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WORK WITH PURPOSE

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Research Project

Worker Recruitment and Retention in the Care Economy:

Community Services Worker Archetypes as a Way Forward

This study is collecting data from people who are already working in the community services industry in Tasmania or are planning to work in this industry. The purpose is to explore their experiences of what it is like to work on the frontlines. We are particularly interested in understanding how we can design and implement better practices and poliices to recruit and retain community services workers in Tasmania.

The Workforce Coordination Project, in conjunction with scholars from the University of Tasmania and Murdoch University are facilitating this study across community services in Tasmania. Currently we are at the data collection phase and early analysis. 

Results of the study will be available for industry leaders in late 2024.

Please get in touch if you would like further information or if you would like to participate in this important research.

“I think if you’re driven by the values that do connect and work, it is worth it. It’s okay to recognize that it’s not for you and that’s okay. Because as much as we want, we need more people, we also want the right people.” (Interview with Education and Care worker)

Meet the Research Team

Dr Gauri Laud, Chief Investigator, Tasmanian School of Business and Economics, University of Tasmania 

Phone: (03) 6226 5716 

Email: gauri.laud@utas.edu.au

Dr Gauri Laud

Dr Laud is a Senior Lecturer in Services Marketing at the College of Business and Economics, University of Tasmania.

Her research focuses on service management and technology, value co-creation processes in service ecosystems, and consumer and community well-being. She specializes in service employees and vulnerable consumer groups and has led multiple high-impact research projects, such as exploring the impact of technology (e.g., artificial intelligence) and co-designing service processes for consumer/ service employees and collective well-being (e.g., service system well-being scale to measure collective well-being). Dr Laud actively collaborates with local and international industry partners and the Tasmanian community to ensure her research outcomes reach end-users effectively.

Her works have been published in prestigious marketing journals such as the Journal of Marketing, European Journal of Marketing, Journal of Service Management, Journal of Services Marketing, and Marketing Theory. Dr Laud is a co-investigator of the Care Economy Worker Archetypes project, which aims to develop industry-relevant research outcomes that will have far-reaching impacts on worker recruitment and retention strategies across the four care economy sectors.

Dr Lauren McGrow, Co-Investigator, TasCOSS

Phone: (03) 6231 0755

Email: lauren@tascoss.org.au

Dr Lauren McGrow

Dr Lauren McGrow lives joyfully on the southern edge of Australia. Her research focus includes sex work, gender, and play. She is a Research Fellow at Charles Sturt University, Australia and works at the Tasmanian Council of Social Services, in the Workforce Coordination Project, where she is researching the experiences of frontline staff in community services. 

Lauren has written for the Melbourne Age, ABC and Australia’s only sex journal, Archer Magazine. She is also the author of Missionary Positions: A Postcolonial Feminist Perspective on Sex Work and Faith-Based Outreach from Australia (2017) and editor of the collected volume Religious Responses to Sex Work and Sex Trafficking (2022). 

Dr Cheryl Leo, Co-Investigator, Murdoch Business School, Murdoch University

Phone: (03) 9360 6158

Email: c.leo@murdoch.edu.au

Dr Cheryl Leo

Dr Cheryl Leo is Senior Marketing Lecturer at Murdoch Business School at Murdoch University in Western Australia.

Her research focuses on services marketing and its intersection with social marketing. Cheryl examines phenomena that include well-being, service systems, and digital interactions, and she is passionate about investigating the complex interface between service employees and users working in digital environments and in commercial and social services. 

She has published in outlets such as Journal of Social Marketing, Health Communication, and Journal of Service Management. 

In addition, Cheryl served as President of the Australia Association of Social Marketing (2022-2023). 

Project Timelines

This research project is currently in the final stages of data collection. It is anticipated that the data collection that includes recruitment and conducting of the interviews for four sectors will be completed by May 2024. Analysis of the project findings will take place between the period of June to August 2024. There are two stages to reporting the findings of this study. The first stage of the report will contain archetypes of care economy workers, and this will be available in September for TASCOSS and published on this webpage. Subsequently, the second stage of the report and recommendations relating to broader motivations and barriers of care economy workers will be completed in December 2024. Various findings and recommendations will be disseminated at related conferences in 2025

The potential impact of this research for community services

This image depicts a soft, blush pink line-graphic of a book, laying open on its spine to reveal its pages.
  • Care Economy Worker Archetypes development will assist the care sector to understand knowledge about the type of workers that exist within the 4 key care economy sectors of aged care, disability, education and care and social services. This will result in future work to develop a tool for recruitment and worker retention.
  • Care Economy Worker Archetypes are built on demographics, workers motivations, values and lived experience. These nuances open new ways and practices for worker retention and talent management across the sectors. 
  • Care Economy Worker Archetypes can also form the basis for new worker/talent recruitment strategies particularly for designing an integrated marketing mix in the recruitment programs for care workers.
  • Care Economy Worker Archetypes provide understanding of current industry/sector brand perceptions that can support the development of roadmaps for mitigating challenges for engaging a new care workforce.

Extended Benefits

  • This research will provide depth information on system drivers that may create challenges for Care Economy sectors in retaining and recruiting new care workers, resulting in potential recommendations to lessen these challenges.

Stay in touch with the team - Contact Details

Dr Lauren McGrow, Co-Investigator, TasCOSS

Phone: (03) 6231 0755

Email: lauren@tascoss.org.au

Dr Cheryl Leo, Co-Investigator, Murdoch Business School, Murdoch University

Phone: (03) 9360 6158

Email: c.leo@murdoch.edu.au

Dr Gauri Laud, Chief Investigator, Tasmanian School of Business and Economics, University of Tasmania 

Phone: (03) 6226 5716 

Email: gauri.laud@utas.edu.au

Sajith Siriwardana, Co-Investigator, Tasmanian School of Business and Economics, University of Tasmania

Phone: +61 3 6226 7196

Email: siriwardana@utas.edu.au

The Work with Purpose initiative is part of a larger community services industry Workforce Coordination Project, which is part of the Local People in Local Jobs initiative, supported by the Tasmanian Government through the Department of State Growth. The project is delivered in partnership with TasCOSS on behalf of the social services sector peak bodies and the Tasmanian peak bodies of Aged and Community Care Providers Association (ACCPA), National Disability Service (NDS), Early Childhood Australia (ECA) Tasmania Branch (contracted to Lady Gowrie Tasmania).

Research Project