Employee well-being is top of mind for talent development executives this year. We are on the cusp of the two-year anniversary of COVID-19 disrupting life and work as we knew it and nine months into the Great Resignation.
Leaders are realizing how critical it is to take care of employees' mental health. It is the difference between a thriving or burned-out employee and a flourishing or flailing organization.
For Kevin Preston, chief learning officer at Presbyterian Healthcare Services, supporting employees and reducing burnout has become a top priority. In this issue's Spotlight article, Preston shares various resources he and his team developed to address employees' physical and emotional well-being. For example, podcasts and webcasts provide practical advice for managers carrying their people through stressful times.
"It's a leader's job to ask whether their people are OK," Preston says. "We also tell leaders that they can't solve all of their team members' problems, but sometimes just asking about their well-being helps. It lets people know that you care about them."
Building community is another effective approach for adding meaning to employees' work. Community is a pillar for Presbyterian Healthcare Services; it is also a resounding theme in Michael Arena's View From the Top article.
Arena offers advice for cultivating connection in a time when social capital is waning. He explains how to develop connections within a team and between cross-functional groups. In the hybrid organization, talent development executives must get creative about establishing connections, which are the glue to a vibrant workplace community.
Further, getting talent development right in a hybrid environment is no small task. But it is the main responsibility of most leaders as they work to balance in-person and remote learning for the long haul.
This issue's Hot Topic article digs into challenges with hybrid work and provides emerging research and best practices from the Center for Creative Leadership about how to address communication, culture, and collaboration within teams. The authors suggest that investing in the collective—rather than the individual—is the high-impact approach for developing talent in our current workplace.
While I don't know what the future holds, I am full of hope. The talent development profession has undergone a rebirth of sorts.
Learning leaders are driving initiatives that support the business and increase employee capabilities for success in the workplace. And employers are understanding what people truly need to be whole and well and how to provide the resources to support them.
I trust this issue of CTDO is one such resource to guide your own career enrichment and to inspire you with fresh hope as you create a world that works better. May the words of National Youth Poet Laureate Amanda Gorman guide you into this new year of learning through change:
"The new dawn blooms as we free it. / For there is always light, / if only we're brave enough to see it. / If only we're brave enough to be it."
Read more from CTDO magazine: Essential talent development content for C-suite leaders.