Workplace wellbeing is a major challenge facing UK employers. Increased sickness absence, reduced productivity and increased turnover as a result of ill health cost the economy billions. Wellbeing programmes are an effective way to improve the health of your workforce, but the healthiest organisations are those in which wellbeing permeates the whole working culture. The CIPD has identified five ‘domains’ of wellbeing – health, work, values/principles, collective/social and personal growth. The model covers all aspects of an employee’s working life, and training feeds into almost every element of it. So let’s look at some practical examples of how workplace training can improve organisational wellbeing.
Training for managers
Management style is the third most common cause of stress at work. Additionally, managers are often the first port of call when a worker is struggling with stress, workload, personal issues or health problems. This can lead to sensitive conversations which may be difficult for an inexperienced supervisor to manage.
Training leaders to effectively coach and develop their team, and respond appropriately to a crisis, can therefore play a crucial role in reducing absence and improving employee wellbeing. But it could also address the growing problem of stress among middle management. The telegraph recently reported that, according on a 2018 survey by the CIPD, 28% of middle managers feel their work is impacting on their mental health. So upskilling managers to handle difficult situations could improve their coping skills and prevent them absorbing the stresses of their employees.
Workplace training courses such as Managing Team Conflict, Stress Awareness, Successful Behaviours for Leaders and Managers and Coaching Skills could help your senior staff play a leading role in fostering a healthy culture.
Creating a safer environment through workplace training
A solid health and safety training programme is essential for creating a safe environment. For further guidance on where to start, see our blog ‘What health and safety training is required for my business?’. Once you’ve conducted a risk assessment, your basic health and safety training plan will start to take shape. But beyond the immediate safety risks, consider what wellbeing challenges your workforce could face both now and in the future.
For example, a recent survey conducted by NFU Mutual has found that 53% of consumers in Yorkshire and Humberside have witnessed some form of abuse towards retail staff in the past three years. And an Australian study by The Shop, Distributive and Allied Employees Association found that 85% of retail and fast food workers had experienced abuse from customers.
But many customer-facing employees lack the training to manage abusive behaviour from members of the public, and support following such incidents is also often lacking.
Employees who are at risk of discrimination – such as those with disabilities or those from minority ethnic groups – still face barriers to work. Mental health is an area around which there is still significant stigma, and the BBC recently reported that mental health problems cost 300,000 people their jobs last year.
Courses such as Mental Health Awareness, Assertiveness, Constructive Conversations and Equality, Diversity and Inclusion could help workers practise better self-care. It could also improve the way they interact with colleagues and customers who are at greater risk of discrimination.
‘Personal growth’ and employee wellbeing
The CIPD cites ‘personal growth’ as a key aspect of employee wellbeing. Enabling employees develop their skills through workplace training helps them feel valued, gives a greater sense of purpose and shows commitment to your staff. To find out more about how training can increase engagement and retention, read our blog post on the subject.
Essential to creating a culture of personal growth is ongoing training and development. Pre-emptive training, such as Difficult Conversations, is often provided when employees first come into their role, and it could be some time before they have cause to put their learned skills into practice. Conversely, training may be provided reactively, after the difficult situation has already arisen. It’s therefore important to combine a proactive approach with a process for ongoing coaching and continuous professional development.
Finding the right workplace training courses
For a wide variety of workplace training courses, delivered by experts, get in touch with us. Here at Knight’s Agency, we can help you develop a training programme to address the challenges facing your organisation. Call us on 0207 112 8412 to speak to one of our friendly customer service team, or email us via the form below.