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3 ways to increase student motivation and wellbeing at work, with Rachel Lyons

How do you motivate learners and support their wellbeing to ensure your graduate and intern programmes succeed?

Many learners are experiencing a huge decline in their ability to apply themselves to their academic work. This is partly due to the push to move learning online and partly due to decreased student mental health.

A survey by the mental health charity Mind, has shown that 73% of students have experienced a decline in their mental health during the last year. Over in the US, researchers at the North Carolina State University, found that since the Covid-19 pandemic hit, students are experiencing increased lack of motivation, anxiety, stress and isolation.

 

So how can you support student wellbeing at work?

How can students ensure that they can stay focused and motivated whilst facing the challenges of this once in a century global crisis?

Here are three ways to support your learners in boosting their motivation levels and ensuring they can perform at their best.

ENCOURAGE LEARNERS TO WORK with THEIR energy levels

There will be certain times of the day when your employees and students will perform at their best. Perhaps their energy levels are higher first thing in the morning. Or maybe they find it relatively easy to apply themselves to even the most arduous tasks at 2 am.

Encourage your learners to identify when their ‘A-time’ is so they can use it wisely.

PROMOTE SETTING realistic scheduleS

Each learner needs to know how long they can remain focused and productive before they need a break. For some people, this will be two hours. For others, it may be 30 minutes. Encouraging learners to figure out how long they can focus will increase their ability to grasp information. Ask them to note when they next start to study and then lookout for signs that their attention is waning. If they find themselves idly picking up their phone or perhaps reading the same sentence over and over again, it’s time to take a break.

Once they know their limit, they can set a daily schedule for themselves, allowing them to focus.

REMIND THEM TO TAKE A BREAK

Taking a break helps us recharge, physically and mentally. But did you know that when we take a break, our brain never actually rests? Instead, it remains as active as when we fully immerse ourselves in a task. During times of rest, a region in our brain called the Default Mode Network (DMN) springs into life. The DMN is important in allowing our brain to bed down what we have just learned, organise information and tie up any loose ends. So, if you find that during a walk in the park, you suddenly have an epiphany that allows you to understand something which has had you stumped, you probably have your DMN to thank for that!

About Rachel Lyons

Rachel has worked as a personal development and leadership facilitator for over 11 years delivering a range of training programmes from traditional courses on basic communication skills, to “fused courses” which blend technical skills with inter-personal skills using case studies and simulations. Her specialist areas include management and leadership, emotional intelligence, pitching and presenting.

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