Understand your needs

Over the last few years, companies have begun to invest more into the learning and development (L&D) needs of their staff, with over a quarter of working Australians undertaking work-related training in 2022 alone [1]. Whilst there are many benefits to upskilling your workforce, not every approach is made equal. Understanding which workshop or service is actually most appropriate to address any given situation is key to reaping the rewards for both employee and employer.


So, what kinds of situations require L&D and which approach is right for you?

Anticipate an upcoming learning need

One of the more common approaches to L&D within the workplace is the need to upskill your staff based on an anticipated future requirement. The most obvious example of this is when a staff member is in line for a promotion or moving into a managerial position and thus requires additional knowledge pertinent to their new role. Additionally, an increasingly common scenario is re-skilling the workforce based on evolving technology and the changing nature of modern jobs. Companies like McDonalds and Microsoft, for example, are investing millions of dollars in re-skilling their staff to prepare for future jobs or tasks that may not even exist today [2].


Once you have identified a future skillset that needs development, you can then move to identifying and tailoring learning with specific skills development workshops. These may include, for example:

Address a broader cultural, behavioural or stress-inducing problem in the workplace

Another common instance in which employers seek L&D services is to address issues within the work environment that affect groups of staff. This can include concerns related to workplace culture, such as issues with diversity, inclusion or bullying; or concerns related to specific tasks, such as dealing with difficult client behaviour or confronting issues on the job.


As such, services which can both educate staff on the issues and teach techniques to counteract the problem are most suitable. This may include:

Be proactive in your approach to mental health and wellbeing

Proactively encouraging a mentally safe workplace is one of the more important reasons for L&D. Not only does a proactive approach to wellbeing improve workplace culture, but importantly, studies are clear that such an approach also increases employee retention and engagement [3]. This is particularly beneficial to jobs or industries in which mental illness prevalence is high, or the job itself requires mentally taxing tasks.


Both workshops and individualised services tailored to one’s industry are recommended approaches to addressing mental health within the workplace. Examples include:

Respond to a special need or difficulty pertaining to an individual staff member

It is often the case that an individual employee or a handful of staff are posing issues within the workplace, such as workplace disputes, communication conflict, bullying and/or harassment issues, or significant knowledge or skill gaps within their role. Whilst employers may want to address such concerns passively with all-staff workshops, best practice indicates that this may not always be the most appropriate method. It is rather personalised and targeted services that lead to better outcomes. This may include:
Whilst L&D and EAP companies have various approaches to help address workplace concerns, it may not always be obvious which option is most appropriate. If this is you, or you are curious what other services can be offered, reach out today to have a chat with our Learning & Development Manager.



[1] Glaveski, S. (2019). Where Companies Go Wrong with Learning and Development, Harvard Business Review, https://hbr.org/2019/10/where-companies-go-wrong-with-learning-and-development
Australian Bureau of Statistics. (2022). Work-Related Training and Adult Learning, Australia, https://www.abs.gov.au/statistics/people/education/work-related-training-and-adult-learning-australia/latest-release
[2] McKenna, J. (2023). Build a Strong Learning Culture on Your Team, Harvard Business Review, https://hbr.org/2023/06/build-a-strong-learning-culture-on-your-team
[3] Altius Group. (2023). 7 Benefits of Mental Health Awareness Training for Employees, https://www.altius-group.com.au/news-and-research/7-benefits-of-mental-health-awareness-training-for-employees#:~:text=Understanding%20improves%20when%20a%20significant,is%20a%20safe%20working%20environment.
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