While there’s still no clear sense for when the COVID-19 pandemic will end, one thing has come into sharp focus—the implementation of wellbeing programs. The future of work will include both in-person and remote arrangements to accomplish this.
This new reality has various benefits for employees, including more flexibility, better work-life balance, less time spent commuting, and the freedom to work from anywhere. And a study by Stanford found that working from home increases productivity by 13%. So, there are benefits for employers as well.
But employees who don’t see their colleagues every day face a challenge: creating a sense of community and connection. And while it may not seem like a business performance issue at first glance, it actually is.
Harvard Business Review says: “Employee disconnection is one of the main drivers of voluntary turnover, with lonely employees costing U.S. companies up to $406 billion a year.”
The opportunity in front of us for wellbeing programs
At HealthFitness, we think there’s a massive opportunity for the corporate fitness industry to rethink how we help employees feel they belong and are cared for.
In fact, through our work with hundreds of companies across many different industries, we’ve seen how wellbeing programs can provide the community and human connection many employees are craving right now.
This means creating experiences where employees will find friendly and familiar faces — both in-person and virtually. This can include group fitness, personal and small group training, health and fitness challenges, health coaching, seminars and classes across a wide variety of fitness and health topics.
The classicin-person approach
We’re all familiar with the onsite fitness center. While pandemic-era guidelines changed aspects of the experience (e.g., wearing masks, social distancing), they’re still a meaningful way to create connection.
One of our client’s employees, Eddie, said he had a hard time staying active at his job until he joined a new company with an on-site fitness center. There, he began taking fitness classes (which is something he never imagined himself doing). Plus, he also started using the center’s exercise equipment.
But he discovered an unexpected benefit as well.
Eddie noticed how the fitness challenges his company hosted allowed him to connect with coworkers throughout the company. “I’ve made tons of friends at work through the fitness center,” he says.
And the benefits he received went beyond the physical and social.
Eddie said that many of the colleagues he met through fitness challenges provided him with career advice. “The amount of networking I was able to do at the fitness center was remarkable. It’s amazing how many people you can meet while sharing the goal of creating a healthier lifestyle.”
The new virtual approach
Like Eddie, many employees looked to their local gym or corporate fitness center for a sense of community before COVID-19. Now we know employees will seek this same sense of connection in a virtual format.
That’s certainly been our experience over the last two years.
Like many companies worldwide, we had to pivot fast in the spring of 2020. Our initial goal was to fill clients’ immediate needs and continue offering health and fitness programming in whatever way we could. To make the best of the unprecedented situation.
But then something unexpected happened.
The fitness classes delivered in a virtual format were a big hit with employees. They also allowed us to extend our reach to more employees that may not be located in a building where their employer provided a fitness center. Beyond fitness classes, wellbeing-related offerings like energy and stretch breaks, educational seminars, and even classes for kids opened up more ways to demonstrate that the company cares about their employees. Employees also enjoyed seeing the friendly faces they knew and trusted.
Given this, we think virtual corporate wellbeing experiences are an important way to create connection and community in a hybrid world. There are two primary options.
Live-streamed content can be used for live events like fitness classes, stretch breaks, educational seminars, and kid and family classes. They’re broadcast through professional-grade equipment to provide the highest quality streaming, regardless of device, bandwidth, or location.
The shift to working from home has served as the game changer for Sharon, one of our client’s employees, and her health and fitness routine. Sharon takes up to three virtual classes each day. She transfers between group fitness classes, to virtual personal training to mindfulness, nutrition and wellness classes. She regularly meets with her health coach.
As a result, Sharon is more resilient and stronger. “HealthFitness has been one of the most important aspects of my mental and physical wellbeing while working from home.”
Sharon’s weekly virtual personal training sessions with her HealthFitness trainer, Jim, keeps her connected and moving after knee surgery. This allows her to keep getting stronger in her health journey.
Not only does this benefit Sharon physically, there’s also the same sense of connection that Eddie described. When you know other colleagues are also participating in these experiences, you have a point of much-needed connection.
Video conferencing offers real-time connections with wellness professionals for personal and small group training. It is also useful for nutrition coaching, ergonomic consultations, and movement efficiency assessments.
This approach will broaden based on employers I’ve talked with over the last 18 months. Employers want data-driven integration, segmenting, and targeting capabilities with programs that address subjects. Subjects like stress, resiliency, mindfulness, sleep, safety, and financial wellbeing.
Eventually, because of this data and technology integration, employers will offer this kind of programming wherever it works best for employees. That may be in person, at home, on the production line, on the go—whatever employees need.
This level of targeting has a side benefit. Employees can connect around common wellness priorities or goals, which again creates the sense of community many of us are longing for.
Regardless of format, wellbeing programs must be front and center
In their report Future of Work Trends in 2022, Korn Ferry says that“organizations that are leading the way in wellbeing embed it in all aspects of their people strategy. Research shows that this has a positive impact on retention, absenteeism levels, productivity, and overall satisfaction.”
