Soft Skills

Celebrate Your Employees This Thanksgiving: 5 Personal Development Courses

Melissa Suzuno

HR and L&D Insights Writer at Udemy for Business

November 20, 2018

Here in the US, it’s Thanksgiving week, which means many people are taking some time to feel grateful for what they have. It also kicks off the winter holiday season, which can intensify stress as people scramble to finish projects at work, cope with busy travel schedules and extended family time, and potentially feel the effects of reduced daylight in the form of Seasonal Affective Disorder.

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But even if your office or employees don’t celebrate Thanksgiving, the transition into winter is a perfect time to think about personal development. Employee happiness is linked to higher productivity and according to Deloitte’s Global Human Capital Trends survey, 61% of employers believe employee wellbeing affects productivity and bottom-line performance, too.

Here are 5 personal development courses that boost employee happiness and wellbeing.

1. Be Happier with Positive Psychology

In recent years, positive psychology, or “the scientific study of the strengths that enable individuals and communities to thrive,” has gained traction in the business world. In fact, some companies, like [24]7.ai proactively teach positive psychology principles to their employees to help them better cope with the stress of their roles. In Be Happier with Positive Psychology, Social Psychologist Andrew Luttrell, PhD, shares scientifically backed concepts on the connection between wealth and happiness as well as tips and hacks that learners can apply to their everyday lives.

2. Creating a Meaningful Life & Developing Habits of Happiness

People who are purpose-oriented at work are more likely to be leaders, have stronger relationships with coworkers, find fulfillment at work, and posses an improved psychological and physical wellbeing, according to research by Imperative and New York University. And purpose is especially important to millennials, who make up an increasing percentage of the workforce. In Creating a Meaningful Life & Developing Habits of Happiness, instructors Jonathan Levi and Linda Levine introduce strategies and frameworks to help learners understand their passions and purpose, reframe negativity and obstacles, and create a nurturing environment.

3. 30 Day Challenge to a More Productive and Much Happier You

Why wait until the new year? Your employees can end 2018 on a high note by building habits that will help them be more productive and happy by better managing their time, eliminating distractions, focusing on their health, and more. In 30 Day Challenge to a More Productive and Much Happier You, instructor Chris Haroun offers practical tips based on his interviews with successful business people. Participants will walk away with 30 concrete steps that will enrich their personal and professional life. One past participant writes, “Chris’s concepts are aimed at shifting your mindset (mental wellbeing) as a result of which it will make you think differently and more happily.”

4. Building Effective Employee Rewards and Recognition Programs

This Thanksgiving, spend time investing in better ways to recognize and reward your hard-working employees. Recognition and employee satisfaction go hand in hand—in fact, research shows that a lack of recognition is the number one reason employees choose to leave a role. And even though your company may invest in recognition or rewards programs, managers may need extra training to learn how to best recognize their direct reports and HR professionals can benefit from understanding the psychology of recognition. Building Effective Employee Rewards and Recognition Programs by Illumeo Learning offers recognition strategies for human resources professionals and managers. This course also introduces how cultural differences can affect the perception and reception of recognition.

5. Giving Effective Feedback – Empower and Retain Your Employees

One of the most important soft skills in the modern workplace is the ability to give thoughtful and actionable feedback. By creating a culture of consistent feedback, companies can boost employee retention and improve performance. When employees learn about their strengths and areas for improvement, they feel motivated to continue growing. But giving good feedback doesn’t always come naturally, and despite the good intentions of the person giving it, feedback is often susceptible to many forms of bias. Giving Effective Feedback – Empower and Retain Your Employees by Alexa Fischer empowers participants to deliver feedback with clarity and confidence. The course provides a framework for structuring feedback as well as recommendations for when feedback conversations should occur.

As we kick off this holiday season, give your employees the gift of a happier, more focused outlook through these personal development courses. By strengthening their self-awareness, they’ll be able to better cope with the stresses and challenges that inevitably crop up at this time of year. And maybe take some time for yourself to participate in one so you can enjoy the benefits, too.

Udemy for Business is a learning platform that helps companies stay competitive in the digital transformation of the workplace by offering fresh, relevant, and personalized on-demand learning content, curated from the Udemy marketplace. Our mission is to help employees do whatever comes next—whether that’s the next project to do, skill to learn, or role to master. We’d love to partner with you on your employee development needs. Get in touch with us at business@udemy.com

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