9 Ways Technology Can Increase Workplace Health And Wellness

Having a clearly laid out workplace wellness plan is one of the most effective means of having an engaged and productive team in any organization. In addition to an extended health benefits plan, workplace wellness can include health promotion activities or organization-wide policies implemented to encourage healthy behaviors among employees.

Ideally, the workplace should provide employees with opportunities for better long-term health, especially in the face of rising chronic diseases.

The greatest barriers to having a workforce completely engaged in a workplace health program include time constraints, employee engagement, privacy issues, and employees’ willingness to participate. But research shows that three out of five employees surveyed said they’d be inclined to participate in workplace wellness if employers used digital technology to do so (hardly a surprise considering the workforce is now made up of many tech savvy Millennials).

Wearables such as the Apple Watch can help to monitor stress levels and heart rates, or to implement fitness plans—so they can be a valuable tool in encouraging workplace health. Moreover, simply having access to apps on already existing smartphones can be effective as well.

Nine Ways Technology Is Improving Workplace Health

Let’s take a look at nine ways technology is improving workplace health.

1. Increased Productivity

12% of employees use wearables such as the Apple Watch, Fitbit, Jawbone, or Google Glass and 71% of those who use them said they saw an increase in productivity.

2.  Valuable Data

Data gathered from wearables can help an organization make a business case for a wellness program, or fine tune one already in place. Wearables such as Apple Watch, Fitbit, Google Glass, and others can provide employers with a vast amount of biometric data and help evaluate the return on investment—but only if employees consent to share this information.

3.  Less Absenteeism

Using technology whether apps such as SparkPeople or wearables such as the Apple Watch, can help reduce employee absence due to health concerns, as well as increase work-life balance. Monitoring and evaluating real time data of employee’s physical activity, sleep patterns, and stress levels can help employers evaluate the drivers of health risks to their employees, and potentially prevent long-term disability leaves.

4.  Reduced Stress Levels

If bringing your dog to work to reduce employee stress levels isn’t an option, wearables such as Fitbit, that monitor activity levels, and apps like Pip can also help decrease employee stress levels through interactive games, leading to a more productive and healthy team. (Or you could do both!)

5.  Supportive Company Culture

Tracking eating habits, dietary plans, and lifestyle choices using apps such as Up® on Jawbone for your whole team can create a stronger workplace culture, encourage supportive relationships, and boost team morale.

6.  Cognitive Agility

It’s not all about physical fitness—wellness means mental fitness as well. Researchers found that playing a video game for an hour a day, may also lead to increased cognitive abilities.

7.  More Motivation

Using fitness wearables, such as Fitbit or Jawbone, can increase employees’ willingness to lead a healthier lifestyle. By following workout routines on apps such as Skimble Workout Trainer employees can see better overall improvements to health and lower risks of chronic diseases.

8. Increased Health Awareness

Using wearables can decrease the sedentary lifestyle that often pervades present day working generations. With features such the Activity app on the Apple Watch, employees can track their physical movements and set reminders to stand when sitting for long periods of time and help set fitness goals.

9.  Business Savings

Encouraging workplace health and fitness through the use of technology can decrease employer healthcare costs, especially in the face of rising premiums.

Managing Expectations And Fostering Positive Team Results

There may be the perception that the use of technology to monitor workplace health may actually be an invasion of privacy, and lead to workplace monitoring rather than workplace wellness. If this technology and data is not misused, however, employers can manage expectations as well as foster positive results for their team.

The goal for any employer in implementing a workplace health and wellness plan should be to shift the mindset from acute care to preventative care. If employers can have a team focused on workplace health and take preventative measures to limit chronic diseases and sedentary lifestyles, inevitably this is a win for both the employees and the employers. Encouraging employees to participate in physical activity can help lower their stress levels, while tracking sleep can ultimately lead to a more productive and effective team.

10 Tips For Firms In Frontier Markets

The time for being excited by emerging markets has been overtaken by the high energy and opportunities provided by frontier markets. Though there are a number of operational and financial risks of these extremely interesting environments for consulting firms, the opportunities are worth the challenges. A few of these delectable opportunities that I’ve come across include:

  • Growth – Where everything has the potential of becoming the next big thing.
  • Forward Looking – People simply don’t have the time to linger on the past because of the fast paced growth of businesses.
  • Possibility of Everything – Because there’s less red tape than developed countries, it is possible to achieve anything.
  • Making an Impact – From education to environment, there are endless gaps that can be filled given the drive.

So, just what do Consulting Firms need to do to find success in frontier markets? Check out the 10 tips on the roadmap in the infographic below.

So, what do you think? Any forks in the road you’d like to add to this roadmap for consulting firms? Is there anything you feel has helped you succeed in frontier markets? Share your experiences in the comments below.

Photo Credit: Big Stock Images

#TChat Recap: How Disruptive Technologies Will Empower The Future Of HR

This week we were joined by Alexandra Levit, Future of Work speaker, author of “They Don’t Teach Corporate in College” and long time friend of #TChat. Alexandra talked with us about how disruptive technologies will empower the future of HR.

The next decade will bring huge change to the world of work. We discussed those disruptive digital HR technologies that will influence the form and function of HR in a various ways like how and where we work today, how we recruit and hire, and how we train and develop the workforce. The podcast also touched on which tools, such as email and those “sexy spreadsheets”, will likely adapt and continue.

Not every technological disruption will be adopted nor will it transform HR for the better, but the fact remains that empowering a better workplace and workforce has already started. Welcome to the future!

Did You Miss The Podcast Show? Listen On BlogTalkRadioiTunes or Stitcher.