With all of these potential impacts, it’s time for corporate wellness programs to adapt to the permanently altered business landscape by:
Recognizing how classic wellness offerings like fitness centers and programs can solve new workplace challenges, like the lack of connection
Introducing virtual wellbeing offerings that employees can access when and where it’s convenient
Offering a broader range of wellbeing programs that help employees connect with like-minded colleagues and create a sense of community
When companies take these steps, they show employees they belong to an organization that genuinely cares.
What is navigation assistance? And how will it help employers control healthcare spending in 2021?
While 2020 has thrown human resources (HR) many curveballs, one fact remains constant: Employees need help navigating their benefits.
Poor healthcare consumerism influences the cost of healthcare for employers. It drains employee satisfaction, as well. When they don’t have the help they need to access high-quality, low-cost care, employees feel left out in the cold. Now more than ever, we owe employees our support.
Navigation assistance – guidance through the healthcare benefits maze – is an important way to provide that support. Employers also benefit: Providing the assistance lowers healthcare costs.
Healthcare Spending: The Value of Employee Education
For our recent 2021 State of the Benefits Experience Report, Healthjoy sent a survey to +9,000 HR professionals nationwide. Respondents reported using every imaginable benefits education tool, from benefits booklets to presentations and from healthcare fairs to portal websites. Yet they gave the success of their benefits education strategy an average score of just 3 out of 5.
I’m not surprised. At the moment, it’s almost impossible to judge the success of our education efforts. Plus, we know awareness is just one of the areas we have to consider. Still, indications are that our existing education strategies aren’t hitting the mark.
For example, our survey respondents reported employees didn’t know enough about their full EAP offering. As a result, even at this critical time for mental health, employees are missing out on the support they need. And only because they don’t understand, or can’t navigate, their benefits plan.
Ultimately, we won’t know if our efforts to improve employee education are successful until employees are asked to make tough decisions under pressure. That makes education a really tricky strategy to hang our hats on. To succeed, we must educate employees about the stakes involved with making smart healthcare decisions. We must also show up for them with assistance tools when they’re under pressure.
Navigation Assistance: Taking the Pressure Off HR
It’s clear that a lack of navigation assistance is also leaving HR to drown in employee questions.
Our Benefits Experience survey revealed that HR professionals spend an average of 9 hours per week answering employee questions. In the end, some reported spending 20, 30, or even 40 hours per week on this task alone.
They aren’t spending time on complicated billing questions or coding issues, either. The most common question – asked by nearly four out of 10 – was also the most basic (paraphrasing): “How do I find contact information when I have employee benefits questions and need support.”
In other words, employees had questions about… how to ask questions.
Another 38% ranked “understanding benefits coverage/cost” as the most common employee question.
From the amount of time we see HR spending on employee questions each week, we can clearly discern where their confusion is leading them. So, as we talk about transforming healthcare and benefits, we must focus on tools that quickly and efficiently provide answers.
The good news is we know the answer: A ben admin system with navigation and decision support. We also know this system takes the pressure off of HR; when made available to employees, HR spends far less time answering the most common questions.
Manage Healthcare Spending with Navigation Assistance
As Meghan M. Biro, CEO of TalentCulture, and I discussed in a recent episode of the #WorkTrends podcast, healthcare spending is a really complex issue. Costs in the US were already out of control due to factors like an aging population and the obesity epidemic. Then the pandemic added yet another layer of complexity. Because many employees are not fully using their benefits during the pandemic, healthcare costs might temporarily go down for employers next year. However, those delayed healthcare events will eventually occur – driving costs up again in the very near future.
For instance, by some estimates, 28 million elective surgeries were halted or delayed during the pandemic. These are exactly the types of non-emergent, predictable procedures employees need help navigating. Sure, they may be predictable. But if employees don’t carefully scrutinize every aspect of their scheduled procedures, they can easily lead to thousands in surprising medical bills.
And if the number of elective surgeries is doubled next year?
We’ll need to figure out a system by which employees can choose high-quality, cost-effective facilities and providers. We must put these solutions in place now, before they’re needed and before those elective surgeries are scheduled. That is the only way to save employees money and frustration – and to keep employers from engaging in unnecessary spending.
Managing What’s Within Our Control
When we talk about rising healthcare spending, there are many factors outside our control. Thankfully, provider, procedure, and prescription choice are within our control. So the question becomes: Are we willing to give employees the support they need to make the right decisions?
Our recent survey revealed the answer to this important question: Most employers don’t plan to add this type of navigation assistance to their benefits plans next year. Still, I remain hopeful that top-performing, high-growth companies that genuinely care about their employee’s experience will consider adding this benefit in very near the future.
We have a responsibility to take care of employees during the 364 days outside of open enrollment. Navigation assistance changes the way employees access, and then fully leverage their benefits.
Ultimately, navigation assistance improves the lives of your employees – every day of the year.
