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Improvements in work-life balance

The AFL Players’ Association has released its annual Development and Wellbeing Report, featuring statistics that show significant improvements in how players perceive their workplace culture.

Click here to download the full high res version of the Development and Wellbeing Report.

The AFL Players’ Association Annual Workplace Culture survey was implemented in 2013 to assist in monitoring industry provision of Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) entitlements and to drive performance, engagement and empowerment in players and club management.

The results for 2014 indicated a significant decrease (from 41 percent to 23 percent) in the percentage of players expected to report back to the club during their annual leave period via, for example, GPS, tracking with apps, results of time trials.

Likewise, players who responded saying they agreed their work commitments allowed them to have a ‘mental break’ from footy between matches increased from 39 percent in 2013 to 60 percent and players who said their club ensured enough time to plan their off-field schedule around changes to their football-related schedule increased from 41 percent to 61 percent.

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Brett Johnson, General Manager of Player Development for the AFL Players’ Association, highlighted the positive impact that conducting such surveys has on the ongoing improvement of player development.

“We will continue to seek to influence and improve culture through ongoing player-driven research” – AFL Players’ CEO Paul Marsh

“The format of the survey engages internal and external stakeholders on what is important to them from a workplace culture perspective and encourages clubs to initiate conversations around how to execute player development,” Johnson said.

“Following on from the research we conducted in 2013, which highlighted a connection between good workplace culture and strong performance on field, we saw an improvement in the 2014 survey results, which is proof that discussion is being stimulated and action is being taken.”

Work environments which embrace and embed holistic development as a valued part of a football program is something Johnson believes is crucial to creating a first class sporting workplace for all AFL players and supporting them to maximise the opportunities that an AFL career provides.

“As the game continues to evolve and become more demanding, it’s important we remain focused on how these changes impact players and work in concert with clubs to implement programs and build internal loyalty and community” Johnson said.

045 induction 2014

AFL Players’ CEO Paul Marsh mirrors Johnson’s opinion in stating that players’ personal development and wellbeing is critical and will remain a key priority moving forward.

“We will continue to seek to influence and improve culture through ongoing player-driven research and will use the results to enhance and build our programs and services to support clubs and players,” Marsh said.

The Development and Wellbeing Report provides insight and explanations into the areas of wellbeing and development, including career transition and education, mental wellbeing, financial education and support, cultural diversity and past player support.

Other highlights in the AFL Players’ Development and Wellbeing Report include:

  • The development and launch of the MAX360 resource – an important shift in the delivery of player development, from a pure vocational development focus to considering the player from a holistic perspective.
  • The review, restructure and launch of the revised financial literacy program offering.
  • The development and launch of the Executive Certificate in Player Development.
  • Securing a $3 million grant together with the Young and Well Cooperative Research Centre as part of the Movember Foundation’s Australian Mental Health Initiative.
  • An increase in player payments and funding for the Player Retirement Scheme.
  • The revival of an industry Occupational Health and Safety Committee.