Is there more to learning and development than simply training staff to be good at what they do? Does a wise employer also recognise a broader responsibility to support employees in ways that build resilience and enrich their lives too?
Going the extra mile
Employers love to see staff go the extra mile in their work, and so something employers can do to encourage this is to lead by example. One way of doing this is by proactively supporting the well-being of staff members, something that many employers already do through providing access to occupational health services and delivering training in subjects like managing stress. But there is a big difference between simply delivering mandatory and core training and accepting the responsibility of enriching employees’ lives
Staff are people, with personal lives and whilst the employer is not responsible for their lives outside of work, it may well benefit employers to offer a holistic learning and development programme that offers life enrichment, rather than just work focused knowledge, skills, and behaviours.
If an employer can offer development opportunities that support employees with personal resilience, wellbeing, and enrichment, then there will be a knock-on effect on the quality of their work.
Supporting a better ‘self-relationship’
Something central to the quality of life is our relationship with ourselves. It is funny to think we have a relationship with ourselves, but we do. We have things like self-worth, self-image and self-esteem that can be worked on and built on, enriching the relationship with ourselves. But how do we do this in social care? We have many tools at hand already, things like supervisions and appraisals, training, learning and development opportunities, access to qualifications, high-quality induction programmes and simple everyday interactions with staff and colleagues.
How many managers currently see their supervision and appraisal process as a way of offering their staff members appreciation, showing them how valued they are as an employee and as a person? If you are a line manager, when you are next preparing for a staff supervision session, ask yourself how you want that person to be feeling when the session ends. Especially those who may be seen as an issue or a problem, they may well be the ones who have the greatest need to be shown how valued they are.
Leadership and Management Training Opportunities
Discussions around topics like this often arise during the Skills for Care ‘Lead to Succeed’, ‘Well-Led’ and ‘Leading Change Improving Care’ courses. These courses offer managers, team leaders and senior staff a crucial opportunity to reflect on their services, and their practices and to network with others in similar roles. Those in leadership roles regularly feedback that the courses have given them a different perspective on how they work and on their management practice. The courses qualify for ‘Workforce Development Fund’ grants too so they won’t break the all-important Learning and Development budget.
Enriching the lives of employees is therefore so much more than just training them for their jobs. Whilst that is vital for them to be able to do their work effectively, there is an opportunity for employers to go beyond the limitations that seeing staff as resources creates, but recognise that they are people first, with their own lives and when their lives are enriched, so too is their work.
Click here to read about our leadership and management courses, and to make bookings for yourself or your staff team.