Change is defined as "make or become different". It's a word that we've heard a lot over the last three months, oftentimes preempted with unprecedented. We're going through a collective exercise in change to our routines, human interaction, and where and how we work. And change, regardless of scale and scope, contributes to stress.
Stress has been at the center of many conversations as the world takes on the challenges associated with COVID-19. According to Josh Bersin's COVID-19 Pulse of HR survey, the top issues for HR in early April were:
- Health and well-being (41%)
- Managing remote work (39%)
- Jobs and continuity (36%)
- Mental health and uncertainty (14%)
For HR and leaders alike, these issues directly impact productivity and performance. Mental and emotional well-being is directly correlated to performance, and if your people are stressed their performance will suffer. So, what can HR leaders do to help?
Share resources to support your employees
In our recent webinar with Joe Burton, Founder and CEO of Whil, we talked about managing stress and how we can support employees in a constantly changing world. Joe mentioned that it's not "big things" that are causing burn-out, but instead how we choose to react to the things that are out of our control, like long commutes and loud neighbours. The ability to let go of the small things and 'go with the flow' is critical to our health and longevity. So, this begs the question: Are you providing your people with the tools and resources they need to develop the skills to manage these emotions? This is where self-directed learning can help.
Helping employees manage their stress in a time of change and uncertainty supports their health and well-being while contributing to their performance and productivity. And it doesn't have to be driven at an organizational level, rather embrace it as self-directed to create the biggest impact.
5 ways self-directed learning can support employees in our current work environment
- Self-directed learning allows for agility and scale. It can be difficult to keep up with rapid change. Understanding what skills are required right now is challenging and to add to that, leaders then have to consider what skills are needed in the future as we pivot to adapt to the new normal. With self-directed learning, learners can address the issues they are facing now with the tools and resources from a trusted source, while also gaining skills or insight to prepare for the future.
- The move from traditional to remote work can put a strain on employee engagement. Self-directed learning is an avenue that supports remote engagement – an issue high on HR's agenda. Access to learning tools and resources that engage employees encourages them to identify areas they'd like to improve or skills they'd like to learn at their own pace. Use learning as a topic of discussion during check-ins or 1:1s to understand what your employees are interested in and engaging with.
- Don't underestimate the power of a learning habit. Self-directed learning is a powerful channel to help individuals build a learning habit. As an outcome of COVID-19 and remote work, a new skillset requirement is bound to emerge. A culture that supports learning now will be successful as the world of work continues to change and new skills are in demand.
- Data indicates that people are using this time to learn. Self-directed learning can help to fill quiet moments. Online learning platforms are reporting huge spikes in usage since March as learners look to brush up on their skills and approach new opportunities. Offering courses like Whil's offerings through your LMS allows you to track data and understand what type of course material your employees are interested in so you can expand your offering.
- Self-directed learning shows you care. Learning can be positioned as a benefit and not a mandatory chore. During times of uncertainty and change, offering help and support to your employees through learning shows that their best interest is at the forefront of your organization.
If you're ready to learn more about how Saba and Whil can help your employees with self-directed learning, watch our on-demand webinar: Managing Stress in a Constantly Changing World. Gather techniques to help reduce stress and anxiety and how to create a more personal learning experience at work.