This post is sponsored by our friends at Healthjoy.
COVID-19 has radically changed our conception of wellness and what it really means. It’s also created a new imperative for employers — to integrate wellness into their work culture. In fact, wellness shouldn’t be an add-on. To meet the needs and wants of employees it needs to pretty much define your work culture.
Meghan M. Biro invited Arthur Matuszewski, the VP of Talent at Better.com to this week’s #WorkTrends to talk about what that means. Better is all of five years old, and a disruptor in the mortgage industry, certainly not known for its innovative culture. But this young company connects its own growth to its employees’ growth and wellbeing, Matuszewski noted.
“Our job is to set up the environment so people can continue that journey of improvement,” he said. Solving the age-old question of how to help people work better means giving them opportunities with the tools they need to do just that, he explained, so “they feel like the athletes managers expect them to be.”
That can be a challenge for even a well-established organization right now, Meghan noted, but it starts with a fundamental belief: that great employees bring incredible value — and should be treated as such. Arthur concurred, adding that Better has high expectations and makes sure they’re clear. He makes sure employees understand that they need to show up, be present and see this as “one shot and one opportunity.” In exchange, they’re working in a culture packed with wellness offerings: some surprising, many innovative, including therapy, virtual childcare, yoga classes, and remote magic sessions — a huge hit, said Arthur.
And another intentional part of wellness at Better is clarity, as in managers who are forthcoming with plans and solicit (not just give) feedback, Arthur said, because that’s what “ties the culture of wellness together.” Meghan added that driving essentially, wellness and growth go hand in hand. And ultimately, that’s going to be a huge factor when it comes to employees being able to really deliver on customer success.
Listen to the full conversation and see our questions for the upcoming #WorkTrends Twitter Chat. And don’t forget to subscribe, so you don’t miss an episode.
Twitter Chat Questions
Q1: Why are some organizations struggling with employee wellness programs? #WorkTrends
Q2: What strategies can effectively improve employee wellness? #WorkTrends
Q3: What can leaders do to innovate better employee wellness programs now? #WorkTrends
https://talentculture.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/jeremy-thomas-FO7bKvgETgQ-unsplash-1.jpg450850TalentCulture Teamhttps://talentculture.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/TCLogo_web-272x60-1.pngTalentCulture Team2020-05-15 08:20:272020-12-18 14:56:52#WorkTrends: Innovating a Culture of Wellness
The impacts of COVID-19 and the measures governments and organizations are taking to contain it right now are unprecedented. The hourly breaking news headlines of outbreaks and cancellations have our heads spinning. They have also kept the wellness of our families, friends, and co-workers top of mind. Companies like Google led the way in implementing work-from-home policies to keep their employees safe; now remote work is mandatory as part of stay-home, stay-safe policies.
Organizations should certainly follow CDC guidelines to keep their employees safe and prevent the virus from spreading. It’s imperative that companies stay cognizant of the risks the virus brings. We must also heed the short-term precautions that need to occur to keep employees healthy. But after this health crisis passes, think about how your company can keep employees healthy into the future.
Millennials — now the largest generation in the American workforce, and Gen Z are health-conscious employees who are choosing to work at companies that care about their well-being. That’s not going to change after the COVID-19 crisis is over; it will only intensify. These generations are more open and aware of mental and physical health: too many watched their parents sacrifice personal time, missing end-of-year recitals and Friday-night games due to job commitments.
Young professionals are willing to work hard, of course. But they want their employers to understand that there’s life outside of the 9-to-5 grind. They prefer to exchange their energy, education, and expertise for modern benefits — including company-based wellness programs. Organizations have taken notice, but many executives question which wellness program initiatives will offer the strongest return on investment.
Here are six possibilities that can have far-reaching positive effects.
1. On- and Off-Site Fitness Accessibility
Once we’re done with stay-at-home and social-distancing measures, everyone is going to need to move. Younger generations know that the couch potato lifestyle isn’t a winning choice. Businesses that offer on-site wellness centers or access to personal trainers or group fitness classes illustrate to young workers that they see them as people, not numbers.
If on-site facilities aren’t possible? Consider partnering with a local fitness center. Perhaps offer free or reduced-cost memberships for your employees. Or you can secure a corporate rate for ClassPass. That way, employees can choose the location and activity, such as spin class, yoga, boxing, and more. If you do end up partnering with a gym? Make sure it operates outside of traditional business hours. Otherwise, employees probably won’t take advantage of this corporate wellness program benefit.
And for a no-cost option, create a company walking club and set a day and time during the week for folks to participate.
2. Wellness Challenges
Most young workers are accustomed to socializing with coworkers , and wellness challenges allow them to collectively march toward a common goal. What’s more, according to a study of the Blue Zones, which are the world’s healthiest regions, feeling like you belong to a community is critical to long-term health. We’re seeing that play out right now in an explosion of online exercise classes and social media challenges. A return to normal will mean a return to community wellness.
