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Work-life balance & training patterns


I am looking at the need for my training department in a govt organisation to meet the differences in working patterns to achieve a work-life balance for staff. In particular I would like to look at training staff who do not work conventional office hours - both fitting in the training at times to suit these workers and also the skills required by these individuals in terms of planning/orgnising, communication etc. Also, training for managers to help them see the benefits to the organisation of a work-life balance policy.

Can anyone recommend training organisations in the public or private sector who have had experience in this area? Thank you, Judy Emmens
Judy Emmens

4 Responses

  1. Time Power
    The following may be of interest to you.

    Time Management And Organisation – increasing managerial effectiveness by becoming more efficient
    More information can be found online:

    This one-day life management-training workshop for individuals and teams is designed to improve personal productivity, reduce stress and enhance work-life balance.

    The Time Power Seminar is a logical, easy to follow one day programme, designed to give participants practical skills to better cope with workloads and the pressures that are part of life today. Participants will learn that being more effective and efficient comes from how you allocate your time and not from working longer hours. Simple, practical handy tips will be given throughout the programme along with more fundamental tools that assist in the development of a more balanced and effective life.

  2. A-typical training delivery
    Hi, until 18 months ago I worked for a local government organisation and was instrumental in helping “out-of-hours” staff access training opportunities. I found some Trainers were reluctant to train outside of 9-5 and that this created more of a problem in transferring some of our training programmes to unconventional hours than anything else! In terms of course design, things that helped were: redesigning some programmes so that the training sessions were shorter in length as this made it easier to accomodate those working short shifts, developing more self-led learning materials, making sure that repeat courses were run on different days of the week (to accomodate job sharers) and scheduling some short sessions for Saturday mornings and/or running them in unconventional (local)locations (sometimes with a mobile creche on hand). Of course it was important to give people a lot of notice of training events (probably twice as much notice as with other areas of the service). It also helped to attend team meetings of some of the out-of-hours teams in the early stages of setting this process up – this was crucial in terms of demonstrating the commitment of us, as a Training Team, to the concerns of the a-typical hours workers (as you can imagine, negative feelings about past disregard for the training of these workers was initially high). You mention communication: I did a lot of communication with the out-of-hours managers by e-mail or letter (to get around our usually different working hours). As for convincing managers, I just proposed a pilot project on the basis of the organisation’s general commitment to T&D/ being Investors in People etc. After running the pilot project the feedback and demonstrable impact on skills was so positive (for instance, higher motivation and a transformed approach to problems) that I found no further problems. Overall, the attitude of the workers and their managers was very positive – displaying a respect for their work patterns and lifestyle evoked a lot of commitment and flexibility from them. I also found that it paid to make the course content appeal to their desire for skills development in the broadest sense (many of the sessions were designed from an integral work/life balance perspective rather than from a pure work-skills focus ). Not sure if that helps (hope so!) do get back to me if I can help further.

  3. equal opps
    I am former national training manager with the equal opportunities commission. I know they an help you.I now work as a freelance trainer drawing on EOC experience in this field

    [email protected]
    o1772 202960

  4. Risk of training solutions tackling effects not root causes
    [email protected]

    Recently we participated at a life long learning conference at Ashridge Management College. One of the comments which struck a chord with many of the attendees was as follows.

    The traditional training needs analysis tools and requests in a world where people are faced with many diferent types of tension can lead to many “effects” becoming training needs. This could be something which your team will come across quite a lot given the irregular types of hours people are working. For example: time management; team working skills; customer handling skills; selling techniques may all be identified but the root cause could be th eperson isn’t coping well with their life.
    On the reverse side I experienced an opposite learning experience when at Nike Europe when I opened a store in Berlin which achieved very high levels of customer service yet we didn’t train anyone in the normal customer service skills or teamworking.
    Why? Many were team sports people and when they cam e to work they took care of themselves – eg drinking lots of water and waht they ate. This meant they were in great mental and physical shape to withstand the challenge of being friendly all day.
    So in conclusion thje risk is that your department spends a lot of time focussing on training on effects when the best foundation for performance and enjoyment is personal wellness – which can be recruited/trined in.

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