August 2019
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TD Magazine

Carve Out Time for Learning if You’re Feeling Stressed

Thursday, August 1, 2019

Development can help increase confidence in future job improvements.

According to LinkedIn Learning data, the number 1 driver of stress at work is work-life balance and workload—at 70 percent. It would seem counterintuitive, then, for employees to add another thing to their plates. But making time for learning can in fact reduce stress and make workers happier.


Tanya Staples, vice president of learning content at LinkedIn Learning, gives talent development professionals suggestions on how they can help: "Learning and development leaders understand it takes discipline to take a step back and recognize the need to invest in oneself, which is why they are taking steps to weave learning experiences into the flow of work." In addition, online learning "enables employees to learn how and when they want, as opposed to taking long breaks during the workday."

Employees taking the time to develop themselves also can help with other top stress factors: confidence in job future and sense of purpose and direction.

The research found that Gen Xers are more stressed than Baby Boomers and Millennials, and executives feel more strain than middle managers and individual contributors. Staples says that "there is no silver bullet for stress, but the survey results are reassuring that executives can empathize with employee sentiment. Senior leaders must lead by example and become learning champions, sending a message to the rest of the workforce that development should be a priority."


Finally, the survey found that nearly an equal amount of men (50 percent) and women (48 percent) report stress, though there were differences in causes. Staples notes that nearly two-thirds of women said they are stressed by their boss or management, compared with 59 percent of men.

In "Stress at Work Report: Who Is Feeling It the Most and How to Combat It," in which LinkedIn's Paul Petrone recaps the study, he notes that nobody has it all figured out. "The key is to reflect," he suggests. Workers should ask themselves what they like and don't like and what appeals to them most about their jobs.

About the Author

Patty Gaul is a senior writer/editor for the Association for Talent Development (ATD).

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