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Benefits of Completing Training During Furlough

Open empty diary with one entry for health and safety training

As businesses UK wide continue to furlough teams, one question frequently raised in boardrooms and at management meetings is how to keep employees connected to, and engaged with, work and their colleagues whilst they are away.

There are a number of different approaches that firms have adopted from online social events to “keeping in touch” sessions but one of most beneficial can be to take advantage of the vast amount of online training and learning available.

Whilst under furlough rules employees are not permitted to do any work that generates income for the business or organisation, however they are permitted to undertake training that forms part of their personal development or to keep them up to date with the requirements of their role.

So, with that in mind, how can encouraging your employees to undertake Health and Safety or other work-related training whilst furloughed benefit not only them but the business longer term?

  1. Prevent isolation and retain connection with their working environment

With many employees working remotely for almost a year, being physically apart from colleagues and their working environment, on top of not being able to see friends and family, can be isolating.

The effect of this when on furlough is even greater as the day-to-day online interaction and engagement with colleagues and clients stops.  Many employees who were furloughed in the first lockdown reported that they felt out of touch with work and colleagues and concerned about what they had missed whilst away.  Many were anxious about returning to work at the end of furlough because of this.

One way to help your furloughed employees keep a sense of connection with the business and their role, is to encourage them to undertake a work-related training course during their time away.  If this can include other members of their team then it not only keeps them connected to their role but their colleagues as well.

  1. Utilise additional time available

Whilst the additional pressures of home schooling or caring for elderly relatives mean that not every employee has lots of extra time on their hands, for some the restrictions imposed by lockdown will mean the days whilst on furlough drag on with little to occupy their time.

Utilising some of this time to undertake training can help pass the time and give purpose to their days.  Additionally, many have ambitions to learn new skills (whether job related or not) or obtain additional qualifications but have never had the time or opportunity to complete them.  Furlough gives them time to make it happen which can benefit both them and their employer.

  1. Maintaining skill levels & compliance

For many roles there is a requirement to keep up to date with changes to legislation, technology or best practices.  It may not be as easy for teams to access this information away from the workplace and so ensuring that access to relevant material to complete their CPD is important for when they return to their role.

Similarly, within Health and Safety there is a legal requirement for specific role related training, some of which requires re-certification at specific intervals.  Ensuring that employees complete their recertification during furlough prevents it from lapsing and ensures the business remains compliant when they return to the workplace.

  1. Supporting health and wellbeing

In addition to role related training there are a wide number of courses that can help to support the mental health and well-being of employees during this time.  It is a fact that the impact of the pandemic has taken its toll on the mental health of a large section of the population.  Giving teams access to training to help them cope and build resilience is an important part of how businesses can fulfil their Health and Safety obligations as well as prevent problems in the future.

Mental Health First Aid Courses are a good starting point to ensure that there is the correct knowledge within the business to identify potential issues and support colleagues both now and when they return to work.

Tailored Health & Safety Training

At Sureteam we provide a wide range of health and safety training, the majority of which can be provided online.

From general Health and Safety, COSHH and DSE to professional qualifications and health and well-being courses we can tailor a program to suit the needs of your employees.

If you’d like to discuss any of your training needs with our consultants or trainers, please give us a call on 01666 503686.