Create wellness challenges around healthy living — for instance, ask participants to record how many ounces of water they drink each day or clock the miles that their walking group racks up in a week.
Make sure to publicize progress and give a shout-out to winners on your internal landing page, intranet, or other private communication channels. As you drum up excitement, you’ll see more people join in for upcoming challenges. Take it a step further and highlight employees who participate in 5Ks, marathons, triathlons, and other challenges in your monthly newsletter.
3. Flexible Hours
There are countless predictions about how we’ll return to work, and many posit that remote and flexible working will become the norm. Flextime should be considered part of a company’s wellness program. Research confirms that employees who are empowered to balance their personal and professional expectations are more productive, less stressed, and have a greater sense of well-being.
Before you roll out flexible work options, however, sit down with your leadership team to develop an intentional strategy. This will ensure you address any questions or concerns beforehand. Together, you can construct clear guardrails around the initiative, including defining the boundaries of flextime for employees. If you’re still unsure about flexible hours, test it with a small group of employees first. This way, you’ll have time to work out any kinks before rolling it out on a company-wide level.
4. Healthy Snacks
Everyone needs to eat, and free snacks and drinks are a great benefit that employees can see and enjoy immediately. Perhaps that’s why 32% of companies already offer this benefit, according to a report by SHRM. The wrong foods, however, can lead to a workforce that’s prone to energy crashes and food comas.
Skip the soda and chips and, instead, provide treats that taste great but don’t include added sugars, saturated fats, or excessive sodium. Consider having fresh fruit, vegetables, and an assortment of nuts delivered to the office weekly and placed in the lunchroom. Offering free healthy food also dovetails nicely with other elements of your wellness program — like gym memberships or personal training.
5. In-Office Preventive Health Screenings
Too many people put their personal health on the back burner so they can juggle busy work schedules and family obligations. A 2019 poll found that nearly 40% of American adults weren’t planning on getting a flu shot, and a national survey of 1,200 adults found that 45% of those between the ages of 18 and 29 did not have a primary care physician — an alarming issue when it comes to getting care during a health crisis.
It doesn’t have to be this way. To streamline preventive measures that may be covered by your corporate health insurance, invite medical professionals into the office once or twice a year to give flu shots and perform biometric screenings. Not only will doing so make life easier for employees, but it will also reduce the likelihood of employees getting the flu — which will save you a lot in illness-related lost productivity costs.
6. Mindfulness Meetings
Teaching your team members meditation techniques — such as how to breathe deeply and clear their heads — can have widespread corporate wellness program benefits. Practicing mindfulness can help workers lower anxiety and remain more present. One study even discovered a connection between meditation and how willing people are to help others.
If you’re unsure where to start, check out YouTube, where you’ll find hundreds of beginner tutorials and walk-throughs. After some simple research, you can reasonably self-direct mindfulness workshops. Or you can have a brown bag meeting and bring in a yoga instructor to teach people about breathing techniques and meditation. Additionally, there are numerous meditation apps on the market, including Calm and Headspace.
The popularity of wellness programs continues to rise among companies of all sizes — probably because more employees expect their employers to respect and care about their well-being. Of course you are doing everything right now to keep employees safe. But once this crisis is over, commit to offering long-term solutions to help your people stay healthy.
https://talentculture.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/erik-mclean-gya5Dr6XldI-unsplash.jpg321845Antonio Barrazahttps://talentculture.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/TCLogo_web-272x60-1.pngAntonio Barraza2020-04-29 09:30:262020-12-28 16:17:52After COVID-19: Improving Your Employee Wellness Program
We’re wrapping up 2019. It’s time to start planning for the New Year, and that means taking a close look at the issues around workforce wellness. Concepts of wellness, particularly employee wellness, are evolving, and in 2020 we’ll see a lot of organizations working to meet their employees’ needs better. Pay attention to these six employee wellness trends for 2020. I predict we will be hearing a lot about them.
The Concept of Wellness is Changing
The current multi-generational workforce is guiding the conversations around health and wellness in the workplace. Both Millennials and Generation Zs expect employers to invest in their health and wellbeing. According to research just published by ClassPass, “Seventy-five percent of professionals surveyed believe it is their employer’s responsibility to contribute to their health and wellbeing, ideally in part by providing wellness benefits to employees.”
But there’s a disparity between how employers and employees view access to health and wellness benefits. According to a study published by Aetna, 70% of employers believe they provide reasonable access to health and wellness benefits, while only 23% of employees agree. Additionally, the study found that 82% of workers across the globe are concerned that mental health issues could impact their ability to work. But only 25% of employees feel their organizations provide enough support for mental health conditions.
I’ve been writing in the HR space for years about the importance of a healthy workforce — and that means revising health and wellness programs to better meet new workforce realities. Let’s take a closer look at what some of these are:
1. Holistic benefits: Holistic benefits plans will become more readily available. Holistic benefits plans are constructed to address all aspects of care, including mind and body components. Managing mental health conditions such as stress and depression will be increasingly commonplace, extending, in some plans, to assistance with financial stressors such as college loan payments.
