L&D vital in building resilience within employees, say learning experts

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Written by Seun Robert-Edomi on 14 May 2015 in News
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According to Howell, resilience is becoming more of a key issue due to the changing world of work. He believes that there is a strategic need to work smarter rather than harder, and says that L&D is vital in helping people to balance work and life with a flexible solution to suit the individual

L&D has a crucial role to play in supporting a culture of resilience where reflecting and doing are the norm.

That was the view of Jeremy Howell, group training manager at Tesco Academy, who was addressing an audience of learning professionals at the annual CIPD L&D show today.

According to Howell, resilience is becoming more of a key issue due to the changing world of work. He believes that there is a strategic need to work smarter rather than harder, and says that L&D is vital in helping people to balance work and life with a flexible solution to suit the individual.

“We live in a VUCA climate but there is a need for us to help workers thrive and not just survive,” he said.

“There are numerous reports out highlighting how employees are feeling disengaged at work and not resilient in the slightest. A 2013 study from Gallup looked at the state of the American workplace and only 22 per cent of employees said that they were feeling resilient.

“L&D has a crucial role to play as a change agent. We need to help eradicate that feeling of confusion, despair and negativity – instead, replacing it with purpose, hope, kindness and an upward spiral. It’s key for us as learning professionals to help workers stay positive, while instilling them with confidence.

His opinion was supported by fellow speaker, Sue Beavil, head of learning and organisational development at UK law firm, Slater and Gordon.

As organisational priorities change, she stressed the importance of project management expertise when it comes to building resilience. Beavil says that people are the most important commodity and if change isn’t communicated well, initiatives will always fall down.

“Resilience is synonymous with change management, engagement and wellbeing. L&D interventions work best when part of a wider HR and OD agenda.

“Developing a culture of resilience needs project management skills and emotional intelligence in equal measure,” she said.

 

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