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Creating a Culture of Care

Looking after staff wellbeing has been top of mind, particularly in this time of Covid19. The success in which this is managed moving forward requires a strategic, rather than hit-and-miss, or ‘fluffy’ approach.

WorkSafe NZ state “The effects of work-related stress can vary from individual to individual”.  In general, work-related stress is associated with:

  • Illness and disease
  • Low morale and engagement
  • Anxiety low productivity
  • Antisocial behaviours

Sure, higher salaries and less workload may help; but they are only part of a much larger picture. Every organisation has an obligation to maintain a healthy work environment for their staff. This does not just mean ticking-off safety checks; it also means ensuring a physically, spiritually, and emotionally safe work environment for everyone.

Well-beings = Happy-beings


Happy beings = Healthy culture.

A report by the World Economic Forum and Consultancy Right Management in 2010 found that,

“Wellbeing is as much shaped by employee engagement as by physical and psychological health. This same research found that organisations engaged in promoting wellbeing are more likely to have significant improvements in employee engagement, productivity, creativity and lower talent drain.”

They also found that,

“Organisational culture influences employee wellbeing. Workplace culture and job satisfaction have a big impact on wellbeing and absence… The choices that people make and the behaviours they exhibit are often influenced by the context in which they find themselves.”

Band-aid approaches that don’t work in the long-term:

The time has come to be strategically proactive about fostering a Culture of Care within your organisation.

So how might that look you ask?

Let me explain.

Developing a Culture of Care consists of a three-phased approach:


Invest time to canvas your people, whilst also looking both deeply and widely at systems, structures, and your organisational culture in order to identify areas of potential pain and gain.


Plan a strategic approach that ensures identified actions are embedded and sustained. Create a culture of care where people are supported to build and maintain their wellbeing through personalised support. Optimise internal strengths and networks to build internal capacity and utilise external support as required.


Review staff, systems, structures, and organisational culture to determine value-added and areas for further development.

So what happens from here?

NOTE: Options can be accessed both privately or through MOE PLD funding.

Who is Mary-Anne?

Mary-Anne is passionate about growing greatness in others. She does this through her work with leaders, teams, and youth.

She brings over 25 years’ experience working with schools and youth from her times as a primary school principal, secondary school HOD, secondary school professional learning leader, national and international-level facilitator, speaker and qualified coach.

She is also RocheMartin’s Emotional Intelligence for Leadership lead coach, trainer and assessor for New Zealand.

Her qualifications include: Masters Ed. Leadership, Graduate Diploma of IT in Education, Graduate Diploma the Arts, Bachelor of Education, Diploma of Teaching.

I partner with organisations who are open to improving. Leaders who are collaborative and are ready for rich dialogue and a solutions-based approach. If you are open to reimagining the culture of your organisation at a deep level, then I want to work with you!

Kind words about this partnership:

What a privilege it has been to have had the opportunity for Mary-Anne to support our Kura’s journey of Creating a Culture of Care this year.

Mary-Anne’s high level of experience, knowledge, aroha and insight helped out staff to bring to the surface much needed conversations sharing vulnerability and demonstrate bravery.

Her dynamic style made everyone feel safe and comfortable throughout the entire process which enabled us to develop a shared understanding of the culture we wanted to make a reality.

Mary-Anne provided necessary tools that enabled much deeper conversations and clarity of the pathway we believed was right for our Kura.

Mary-Anne’s cultural connectedness and understanding of tikanga (appropriate to our setting) also enhanced our experience during the sessions we were able to complete.

The impact has been significant in such a short space of time, being able to repair as well as forge a positive shared pathway forward has been our greatest win. Every staff member has been left with the feeling of wanting more and can’t wait to further develop the Culture of Care plan we’ve begun.

Thank you Mary-Anne for providing us with the platform we so needed to enable this to happen. We are excited about what our future holds.

Sunny West, Principal, Kihikihi School

I’m in…what happens next?

Let’s get on a 45-minute call so I can learn all about your organisation/school, your challenges and what you’d like to achieve. From there, we can see if it’s a good fit for you right now.

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