Employees want health and wellness benefits options that fit their needs and lives, and statistics bear that out. In MetLife’s 2019 Employee Benefit Trends Study, 55% of those surveyed said they would be more interested in working for a company offering holistic benefits. Fifty-three percent of respondents said they would be more loyal to a company providing those benefits, while 52% stated they believed they would be more successful in both work and life with access to holistic benefits. Generation Z and Millennial employees rated holistic benefits as slightly more important (57% versus 52%) in their responses.
2. Equal benefits for alternative families and identities: Ensuring that alternative families have access to equal benefits will be a significant shift moving into 2020. Examples of this may include people who are caring for extended family members or elderly parents, have blended families, or are part of an LGBTQ+ community. We will see organizations begin to explore the feasibility of expanding family leave policies to provide new parents of both sexes access to flex-time policies.
3. A focus on mental health and stress reduction benefits: Stress harms overall mental health and employee engagement, so we’ll see more organizations build stress-reduction activities into their employee wellness programming. Many companies are already offering on-site, face-to-face wellness coaching, mindfulness courses, and individual therapy.
4. Adventure and social good programs: Companies are adding programs like these to their employee wellness programs, which allow employees to give back by volunteering time and services. Salesforce has a fantastic program, offering its “citizen philanthropists” seven days of paid Volunteer Time Off, among other social good options. This type of initiative appeals to younger workers, and we’ll see an increase in the implementation of adventure and social good programming.
5. Expanding financial wellness programs for all employees: Going beyond the lunchtime seminars and offering in-house financial counseling and programs targeted to individual employees’ needs. Most firms will have employees ranging in age from those just entering the workforce to a cohort facing retirement. Financial wellness program possibilities are endless, from payday loans using alternative “currencies” like hours or vacation time, tuition reimbursement and student loan pay-down assistance, to credit counselors and financial concierge services. Financial stress takes a massive toll on productivity in the workplace. Savvy employers understand that whatever costs they incur expanding financial wellness programs, they will reap back two-fold.
6. Using Artificial Intelligence (AI) to predict evolving employee needs and benefits investments better: AI is already creating more personalized experiences for employees. Its use is allowing companies to leverage data to tweak and adjust their wellness programs, resulting in a better user experience based on the employees’ preferences and wellness goals, as well as reduced overall corporate costs through fine-tuning. You’ll see more of this in the coming year. Watch for AI that monitors the use of emojis in internal messaging systems such as Slack, allowing organizations to gauge employee satisfaction and handle issues before they get out of hand.
Evaluating Your Own Workplace Wellness Culture
Employers need to keep pace with these changes. I’d suggest we commit to conducting a yearly review of our workplace wellness cultures. Annual reviews are essential to help organizations stay abreast of changing technology, societal conditions, and worker satisfaction levels. Your review should factor in metrics like productivity and employee engagement. Afterward, plan to adjust your programs in response to the results. You might even try experimenting with corporate culture shifts such as flex-time or remote-work options — which are certainly related to wellness, as more of us are starting to find out.
Here’s looking at a healthy and happy 2020. Cheers!
https://talentculture.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/erol-ahmed-aIYFR0vbADk-unsplash-scaled.jpg12801920Meghan M. Birohttps://talentculture.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/TCLogo_web-272x60-1.pngMeghan M. Biro2019-11-22 09:21:402020-06-04 15:04:386 Employee Wellness Trends for 2020
You’re probably aware of a lot of this already — it’s why you’re looking into getting your workers up from their desks. So maybe what you’re stuck on isn’t whether you should start up an office sports league; it’s what sport everyone should play.
Don’t worry — figuring that out is actually a great deal easier than you might think. All you need to do is have a look at the following questions. Answer these and you’ll know everything you need to make an informed decision.
How Active Is Your Staff?
If most of the people in your office are couch potatoes then choosing an aggressive sport like soccer or football probably isn’t a good idea. After all, you’re looking to get people out of their chairs and moving around, not collapsed on the floor from exhaustion. You might want to start with something light and easy, like pingpong, badminton or volleyball.
That isn’t to say you can’t have some more competitive sports on the back burner. If there’s enough interest, you can always split your office into two leagues — competitive and noncompetitive. But make sure you know the interest is there first.
Speaking of which …
What Sports Are People Interested in?
Pay attention to the sports your employees talk about on a day-to-day basis. Do they seem interested in football or soccer? Are they always discussing the NHL? While it may not necessarily be the best way to make your decision, looking at what types of sports hold the most sway over your staff should definitely be taken into account.
Of course, if all else fails, why not just ask people what they want to play?
What Facilities Are Nearby?
Chances are pretty high that your building doesn’t include amenities like a tennis court or weight room. If it does, that’s awesome — you can make use of those for your workers. If not, pay attention to what sort of facilities are near you.
