Well-being through learning: A systematic review of learning interventions in the workplace and their impact on well-being

David Watson, Olga Tregaskis, Cigdem Gedikli, Oluwafunmilayo Vaughn, Antonina Semkina

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Citations (Scopus)
29 Downloads (Pure)


The view that learning is central to well-being is widely held and the workplace is an important setting in which learning takes place. Evaluations of the effectiveness of well-being interventions in work settings are commonplace, but to date there has been no systematic review of the effectiveness of learning interventions with regard to their impact on well-being. The review synthesizes evidence from forty one intervention studies, and although no studies report a negative impact on well-being, fourteen show no effect on well-being, with twenty seven studies having a positive impact. We classify the studies according to the primary purpose of the learning intervention: to develop personal resources for well-being through learning; to develop professional capabilities through learning; to develop leadership skills through learning; to improve organisational effectiveness through organisational level learning.
Although there is an abundance of workplace learning interventions, few are evaluated from a well-being perspective despite the commonly held assumption that learning yields positive emotional and psychological outcomes. The evidence indicates an important gap in our evaluation of and design of workplace learning interventions and their impact on well-being, beyond those focusing on personal resources. This raises important theoretical and practical challenges concerning the relationship between learning and well-being in the context of professional capability enhancement, leadership capability and organisational learning.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)247-268
Number of pages22
JournalEuropean Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology
Issue number2
Early online date18 Feb 2018
Publication statusPublished - 2018

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