Assessing organisational resilience and wellbeing: SWORD Autumn 2023

Published: 01/11/2023

Author: Research in Practice

We’re delighted to announce the seventh opening of the Social Work Organisational Resilience Diagnostic (SWORD). SWORD offers a diagnostic survey and an online workbook designed for use across the whole social work and broader social care profession.

The SWORD survey opens twice yearly in Spring and Autumn and will be open for organisations to participate for six weeks from 1 November until the 13 December.

Social Work is a challenging and emotionally demanding job, to thrive it is essential that social workers are supported by compassionate and emotionally literate leaders in a resilient organisation. In this blog, Professor Gail Kinman and Dr Louise Grant consider how using SWORD to measure wellbeing and resilience could support recruitment and retention in social care.

The aim of SWORD is to help leaders and managers to create the conditions that enable workers to sustain and develop resilience.

The SWORD diagnostic survey enables the collection and analysis of data from social care workers across your organisation to assess organisational health and highlight priority areas for improvement. The recently updated workbook offers targeted, evidence-informed tasks and strategies to support organisational improvements and develop conditions to better support social care worker wellbeing.

Five key domains provide the structure for the survey and workbook:

  • Secure base – making sure social care workers have a secure base within which to operate.
  • Sense of appreciation – promoting a culture in which all employees feel appreciated.
  • Learning organisation – ensuring that learning and development is at the heart of an organisation.
  • Mission and vision – co-producing and communicating a clear mission and vision.
  • Wellbeing – prioritising the wellbeing of a workforce and taking a systemic approach to reducing stress and enhancing job satisfaction.

View the resources (open access).

Organisations must nominate a lead contact in a senior role (such as a Principal Social Worker, Head of Service) who will administer the SWORD survey across the workforce. Nominated contacts should get in touch to ensure their organisation can access the survey.

The lead contact will disseminate and work with teams and individuals to ensure workforce participation in the survey.

Individuals will complete the survey online and your organisation’s data will be collated and analysed by Research in Practice.

Your nominated contact will receive their organisational data returns once the survey is closed and work with management in implementing the tasks and strategies from the workbook.

SWORD has been co-produced with the Research in Practice network in a project led by Professor Gail Kinman, Birkbeck University of London, and Dr Louise Grant, University of Bedfordshire. The updated workbook was also co-authored by Dr Kelly Alexander, University of Bedfordshire.

To find out more, contact or