How learning can become the champion of wellbeing: connecting the dots with performance

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Date Published

18/05/2021

Reading time

4 mins read

Being in a good place mentally and physically is vital to being able to do your best work: people are unlikely to be productive if they’re worrying about their finances or feeling stressed and unhappy, or dealing with a physical condition unsupported.

It’s absolutely crucial that employers take wellbeing seriously, particularly as we begin to emerge from a year of restrictions and hardship, and it becomes evident that the coronavirus pandemic is taking a terrible toll on people’s mental, emotional and physical wellbeing.

The traditional workplace approach to wellbeing has generally been simply to provide benefits and perks such as health insurance or cut-price gym membership. But with studies such as one by leading mental health charity Mind1 revealing the pandemic’s devastating impact on people’s mental health, that’s no longer enough: employers must be prepared to shine a light on mental wellbeing and tackle the organisational stigma that prevents it being talked about openly at work.

This is where learning and development (L&D) can play a crucial role in pushing wellbeing further up the organisational agenda. As the lines blur between HR, employee engagement and L&D to create a more holistic employee experience, L&D has a perfect opportunity to demonstrate and strengthen the link between wellbeing and performance.

And in our new insights report, Wellbeing and learning: connecting the dots, we show you why this is so important and how you can proactively protect and promote employees’ wellbeing in your organisation.

We demonstrate how learning is critical to wellbeing from the employer’s and employee’s perspective. It can empower, boost and motivate teams and their members through learning new skills and can enable organisations to identify, manage and deal with wellbeing in the right way.

We provide you with a practical framework for supporting the wellbeing agenda and making the connection between people’s wellbeing and their performance. It identifies the three ways in which we think that learning and wellbeing are linked:

  • Educating people about how to identify and manage their wellbeing as individuals and as teams
  • Boosting people’s confidence and motivation by learning new skills
  • Using learning to facilitate social connection and wellbeing.
     

And we highlight some key areas in which we think that L&D professionals can support wellbeing even further:

  • Ensuring that they’re fully aligned with the bigger organisational picture of wellbeing, so that there’s a joined-up approach that really adds value
  • Using data to educate employers about what their employees want and need
  • Using the right language and communication methods to empower people to get the support and learning they need without feeling judged or exposed
  • Promoting learning as a tool for wellbeing.

Wellbeing is a necessity for performance and many people will need a significant amount of support over the coming months and years to recover their physical, mental and financial wellbeing. Learning can and must play its part in this journey.

The challenge is significant: we’re not generally encouraged to educate ourselves emotionally, and this can be a trend that’s difficult to buck. Learning professionals can’t face the challenge alone; they’ll need to collaborate with colleagues in HR and engagement to create solutions that break down stigma and become champions for wellbeing in the workplace.

Read our full Wellbeing and learning: connecting the dots Insights report here

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More of our insights

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References:

[1] www.mind.org.uk/media-a/5929/the-mental-health-emergency_a4_final.pdf