Long-term L&D programmes show key improvements to staff wellbeing

19 May 2023

The Open University (OU) has published new findings focused on ways in which learning and development impacts the wellbeing of employees. The report, called ‘L&D’s role in employee wellbeing’ shows 28% of staff see an improvement straight away in overall wellbeing from long-term learning and development programmes, such as apprenticeships, whilst 36% see an improvement in mental health and stress management. A total of 564 businesses took part in the survey, which also highlighted that both short and long-term skills-based training can boost staff wellbeing, as it can tackle the existing skills gap and, subsequently, ease workplace pressure.

The OU report

The research delves into the significance of investment in employee development and how it impacts staff engagement. The report compares those businesses who have shown a commitment to long-term learning and development programmes (members of The 5% Club) with organisations that haven’t shown the same commitment. And there’s a major difference in employee impact. Nearly double the number of members of The 5% Club revealed a positive impact of training on staff wellbeing, retention and engagement compared to typical organisations.


1.    A total of 94% of The 5% Club said they saw improved employee engagement from long-term programmes, compared to 42% of typical organisations. 
2.    In addition, 38% of typical organisations said there was an improvement in staff confidence following these programmes, whilst 71% of The 5% Club said the same.
3.    A massive 92% of The 5% Club said retention improved following these programmes compared to 42% of typical organisations.
4.    And in terms of improvement to mental health and stress, 94% of The 5% Club said the advantages of schemes such as wellbeing days, team building and resilience days were beneficial, compared to 46% of typical organisations.

CEO of The 5% Club, Mark Cameron said of the report: “We’re delighted to see that our members report more positive impact of training on employees’ wellbeing. Companies with a strong ESG agenda and L&D offering, will attract and retain employees – there is a commercial benefit to be had.” Whereas, Phil Kenmore, Director, Corporate Development and Partnerships at The Open University stated: “Positive mental health goes hand in hand with an engaged and loyal workforce. Our new report shows exactly how training and career development can have a proactive impact on wellbeing in the workplace.”