Intellectual wellness - what's the business benefit?
Laura Findlay from our HR proposition partner IHRS (part of the UKGI Group), looks at intellectual wellness and how it can benefit the workplace and your business:
‘During the Covid-19 pandemic, many of us will have experienced a negative impact on our mental health, due to the extreme and unusual circumstances we have found ourselves in. There have been many factors at play over the last eighteen months or so, including job uncertainty, unemployment, isolation, illness, and bereavement. Add to this, changes to working patterns, home schooling and travel restrictions, and it’s clear how much our lives have been turned upside down. Prioritising wellbeing has never been so important, and yet – with so many challenging external factors at play – so difficult to achieve.
Intellectual wellness involves engaging in activities that stimulate our minds, encourage creativity and the expansion of knowledge. Taking time to find a new passion, hobby or interest leads to far greater feelings of wellbeing.
Physical wellness and taking care of our bodies may be the first thing we think of when we consider wellness. However, it's just as critical to dedicate time and energy to the mind, as well as the body.
Intellectual Wellness in the Workplace
So, how can employers help staff develop intellectually in the workplace?
People typically find it easier to learn about topics that interest them. While this won’t always be possible in the workplace, an employee could be encouraged (where appropriate) to volunteer for a project that interests them but would not typically form part of their usual work responsibilities. They could offer to help a colleague with a problem they’re having or look up how to do a task more effectively.
Intellectual wellness can also be fostered through many day-to-day activities, such as:
- E-Learning modules
- Studying for qualifications
- Reading the trade press/industry updates
- Mentoring others
Making learning and development an everyday part of the workplace also makes recording Continuing Professional Development (CPD) much easier. CPD is a regulatory requirement for insurance intermediaries and undertaking the above activities will make it much easier to fill in a CPD record and achieve the required 15 hours per year under the Insurance Distribution Directive (IDD).
What is the Business Benefit?
When in ‘learning mode’, individuals might find themselves more motivated, driven and open to innovation. Learning can be like brainstorming – it breeds new ideas and solutions. It can lead to collaboration and the sharing of ideas that may benefit the business overall. Investing in upskilling staff and identifying their development needs minimises the risk of mistakes being made and will hopefully result in a more skilled, competent workforce.
Employers that support and promote the wellbeing of their staff are likely to find their employees happier, more productive and less prone to stress. The importance of wellness has been brought into focus by the Covid-19 pandemic – and it’s not an area that should be overlooked. The pandemic has, in some ways, provided employers with opportunities to make changes and to drive positive workplace cultures going forward. For example, setting time for employees to partake in new experiences and activities that contribute to their intellectual wellbeing may be beneficial for both the employee as an individual and the team as a whole.’
Do you need help or advice?
If you would like to enhance your current wellbeing policies and practices, you can email the team at IHRS on HRhelp@ihrsolutions.co.uk or call 01604 709509.