Is your office within walking distance of a great soccer field? Is there a nearby stadium you could rent out? A hockey rink? A swimming pool?
Where your business is located should play into your decision just as much as where employee interest lies.
What Supplies Do You Need, and How Easy Would It Be to Acquire Them?
Last but not least, let’s talk logistics.
Ideally you don’t want to choose a sport that requires you to buy a ton of equipment. Hockey, for example, requires a lot of protective gear for players — at least if you don’t want people getting injured. Conversely, games like soccer, racquetball and tennis require relatively little.
Whatever choice you make, just be certain your budget can cover it. While you could make the case for employees purchasing their own equipment, that’s a fine line you’ve got to be careful with. If there are staffers who don’t want to participate and who are forced to purchase gear on top of that, you could be looking at a serious morale problem in the near future.
Get Out There and Start Playing
That’s pretty much all there is to it! While there are certainly a few other things you’ll need to consider when setting up your league, this is everything involved in choosing a sport. You know everything you need to — all that’s left is to get things up and running.
https://talentculture.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/Deciding-on-an-Intramural-Program-for-Your-Business.jpg678980Brad Waylandhttps://talentculture.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/TCLogo_web-272x60-1.pngBrad Wayland2018-09-18 09:16:492018-09-18 09:16:49Deciding on an Intramural Program for Your Business
Companies are investing more resources in creative wellness programs. Why? The evidence is mounting that the physical and emotional well-being of workers is intrinsically tied to the performance of organizations of all sizes.
Still, statistics suggest there’s much room for growth. The U.S. Labor Department says only 39 percent of private industry workers had access to wellness benefits in 2017, although the number was 55 percent when only professional jobs were considered. Experts say the companies that are investing in employee wellness are getting more creative and adopting new technologies and approaches as they seek better ways to help their workers stay healthy, happy and productive.
“There are a lot of shifts in direction and new trends happening right now,” says Lisa Kelly of Kelly Wellness Consulting, an Alberta-based firm that helps corporations design comprehensive wellness programs.
Kelly says that until a few years ago, workplace wellness programs were primarily focused on the physical aspects of well-being, such as nutrition, fitness and movement at work. But she says organizations are increasingly aware there many more dimensions of well-being that should be cultivated to create a “total worker health model” that supports wellness from many angles. That means maintaining a focus on health and nutrition while branching out more and more into areas that support emotional well-being.
“Now we’re seeing more trends emerging around emotional well-being, into mindfulness, digital detox, stress mastery, employee resilience, work-life balance,” she says.
Here’s a look at how three different organizations are approaching employee wellness in creative and effective ways.
Remote Fitness Competitions at Sears
Online workout and personal training company iBodyFit recently coordinated an online corporate wellness plan and fitness competition for 1,000 employees at retail giant Sears that gained widespread adoption and resulted in an aggregate 9 percent reduction in BMI for the participants.
The fitness company’s CEO, Franklin Antoian, says it offers several hundred video-based workouts categorized by clients goals. The Sears program started with a personalized workout and diet plan for each participant and automatically tracked each user’s progress. The initiative also offered weekly and monthly health and fitness challenges in which workers could compete against co-workers, all employees or as part of a team to win prizes such as gift cards or time off. The software automatically tracked participation, from full-on workouts to simple tasks like reading a fitness article, and awarded points.
Antoian says the competition and rewards were key to driving participation. “As you’re going through the challenge you can see who’s in the lead, where you are personally, where your team is and what you need to do to reach the leaderboard,” he says. “We offered rewards at the end of the challenge, and that was what really got this program going. We noticed once we put the seven- to 30-day challenges in, that jumped everything up.”
Building From Scratch on Campus
Less than a decade ago, Babson College, an independent, nonprofit institution in Massachusetts with a focus on entrepreneurship, didn’t have a wellness program. But these days the school has a robust program for its 1,000 faculty and staff members that covers everything from yoga to nutrition to composting and education.
Alexa D’Agostino, an employee and compensation representative in the school’s HR department, says the program covers six dimensions of wellness: be fit, be nourished, be sustainable, be intellectual, be mindful and be social. All aspects are free to employees.
The program includes innovative initiatives such as a tool that lets employees order local and sustainable food from farmers and have it delivered to campus, as well as a wide range of more traditional fitness classes and health seminars. D’Agostino says the program has been developed and tweaked with input from employees.
“We heard from many employees who were not comfortable working out with students, so we have made our programs available to employees only,” she says. “This provides employees a safe place to focus on their health and wellness, to connect with other employees across the college, and a comfortable way to step out of their comfort zone.”
She says the effects have been clear and the feedback from the college’s employees has been overwhelmingly positive. “Over the course of the program’s lifetime, employees have shared numerous success stories, including significant weight loss, running their first ever 5K, becoming more focused and productive at work and home as a result of their program participation, and the creation of new friendships across campus,” D’Agostino says.
