On Learning and Our Mental Health

Share this article

“Ugh, I have a training I need to sit through.”

Ever felt like this? 

Training and development can often solicit eyerolls and comments like, “Is this required?” 

Something we may not have considered until recently, however, is the positive impact learning has on our brains. 

Did you know workplace learning can be important for our mental well-being?

Brand-new research says, “People with a history of cognitively stimulating occupations during their 30s, 40s, 50s and 60s had a lower risk of Mild Cognitive Impairment and dementia older than 70 years, highlighting the importance of occupational cognitive stimulation during midlife for maintaining cognitive function in old age.”

The good news is, in the PR profession, no two days are ever the same. The opportunity to take on new projects, work with new clients and in new practice areas is almost infinite. Add on the influence of artificial intelligence, and it’s an imperative for us to constantly learn. 

But broad messages don’t mean anything if you can’t take intentional action on next steps.

What this means for you:

1. Make a commitment to learn something previously unknown to you in the business world at least once per quarter. 

PRSA is the perfect start for members and offers a multitude of resources available. And if there’s a topic not covered, use the PRSA Open Forums and Member Directory to ask. You will receive quality responses! 

2. Learn something new outside of our profession at least once per quarter. 

One of my favorite offsite exercises to lead involves team members understanding not only what they want to learn professionally, but also learning skills for their personal life. Instead of cheesy ice breakers, discover what you can learn from one another, and schedule some internal team development sessions and share tips on how to cook, garden, find cheap flights or whatever your passion may be outside of work. You’ll learn from one another and bond in a practical way and will feel good by learning and impacting others.

3. Add addendums to “must do” trainings. 

The perception of training and development can often feel like, “Check the box, and just get it done.” This is typical of compliance training, for example. Rarely is the content designed exclusively for the organization, so if you can, then consider adding in an additional component that invokes discussion across your workstream to contextualize what you learned. 

4. Identify a career path in leading and development. 

If you have responsibility or influence on training and development in your organization, then this is a great way to impact the well-being of your employees. One of the biggest challenges of leadership and development is simply the communication of its existence, its relevance to the company and, most important, the relevance to employees. This is where our strengths in designing and executing strategic PR plans separate us as trusted advisors.

Above all else, make sure that these are experiences you enjoy, and ones that make you feel positive and accomplished.

What new activities are you trying out this summer, and how is it going for you? Please send me a note and let me know.

In the meantime, have a wonderful summer! 

Share this article

Subscribe to Strategies & Tactics


*Strategies & Tactics is included with a PRSA membership