This post is part of our series on The 5 Evidence-based Foundations of a Mentally Healthy Workplace.
What is empowering education?
Empowering education is training or education that empowers those who receive it. Truly empowering education should increase self-efficacy in the skill area and encourage individuals to implement the training to improve themselves and their environment with the new knowledge.
What does empowering education look like in the workplace?
Empowering workplace education is not your average workshop on data entry procedures employees dread attending. The key word being empowering, the education or training provided must be relevant and engaging but also pose a reasonable challenge workers will want to work toward, in turn bettering themselves and their workplace community.
Empowering education in the workplace can take many forms, for example; work-related skill training, personal development training, or mental health awareness training to name a few. What is important is all organisational levels receive relevant, proficient and regular training. Educating workers but not management, or management but not workers can lead to disparity within the workplace, rather than the desired cohesion and common workplace community goals and views.
At the management level, empowering education might look like; training around communication, leadership styles, providing mental health support for workers, or gaining knowledge of available support services and where they may be helpful to recommend to workers. For the general worker, mental health awareness education or training on the workplace mental health policies and procedures may be beneficial so the supportive structure in place is accessible and understood by all.
What are the benefits of empowering workplace education?
Workplaces which are able to demonstrate their support for worker mental health through comprehensive knowledge and skills training are shown to be reported as more desirable to work at. When workers feel competent and supported in their work, productivity, mental wellbeing and customer satisfaction has been shown to increase.
How can workplaces find and implement effective empowering education?
Implementing training and education that is both empowering and effective can be difficult. The easiest way to take stress out of the equation is by involving an expert in the area. EAP providers with proactive frameworks like Allos Australia will be able to assess your workplace and identify target areas for training and education to empower workers. Furthermore, EAP providers have done the research for you and are often able to design and implement tailored programs which will best help your individual workplace needs.