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Improving Employee Wellbeing Through Learning and Development

The creation of learning cultures and healthy workplaces is key to foster employee engagement that leads to their wellbeing

Employee engagement is one of the factors that concerns nowadays organizations due to its high influence on key business elements such as productivity and wellbeing. The endeavour of keeping employees engaged has become a challenge for many organizations. As it has been proven efficient, one of the ways to face it is with Learning and Development practices.

The 2019 L&D Reportcarried out by shows how professionals currently deal with disengagement at the workplace.

One of the findings the report unveils is that the disengagement rate has increased by 12% in comparison to last year. In 2019 there were 35% disengaged employees whereas in 2018 the rate was at 22%.

As a consequence of this downside, the deterioration of the happiness at the workplace increases since engagement directly influences wellbeing. L&D professionals contribute to enhance their coworkers professional lives by organizing a wide range of activities focused on training different areas. In this sense, the main practices are aimed to train mental and physical health, but these also cover other fields such as learning, coaching, and skill development especially soft skills.

Regarding to this, according to the US L&D Report, the most demanded types of training in 2019 were those intended to develop soft skills such as leadership that help to improve relationships through communication and management. Engagement Increases Satisfaction Besides the great effect of these practices on employee engagement. The research shows that these practices have a positive impact on factors such as employee satisfaction. In this sense, engagement is closely related to satisfaction.

Companies who spend above average on training are twice as likely to say that their employees are highly satisfied. In addition to this, investing in employees makes them happier, and even more loyal to the company and the brand they are working for. Rebecca Edwards, Director of Learning and Development at HomeServe, states that “the more you invest in it upfront the longer term the benefits will be. And we have seen that. I’ve been in a company where L&D team and budget was slashed, we didn't invest in leadership or people development, and you saw the company unfold in front of your eyes. Even when the going gets tough, if you’re willing to invest in the right types of development, for the right people you will get your return on investment in many ways”. 
In fact, a recent survey found that 42% of employees rated learning and development as the most important employee perk of their company.

Besides the impact on satisfaction, L&D has also become a recruitment tool used to attract and retain the best talent. “We’re seeing less vertical ladder moves now. A lot more people want to have a wider career, to expand their knowledge and experience in very different areas. We recognised that was a need and something we could offer”, Edward says.
Despite the great impact of investing on employees, the spent amount on employees is expected to decrease in comparison to last year. Participants on the research predict that key areas such as L&D will have shortened their budget shortened by 34% whereas last year the reduction predicted was 27%. A trend that negatively impacts employee engagement and wellbeing.

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