Simple Yet Creative Approach
Team Building Hero, which produces team-building experiences for organizations in multiple U.S. cities, has found success with a simple yet creative approach to its wellness program that includes three main components.
The company, with about 30 workers who are either full-time, part-time or contract, offers a monthly massage credit to help employees relax physically, a monthly housekeeping credit to help employees relax mentally and a monthly healthy-living credit for employees to use how they like, which often means gym memberships, yoga classes or a spa visit.
Alex Robinson, the company’s general manager, says the housekeeping credit is aimed at remote employees who often work from home. “It seemed like a nice benefit to help them work in a cleaner, more organized space,” he says.
The healthy-living credit came out of the company’s quarterly assessments with employees, who revealed they were interested in some sort of supplement for gym memberships or similar services. “Together, this program costs us about $170 per employee per month, and it’s a great investment,” Robinson says. “I would say one of the best signs that it’s working is that people actually use it.”
https://talentculture.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/Take-a-Peek-at-3-Real-Corporate-Well-Being-Programs-That-Work-1.jpg699980TalentCulture Teamhttps://talentculture.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/TCLogo_web-272x60-1.pngTalentCulture Team2018-09-13 07:00:182020-05-04 15:18:11Take a Peek at 3 Real Corporate Well-Being Programs That Work
With the gig economy hot and salaried employees craving more flexibility, much of the workforce is settling into a telecommuting lifestyle. And companies are using this perk to stay competitive when recruiting top talent. As of 2017, according to SHRM, 62 percent of companies allow employees to work remotely at least some of the time, and 23 percent allow it full time. It’s all part of a growing trend to create a more flexible workplace. Also helping the case for more remote jobs opportunities, Gallup’s State of the American Workplace report found no difference in overall employee engagement between those who work full time from home and those who work full time from an office.
That engagement is good news, but remote employees are just as susceptible to health risks like sitting too much. Even if an employee isn’t onsite to take advantage of a corporate fitness center, it’s still important to include them in wellness initiatives. “Whether they’re sitting at an actual office with colleagues surrounding them or they’re an at-home worker, their performance is vital to the organization,” says Kristine Holbrook, who oversees wellness programs for corporate clients at EXOS. So, how can organizations better reach remote employees?
Try Different Communication Methods
Email, Slack, phone calls, video conferencing — these are all great ways to communicate, but don’t assume that what works for some employees works for all of them. “It’s important for wellness committees to use different tools and figure out what works best for remote workers,” says Holbrook.
That could mean trying instant messaging, direct mailers and even calendar reminders. “We have one client who uses screensavers,” adds Casey Blakewood, EXOS’ director of account management. When an employee’s computer times out, there’s a rotation of screensavers that display wellness tips, reminding them to hydrate or providing advice to help reduce back pain.
Offer Remote Coaching
Technology is great, but it’s not a stand-alone solution. “When you add a human touch, wellness programs are always going to be more successful,” says Blakewood. Remote consultations with coaches and dietitians combine the best of both worlds. Coaches can use video conferencing to conduct one-on-one consultations as well as recurring webinars. They can host digital movement sessions, stretch breaks and meditation classes that allow remote employees to participate from home.
“If we connect employees with a coach remotely, someone they can form a relationship with and feel comfortable going back to with additional questions, it gives employees a higher level of support,” says Blakewood.
Use the First Few Minutes of Every Meeting Wisely
While employees might overlook an email with wellness advice or disregard it because they’re too busy, managers have employees’ built-in attention once a meeting or conference call starts. So, instead of getting right to down to business, encourage managers to take the first few minutes to talk about accomplishments outside of work, stress a specific wellness tip or promote a challenge that’s going on.
“The energy that comes from being with others and from having informal conversations doesn’t happen as much when you get on the phone and dive right into business,” explains Holbrook.
One study even found that employees working from home would prefer more quality time with colleagues over hearing words of affirmation. Create those social opportunities in meetings, not only to keep wellness top of mind but also to help remote employees build connections, which plays a part in their general well-being.
Make Employees Feel Comfortable Disconnecting
People often assume that working from home improves work-life balance, but that’s not the full picture. While it does allow for more flexibility to do laundry between meetings or cater to sick kids without eating away at vacation days, researchers at Northeastern University found that the blurred line between home and work can result in more family conflict and intrude on personal time.
To combat this, managers have to be clear about what they expect and what they don’t expect. Blakewood, who is a remote worker herself, says “one of the biggest things is leadership. When I shifted to a remote position, seeing and hearing my manager talk about disconnecting and not having the expectation that I’m going to respond to an email she sends late at night was huge.”
Wellness isn’t all exercise and nutrition tips. While there are plenty of employees who may consume that information, you’ll find that mental health support and stress management is just as important. According to the American Institute of Stress, 80 percent of workers feel stress on the job, and half of them feel they need help coping with it.
