How L&D can positively impact wellbeing

How L&D can positively impact wellbeing
Promoted by How L&D can positively impact wellbeing

Juliette Dennett

Juliette Dennett

Managing Director

Our straw poll amongst almost 300 attendees at the CIPD conference in November indicated that the current top work priority for HR professionals is wellbeing. It seems that a rapidly growing awareness of the need for greater openness around mental health issues has brought wellbeing sharply into focus for employers. That and the compelling amount of research and data that underlines the negative impact on productivity of sickness, absence and disengagement.

Of course Wellbeing is a broad spectrum of aspects, including health – physical, mental and emotional, life balance, happiness and fulfilment, and it’s not always clear to employers which actions can make a difference for their people and ultimately their productivity.

In today’s business reality fewer people are doing more work. These days we find ourselves challenged with achieving more but with fewer resources and less time. Our employers are realising that our productivity can only be sustained if they take more care of our wellbeing. Initiatives can make a short or long-term difference to supporting healthy lifestyle, but a more sustainable effect can come from the skilful development of our leaders and our team members.

3 Ways that people development can enable stronger wellbeing

1. Grow leaders who can build a culture in which good mental health thrives

A survey conducted for “Britain’s Healthiest Company” concluded that companies with the most supportive cultures had consistently the lowest productivity losses. Culture is a phenomenon of leadership, but not all leaders are equipped to develop or change a work environment so that people can flourish both professionally and personally. To be effective a training process intended to help leaders to develop such a culture needs to deliver practical, real world principles that can be easily applied by the collective leadership, and they must make an immediate but sustained shift in the way people relate to one another.

Case Study: Nissan Manufacturing UK – Great Place to Work mission.

Several hundred Supervisors, Senior Leaders and Managers from Nissan Manufacturing UK participated in The Dale Carnegie Course to develop the skills and confidence to progress their Great Place to Work journey. The tools they identified as critical and that they developed on the course included:

• Strengthening healthy work relationships
• Cultivating positivity
• Making people feel valued, supported and listened to
• A constructive, coaching approach to handling issues and mistakes

Their Head of Talent commented how this approach had “provided line managers with the space to reflect, and the energy to take action to improve their people management.”

2. Develop authentic leadership that engages openly

A 2017 study conducted by mental health charity, MIND, questioned 15,000 workers about mental health at work. Only 1 in 4 said they would be likely to talk to their manager if they were experiencing a mental health problem.

Authentic leadership role models are open and invite trust and openness in return. Line managers are in a great position to challenge stigma and play a crucial role in making sure employees feel confident that disclosure of poor mental health will lead to support and not discrimination.

Training exists in various formats that will provide managers with the necessary knowledge to better handle mental health issues. Beyond the knowledge, it also requires confidence, self-awareness, emotional intelligence and empathetic listening to be seen as approachable and open.

In addition to knowledge and understanding The Dale Carnegie Course provides a holistic approach to leadership development in which people can work not just on what they need to do but also on who they need to be to break down cultural barriers

3. Help people to develop mental resilience

Surely one of the greatest gifts an organisation can offer its employees is the ability to help them help themselves? Giving people tools to help them look after their own wellbeing can enable them to better deal with pressure, and reduce the impact of stress. Known as Mental or Emotional Resilience this is not just the ability to bounce back, but also the capacity to adapt in the face of challenging circumstances, whilst maintaining a stable mental wellbeing. We are not born with Resilience – it’s something we can take steps to achieve.

Over half a century ago Dale Carnegie wrote his second best-seller “How to Stop Worrying and Start Living”. It comprises a “pick-and-mix” menu of practical steps to take to better deal with the effects of stress and worry. These principles are also included in The Dale Carnegie Course, causing people to take practical action to be in better control of their workload.

Over 9,000,000 people have participated in The Dale Carnegie Course to develop crucial skills to be the best that they can be, personally and professionally. Ultimately what’s good for the employee is good for the business – and its bottom line.


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