Wellbeing and mental health
A survey by CIPD (2021) found that 37% of businesses have seen a rise in stress-related absences since the first lockdown in 2020; with a lack of certainty, security and disruption to everyday life being the main triggers. Although the UK has been out of lockdown for a while, the impact of mental health is still being felt, with record numbers of people reporting experiencing mental health issues. Since the pandemic, many companies have increased their focus on mental health and wellbeing, with People Professionals as the driving force behind implementing this into the company culture.
To support employees, many companies are now offering free emotional support services via third parties, with Gartner (2021) finding nearly half (49%) of employees who reported having a mental well-being program participating during 2020.
Delivering effective employee wellbeing programs
HR training, such as Level 3 and Level 5 apprenticeships are beneficial in educating HR professionals on employee wellbeing, supporting employees who are suffering and the long-term impact of the pandemic on employee’s wellbeing. HR employees will also learn to help advise employees on how to create a healthy work/life balance whilst working remotely, to reduce the chances of mental health problem conditions. The apprenticeships will also support the learner manage their own wellbeing, as HR as a profession continues to suffer from burnout caused by the impact COVID-19 has had on the profession.
With employees increasingly working collaboratively, yet physically apart, it can be highly beneficial for HR professionals to work towards increasing team morale through workplace initiatives and activities. These can be both virtually and in-person, and apprenticeship training can help learn how to best organise activities for maximum benefit.
Learning and development opportunities
The pandemic has caused many people to reassess their career. Research by PWC (2021) found that 77% are ready to learn new skills or completely re-train. This indicates a demand for learning and development opportunities within organisations which HR professionals will need to make sure is available. Supporting career and personal development opportunities is becoming increasingly important to employees, with 78% saying they are looking for a job with career and training opportunities ClearCompany (2021).
Delivering engaging career development
Research by ClearCompany (2021) shows that 68% of people state that training and development is the most important policy when choosing a company to work for. Lifetime’s HR apprenticeships not only offer opportunities for employees to upskill and develop within their roles, but People Professionals learn how to support and motivate employee’s career advancement opportunities to create a happier and more fulfilled workforce. HR employees will also learn how to work with their Learning and Development department to create employee engagement around professional development.
More advanced training, such as the HR Level 5 apprenticeship, equips senior professionals with the skills to evaluate skill-gaps, and identify training opportunities, meaning companies can upskill current employees and offer valuable opportunities to their workforce. Both Level 3 and Level 5 apprenticeships also cover employee Personal Development, so that learners have opportunities to progress and grow within their roles. Learners on our HR apprenticeships will also develop first-hand experience of working collaboratively through virtual workshops and networking, meaning these skills will then be transferable to the rest of the business, helping communication between employees on virtual platforms and real-life settings.
Inclusion and Diversity
Covid-19 highlighted inequality issues. Research by McKinsey (2020) found that women’s jobs were 1.8 times more vulnerable than men’s were during the crisis, with the burden of unpaid care (such as home-schooling and childcare) being the main reasons. The pandemic meant that these issues, that have been present in the job market, were more visible than before. Research by PwC (2021) also found that 13% of employees have been discriminated against because of their ethnicity, and 13% because of class background. Younger people are the most likely to feel discriminated against, with 49% of 25 – 34-year-olds feeling they have been discriminated against in the workplace, compared to 23% of those over the age of 55 (Workplace Insights, 2021).
Creating a truly diverse and inclusive workforce
A significant 70% of job seekers say they would want to work for a company that demonstrates a commitment to diversity and inclusion (The Manifest, 2020), meaning businesses need to demonstrate they are working towards creating a diverse and inclusive workforce. HR training is an excellent way to make sure People Professionals are up to date with the Equality Act and are working towards creating a culture that promotes diversity and inclusivity. Lifetime’s HR programmes have been created to educate delegates about associated grievances such as discrimination of protected characteristics, promoting diversity and inclusivity in the workforce and challenging controversy in the workplace.