. It’s inevitable. Different personalities, different work styles, different expectations. These are reasons a team culture can be a rich source of knowledge and experience, but they can also be a trigger for conflict, creating a culture that does not assist individuals and teams to perform at their best.

These challenges are sometimes compounded by problems in understanding what’s going on between your staff. As a manager, or HR support, you may not always be privy to unfolding issues or the triggers for underlying tensions in the workgroup. 

That’s where we can help.

Our workplace culture reviews focus on finding collaborative ways to reset working relationships, assist the group to implement change and improve the way it resolves conflict. They’re an effective way of getting your team back on track without escalating the situation.

We’re trusted by government departments, hospitals, and other organisations to provide independent, confidential and effective culture reviews.

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How do culture reviews work?

Workplace culture reviews are also known as:

  • Health and wellbeing assessments
  • Healthy, positive and effective culture projects
  • Workgroup pulse checks
  • Stresswise assessments

The aim is to identify problems in workplace teams and find solutions.

Employers seeking to update the way they address psychosocial risks to comply with the new obligations in Victoria arising from the Mental Health and Wellbeing Act (which commenced on 1 September 2023) are able to utilise our extensive experience conducting healthy, positive and effective culture reviews to identify and respond to such health hazards or risks.

A workplace culture review is often part of an OHS response, assisting the organisation to uphold its obligation to take all reasonably practicable steps to provide  a safe and healthy working environment for all. Employees at all levels are required to take care of their health and safety, and that of their co-workers. It makes good sense to involve them in the identification and resolution of workplace culture issues.

Staff are often more willing to engage openly with an externally conducted process as they value the independence and confidentiality of such an approach.

As an independent party, we identify the issues and find solutions that work for everyone, creating a unified, more productive team.

When you engage us to provide a workplace culture review, our general process is to:

  • Conduct a briefing with you to get an overview of the situation
  • Hold initial discussions with the people involved, for a deeper understanding of the issues and to plan the best approach and strategy
  • Review any relevant workplace documents including policies, workplace incident reports and any other data which may give us insight into the issues and how to resolve them
  • Gather information to understand what needs to change or improve, and ideas about how to make this happen. Methods may include confidential surveys, group meetings, and confidential interviews with individual team members 
  • Provide feedback, usually with a de-identified report which includes:
    • Suggested improvements
    • Implementation strategies
    • A guide for the ongoing support of team members, including managers

Because a workplace culture review is an OHS process underscored by legislation, workers can be required to adhere to the agreed changes for the benefit of the whole team.

Our clients often find that the process is successful because it’s the workers who propose the resolution. This collaborative approach is a key feature of workplace culture reviews.

Our workplace culture review experience

We set about developing a workplace culture review process in 2007, adapting WorkSafe’s Stresswise process, refining the process over the years based on our extensive hands-on experience and updated to reflect WorkSafe’s current guidance for Preventing and Managing Work-Related Stress and other best-practice research and advice.    

As mediators  and workplace investigators,  we saw that a process of this nature is an effective way to defuse many workplace conflicts and create a healthier, more positive and effective culture  without the need for a formal investigation, intervention from an external regulator, or resort to legal proceedings.

Outcomes from a culture review include unified teams with stronger communication, able to resolve most concerns directly within the team, creating a happier and more productive environment.

Our focus is on improving communication and addressing issues through a practical, structured yet informal approach.

This is why we’re trusted by a wide range of public and private sector employers to support teams to improve their culture in a safe and effective manner. 

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Our process

Workplace culture reviews are a positive, adaptable and practical way to address team tension, complaints and disharmony 

Step 1

After an initial briefing there is a short survey to understand the current situation and suggest ways to improve, giving everyone an equal voice in a safe, confidential forum.

Step 2

We undertake confidential, one-on-one interviews to discuss and reality test practical ways to improve the working environment.

Step 3

A de-identified report provides practical suggestions to create a healthier, more positive and effective culture. The team is supported to implement an action plan to achieve those changes.

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Effective workplace culture reviews

  • Impartial
  • Inclusive
  • Practical
  • Confidential
  • Sensitive
  • Cost effective

Frequently asked questions about workplace culture reviews

Why use a workplace culture review?

Workplace culture reviews are an effective way for employers to address tensions or conflicts in a team. They are often useful where other methods have not achieved, or seen as likely to achieve, sustained improvements. 

Workplace culture reviews can address the significant organisational challenges which are caused by friction, for example:

  • Poor productivity
  • Absenteeism (including increased sick leave)
  • Workers compensation claims for stress and other health impacts
  • Bullying and harassment complaints
  • Anti-discrimination claims
  • Staff retention issues
  • Suboptimal performance by individuals or teams
  • Inefficiencies due to presenteeism or increasing time expended resolving complaints
  • OHS incidents
  • Risk of complaints to, and intervention from, regulatory bodies

While the reviews help teams restore and reset working relationships, they’re also highly valuable in providing managers with tools to improve communication and providing feedback.

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What is the follow through?

We’ll provide ongoing support to ensure the goals of a culture review are achieved.

We’ll sit down with you and assess the success of the review. If useful, we’ll develop a strategy with you to monitor outcomes and identify where additional support may be needed to maintain the positive momentum or respond to interaction that undermines a team’s efforts to create a healthier and more effective working environment. This may include workplace investigation  or workplace mediation

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What’s the cost of a workplace culture review?

Our fee structure for culture reviews is based on a highly competitive fixed upfront amount. This gives employers certainty for funding purposes. The costs of such a review are significantly lower than the costs associated with multiple formal investigations or responding to an external regulator or legal process. 

Contact us to discuss your workplace issue. We’ll work out whether a review is right for your situation and provide a quote.

Contact us to discuss your situation

Give your team a positive boost with a workplace culture review

Effective strategies for improved communication and performance

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