We see Staff Care in SIL as the shared responsibility of different parties in the organization. HR and Staff Care have a specific task in equipping staff and actively promoting their well being. Supervisors and OU leaders have responsibility for a healthy and fitting work environment. Colleagues and peers contribute to social support and spiritual community. The organization as a whole is committed to fulfilling its Duty of Care, which includes but is not limited to our standards, policies and guidelines. SIL Counselors, spiritual directors, coaches and others offer specialist support where there is a need for it.
Staff Care Practice
Staff Care practice as it is envisioned for SIL includes ‘a range of practices’ tailored to the individual worker, taking into account his/her strengths, phase of career, family members’ needs, and encompassing different areas of life.
The support that is offered is defined as ‘holistic’, which includes spiritual, emotional, social and mental aspects of care, and it is ‘organisational’, which means that it is provided by and within the organisation. The organisational nature of care provision allows for it to be both ‘proactive and reactive’ and thus not solely dependent on the individual to request intervention. Instead, it is practiced as an anticipated responsibility within the organisational framework.
This definition states that Staff Care is ‘focused on the individual, community and workplace’.
Staff Care for the individual is tailored to his or her personal strengths, challenges, history, training and assignment. When speaking of ‘individual’, we refer to all staff and their family members. The care offered takes into consideration the challenges the individual experiences in their particular living situation. This includes the availability (or lack thereof) of health sustaining resources (such as social and spiritual community, medical facilities, and psychological or pastoral support). Next to this, the care anticipates the phase of the career and/or transition (HR) cycle the individual is in.
The organisational framework of care around the worker includes the mutual care given to workers in the organisational community. The cohesion of this spiritual and social community is actively promoted by the Staff Care facilitator (as HR worker, or in close collaboration with the local HR department), but is dependent on the (expected) active investment of the workers themselves. Through friendship and spiritual companionship, workers walk together through the joys and challenges of their lives. Next to this, the fostered relationships remind the community of their shared identity and vision, while acknowledging and celebrating their intercultural character.
Organisational Staff Care for SIL staff in the workplace recognizes the significant impact of the work situation on the wellbeing and resilience of the individual worker. It strengthens resilience and work engagement through ensuring a sufficient understanding of tasks, experienced practical and psycho-social support from a supervisor, and a sense of connection with team members.
Wellbeing and resilience are core purposes of Staff Care. SIL seeks to promote the wellbeing of staff and families in order to equip and sustain them in contributing to God’s Kingdom through our organisation’s work. Care for TCK’s and families is more extensively addressed on the page of the Global HR TCK Care and Education department.
We expect our staff to be faced with challenges and stressors in their work and lives as missions workers. Care provided should therefore be proactive and responsive in character, equipping our workers to bounce back (be resilient) when faced with expected and unpredictable challenges. Instead of waiting to offer care after a crisis arises, we strive to promote the resilience and skills of our workers so they are able to cope as well as possible. When staff is faced with highly stressful events, crisis care is offered in order for them to be able to recover and continue with their lives and work.