Learning at Work Week prize for Dudley Council
Dudley Council has recently won a 2021 Impact Award for encouraging staff to look after their wellbeing and learn during the pandemic.
The pandemic has meant more intense and different ways of working for many people, both inside the council and out, but the local authority recognised the potential impact on its workforce and made wellbeing the focus of its 2021 Learning at Work Week.
The aim of the week was to change perceptions around learning and encourage staff to make time for personal development. Employees were often feeling the pressure of high workloads and lacked time to take a break. The #Take5 campaign empowered and supported colleagues to take time out, prioritise their wellbeing and learn.
To take part in #Take5, staff could try lots of different things such as 5 minutes of reflection on recent discoveries, a five-minute YouTube Video or TEDTalk, or a few minutes reading an article. The campaign was designed to be inclusive and promote accessible forms of learning to sectors across the council.
A range of virtual sessions offered colleagues the chance to hear about personal topics such as Treatment for the Menopause and learn about Mental Health First Aid, Stress Management and Apprenticeships. The Council’s Employee Engagement and Wellbeing Calendar was used to advertise new activities, many of which were drop-in to aid accessibility.
Councillor David Vickers, Deputy Leader, Dudley Council, said:
Our staff have continued to work incredibly hard throughout the pandemic, often in new or revised roles, taking on new responsibilities and new ways of working. We thought it was important to give them the resources they need to help manage their time and mental wellbeing. We ran short courses, information sessions, virtual drop-in activities all tailored to encourage learning and promote wellbeing.
The sessions went down so well that staff have continued to learn and requested resources including on later life planning. The #Take5 campaign is hopefully the beginning of a cultural shift where our staff can take time for learning in order to be well in themselves and to allow them to be productive, efficient and motivated to deliver the best possible services for our residents.
The authority won the SFJ Awards Impact Award for Connecting Your People to Virtual Learning as part of this year’s Learning at Work Week’s Impact Awards 2021 organised by the Campaign for Learning.