Vu Tran is a medical doctor and the co-founder of Go1, an eLearning platform.
Drastic shifts in the workplace over the past few years has prompted realignment of employees' work and personal values — leading to record high turnover. Reasons for leaving are wide-ranging but, ultimately, it comes down to employee well-being. Organizations have had to re-architect a culture that previously did not prioritize employee experience, while managing new hybrid and remote workplaces.
Learning & Development (L&D) is an often overlooked yet highly effective way to increase employee well-being, strengthen retention and create workplace champions.
L&D can help manage pervasive burnout
Intense workloads, inflated goals and unmanaged stress have resulted in employee burnout that has intensified throughout the pandemic. To slow this progression, employers can use mental health training tools provided through L&D. These can include self-directed courses on time management and mindfulness at work, and even courses that help identify stress triggers that often cascade into burnout. This enables employees to determine what is and is not working and fosters conversations about revising duties to limit burnout.
Flexible learning supports a hybrid or remote workforce
L&D gives employees a sense of ownership about their learning journey and, in turn, professional growth. Additionally, self-directed learning allows employees to achieve better work-life balance and increase overall productivity. The flexibility and freedom that comes with self-directed learning enables workers to explore a breadth of content and learn at their own pace in their preferred formats, building trust between an organization and its employees who want to remain productive. Upskilling drives both employee productivity and employee satisfaction.
Learning bolsters connection in the work community
L&D is as an engine for community building in the workplace. It can convene employees — even from the edges of a company. With the help of interactive L&D courses, employers are able to create a judgment-free environment and even recognize loneliness at work, enabling meaningful engagements between corporate leaders and learners. This has greater significance now, with the rise of COVID-19 and social distancing. Part of the mental health conversation at work should include the sense of community that L&D can bring to mitigate feelings of isolation.
A workplace is essentially defined by its culture, and the long-accepted practices of building culture around espresso machines and foosball tables in the office have become outdated. Organizations across industries have realized that culture is about genuine investment in employee experience that fuels well-being. L&D can become a propelling force for this if leveraged in the right ways. People never stop learning, and when a company streamlines that process, employee retention and overall workplace positivity increases. Now, more than ever, there is a business imperative for employers to invest in employee-centered learning tools and practices.