Conclusion of NordPlus Well-being Project

The final face-to-face partner meeting for the Nordplus project, “Dealing with anxiety during a pandemic to improve adult well-being,” took place in Jelgava, Latvia, from 27-28 September. The partners reported that the envisaged project result – to develop and pilot an easily adaptable training programme contributing to reducing stress or anxiety at the workplace - was achieved.

 The COVID-19 pandemic has profoundly impacted workplaces worldwide, significantly affecting employee well-being. People in all work areas, including the maritime industry, experienced challenges adapting to new routines, dealing with heightened stress and anxiety, and coping with blurred work-life boundaries and increased workload. Through a comprehensive approach, the Nordplus project aimed to develop and pilot an easily adaptable training programme for leaders and employees of organizations to reduce stress and anxiety in the workplace.

 In addition to WMU, the Nordplus partners include three organizations from the Baltic States: the Education Innovations Transfer Centre (Latvia), the NGO Estonian Institute for Open Society Research (Estonia), and the Center for Adult Learning Vilnius Gabriele Petkevicaite-Bite Adult Education Centre (Lithuania). Each partner presented updated information about the project activities at the September meeting. Participants feedback from the pilot training conducted by the partners confirmed that the one-day training, piloted twic in July with WMU students, is functional regarding emotional intelligence, stress management, effective communication, and time management to reduce anxiety and contribute to a healthy workplace.

 Outcomes of the Nordplus project included 1) identification of training needs of leaders of organizations to reduce anxiety at working place by survey (in Sweden – maritime organizations); 2) development and pilot of a unique, systematic, and well-thought-out training programme that is easily adaptable to support leaders in successfully reducing pandemic- related anxiety and successively enhancing the well-being of their employees through a positive psycho-emotional and psychosocial workplace environment; 3) promotion of the practical inclusion of the training programme in adult education agendas; 4) preparing trainers to implement the training programme; and 5) providing practical training for managers of companies and institutions. The specific role of WMU involved contributing to the development of the training material and the adaptation of the material for maritime organizations and leaders. 

At the completion of the project, Associate Professor Inga Bartusevičienė, WMU principal investigator highlighted that “collaboration of the specialists with different background from four Baltics countries allowed to develop a useful practical solution to enhance resilience of leaders and organizations, which will help to move towards a culture of care in the maritime industry.” WMU Research Associate and Project Researcher Dr Maria Carrera Arce stressed, “mental health, although underestimated, has an essential role in ensuring a safe and healthy working environment that workers have the right to in organizations. The training materials developed in the project will help maritime leaders to develop skills to understand the sources of stress of the employees and support accordingly.”

Parties interested in the well-being training can contact Dr Inga Bartusevičienė (ib@wmu.se) or Dr Maria Carrera Arce (mca@wmu.se).

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