What’s Up Next? #TChat Returns Wednesday, May 27th: #TChat Radio Kicks Off at 1pm ET / 10am PT — Our weekly radio show runs 30 minutes. Usually, our social community joins us on Twitter as well.

Next week’s topic: How Improving the Candidate Experience Empowers a Better Workforce — Our halfway point begins with our highly engaging Twitter discussion. We take a social inside look at our weekly topic. Everyone is welcome to share their social insights #TChat.

Join Our Social Community & Stay Up-to-Date! The TalentCulture conversation continues daily on See what’s happening right now on the #TChat Twitter stream in our LinkedIn group, and on our Google+ community. Engage with us anytime on our social networks or stay current with trending World of Work topics through our weekly email newsletter. Signing up is just a click away!


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Quantum Change: Embracing Innovation #TChat Recap

Last night at #TChat forums, we came, we saw, and we disrupted. But this wasn’t random disruption. It was organized chaos — all in the name of knowledge sharing among talent-minded professionals. (For tweet-by-tweet highlights, see the Storify slideshow below.)

Business technology analyst Jim Lundy helped lead the TalentCulture community conversation this week, as we explored the most disruptive innovations on the horizon, and discussed their potential impact on the world of work.

As Jim explained in a blog post yesterday, innovation is at the heart of how we measure companies today. Organizations must have a robust approach to managing innovation. Although disruptive innovation is based on technology, its success actually depends upon how well people understand and apply it in real-world environments.

What Is Disruptive Innovation?

The concept of disruptive innovation was first coined by the soft-spoken Harvard professor Clayton Christensen in 1997. Think of it as technology that transforms a market or sector by introducing simplicity, convenience, accessibility and affordability where complexity and high cost are the norm. At first blush, a disruptive innovation may seem inconsequential or unattractive, but ultimately it can radically redefine whole industries or sectors.

In this brief video, Professor Christensen describes how he introduced the theory to former Intel CEO, Andy Grove:

The Value of Innovation: Big Dollars In Disruption

Disruptive Technologies_NewYorkTimes_McKinseyGlobalInstitute

See the disruptive innovation chart and article at the New York Times

What does all this mean, in terms of business benefits? A new McKinsey report examines the economic impact of 12 emerging disruptive technologies — led by the mobile Internet and knowledge work automation. As the New York Times illustrates, by 2025, these 12 technologies are expected to create a whopping $33 trillion a year in global business value.

Linking Disruption With Employee Engagement

Why and how can leaders encourage employee engagement via disruption? Recently, TalentCulture founder Meghan M. Biro examined this question, in response to a Gallup poll that indicates 70% of American workers are either actively or passively disengaged at work. Business collaboration and knowledge sharing tools can make a big difference in supporting connections and professional development that help employees feel empowered and appreciated.

In addition, talent strategist Gary Kastenbaum recommends that business leaders approach employee engagement with a disruptive mindset. He outlines three guiding principles:

  • Lesson 1: Corporate social responsibility programs and cause marketing are linked and drive employee engagement.
  • Lesson 2: Engaged employees are proud of your organization’s values and they are loyal to your company.
  • Lesson 3: Engaged employees are recruited, not created.

What do you think of this framework for “disruptive” engagement? How far into organizational process should “disruption” reach?

Big Issues — Big Ideas

This week’s events challenged each of us to take a fresh look at our personal and organizational attitudes, values and behaviors when it comes to technology and innovation. But we’ve only just begun to push the envelope! Thanks for contributing your thoughts and concerns — we look forward to hearing more from you on this topic. In case you missed any of the #TChat action, we invite you to review highlights in the slideshow below, along with other related resources.

#TChat Week-in-Review: Technology Disruption and Adoption


Read the Preview Post now

SUN 8/11:

#TChat Preview: Our Community Manager, Tim McDonald, outlined the week’s topic in the preview post: Tech Disruption: Too Much Of A Good Thing?

MON 8/12: Post: Several previous posts from TalentCulture CEO, Meghan M. Biro underscored technology advancements, and their implications for today’s workplace. Read:

•  “5 Trends Defining The World of Work and Leadership in 2013”
“Your Employees Are Engaged: Really?”
•  “Employee Engagement: Every Leader’s Imperative”

WED 8/14

TChatRadio_logo_020813#TChat Radio: This was a fascinating warm-up before the main Twitter chat event! Our radio hosts Meghan M. Biro and Kevin W. Grossman talked with Jim Lundy about today’s hottest technology advancements, and their impact on business organizations. Listen now to the radio show recording.

#TChat Twitter: Immediately following the radio show, Jim joined the entire TalentCulture community on the #TChat Twitter stream for an open conversation about disruptive technologies in today’s workplace. If you missed the action, or want to review highlights, check out the Storify slideshow below:

#TChat Twitter Highlights: Technology Innovation: Disruption and Adoption

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Closing Notes & What’s Ahead

GRATITUDE: Thanks again to Jim Lundy for generously sharing insights about today’s most innovative workplace technologies. It’s exciting to peek into the future of work with experts like you!

NOTE TO BLOGGERS: Did this week’s events prompt you to write about innovation, disruption and corporate culture? We’d love to share your thoughts. Post a link on Twitter (include #TChat or @TalentCulture), or insert a comment below, and we’ll pass it along.

WHAT’S AHEAD: Next week, our “summer restart” series continues, with a look into the strategic business value of workplace flexibility. So plan to join us, and check for details this weekend on TalentCulture social channels.

In the meantime, the World of Work conversation continues everyday. So join us on the #TChat Twitter stream, on our LinkedIn discussion group. or on other social channels. And feel free to explore our redesigned website. The lights are always on here at TalentCulture, and your ideas and opinions are always welcome.

See you on the stream!

Image Credit: Stock.xchng