Are things at work impacting on their positive wellbeing? Is that impacting on their engagement and productivity? Businesses these days are getting a lot more savvy to the fact that they need take care of their people and help them stay healthy and happy, to increase both engagement and retention. Many are even creating wellbeing programmes to take care of their people both physically and mentally. However, after investing revenue and resources into developing a wellbeing programme, it can often go unnoticed and untouched. So how can you and your L&D team help create real buy in? That’s where learning and development comes in. L&D managers may be unsure of their place in supporting an ongoing wellbeing initiative, but usually want to help! After all, filtering wellbeing initiatives through induction and ongoing learning and development can help them stick, and ensuring your department has a foot in the door for this strategy will demonstrate your value to people throughout the company and help ensure you’re included in other strategic initiatives. So what can you do to support and embed your organisation’s wellbeing programme? Here are four tactics learning and development managers can use to make the most of a wellbeing strategy:
- Introduce wellbeing during the induction period – By introducing wellbeing initiatives right from the word “go”, new people get used to them being part of the company culture, and just consider them a normal part of working at the business. Include how your people can help recognise mental health challenges, and help them understand how they can support themselves and others.
- Empower your leaders – Incorporate wellbeing throughout any leader’s programmes, and empower them to make changes and try things that support and manage their people’s mental wellbeing. While we often consider how to keep people safe or help them look after themselves, we rarely consider the mental aspect. Developing leaders to be empathetic and able to ask good questions (and really listen to the answers!) helps make for a safe and supportive working environment.
- Be a champion for effective change management – Change can have a huge impact on the mental wellbeing of your people. Especially if it is not handled well. So make sure that you and your L&D colleagues are included in conversations about change early. Other senior leaders may lose sight of the impact the change will have on the wider team; you can help keep change management on the agenda and top of mind.
- Give the people what they need – A key part of wellbeing is feeling confident and competent – just knowing how to do your job. So just keep fighting the good fight! Find the issues and problems that people are having in their work. Look for effective, intuitive solutions that help people succeed. Consider whether some employees may want information outside of a structured learning environment, or take into consideration the timing of learning opportunities for shift workers. Really empathise with your people and deliver solutions and tools that are truly useful to them.
These are just a few of the ways L&D can support wellbeing programmes and initiatives. Perhaps you could explore this topic further in your next L&D team meeting and make a few concrete plans? Or maybe there are a few points here you could include in your next business case to help get your projects across the line?