This is another area where remote coaching can be beneficial. Coaches can get to know employees’ individual struggles and point them to resources that will help them most, whether it’s a stretch routine to reduce neck pain or a breathing technique for stress relief.
When it comes to wellness, individual workers have individual needs, and you’ll see more engagement with your wellness efforts when you consider how employees’ working conditions call for different tips and communication mediums. Just keep asking yourself: How can you help remote employees build their skills so they’re making the best decisions that support their wellness?
https://talentculture.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/How-to-Include-Remote-Workers-in-Wellness-Programs.jpg653980Catherine Conellyhttps://talentculture.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/TCLogo_web-272x60-1.pngCatherine Conelly2018-06-19 07:00:222018-06-18 16:01:23How to Include Remote Workers in Wellness Programs
Are you planning your calendar for #SHRM18 in Chicago? I’m making my packing list, getting excited to see some of my favorite people in the HR world, and taking a close look at the packed SHRM agenda.
This year, I’ve been focused on health and well-being — both personally and professionally. Loyal TalentCulture readers know that I recently started using a standing desk and I’ve upped my wellness routine. I’m also very interested in how vendors are making it easier for employers to create healthy workplaces.
If you’re interested in making work healthier, here are the sessions I recommend at SHRM18:
Jay M. Kirschbaum, vice president at Lockton Companies, will help you think about the rules and regulations behind health and welfare plans. If you need help understanding compliance as it relates to health benefits, flag this session.
Naomi Abrams, president of Worksite Health & Safety Consultants, LLC, will be busting myths about workplace health. Is sitting really the new smoking? Do you need a lot of expensive, fancy equipment to keep your people happy and healthy? Naomi will tell you what you need to know.
I love a good case study. Find out how the team at AutoZone built a single wellness platform to give employees ownership of their own health. There are sure to be lots of good ideas to borrow in this session with AutoZone VP Matt Harmon and Green Circle Health Founder & CEO Dinesh Sheth.
When we talk about health and well-being, it’s also important to think about the flip side: What do you do when employees aren’t feeling their best? The number one cause of adult disability worldwide is psychiatric disease, and Carol Kivler, president of Kivler Communications, will walk you through how employers can make a difference.
When you’re working to help employees with their mental health, what factors do you need to consider? Employers are often unsure about how to respond to requests for accommodations. Janet Hendrick, partner at Fisher Phillips, will share best practices to help employees and stay compliant.
Your wellness program might look great on paper, but is it really moving the needle? Get practical tips from Brad Cooper, CEO of US Corporate Wellness Inc. and Suzanna Barnett Cooper, co-founder and chief learning officer at Catalyst Coaching Institute.
Have you been watching the conversation around Sen. Tammy Duckworth? She’s the first U.S. Senator to give birth while in office. Following her story has made me think more about how employers work with pregnant women and new parents. In this session, learn about the latest developments, court rulings and best practices for accommodating pregnant workers from Lara de Leon of Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, P.C.
https://talentculture.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/Health-and-Well-Being.jpg653980Meghan M. Birohttps://talentculture.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/TCLogo_web-272x60-1.pngMeghan M. Biro2018-06-01 07:00:582018-05-31 13:54:05What I’ll Be Watching at #SHRM18: Health and Well-Being
When you close your eyes at night, do you feel the phantom buzzing of your phone? Are you tempted to check work email at midnight, just in case?
If so, it might be time to take a break. As we’ve become more connected and more prone to multitasking, we’ve also become prime candidates for burnout. Employee burnout is the reason behind up to half of overall workforce turnover. Many companies face this issue, and while some factors can’t be avoided, there are many within our control.
Dr. Jen Faber has been there before. After building a successful medical practice, she realized that she was overworked and unhappy. “We live in such a fast-paced culture that we actually forget the why behind it all and what makes us love the work that we do,” Faber says.
She built a new path as an entrepreneur, coaching leaders on wellness and healthy habits. We asked Dr. Faber what company and HR leaders can do to keep their teams in good health and high spirits.
Cut Down Distraction During the Work Day
“Every company needs a productive workforce,” Faber says. “But the truth is that if you have employees who are hyperconnected, it’s actually a productivity buzzkill.”
Each time employees are distracted by their email, it can take them up to 30 minutes to get back to their work, she says.
Companies can cut down on this lag by creating universal check-in times when employees respond to emails or communicate with their teams. For example, if everyone checks email at 8am and 4pm, everyone is communicating around the same time and can spend the rest of their day focused on work.
If you’re leading a team, it’s doubly important for you to limit your digital distractions. When employees see their leaders setting boundaries, they’ll learn to respect those boundaries and even set their own, Faber says.
And, instead of setting blanket rules for everyone, Faber suggests leaders ask their team for input. Ask for their perspectives on how you could all work more productively together. What’s best for the leader might not be best for everyone.
Disconnect After Hours
Adults dealing with high stress are less likely to get enough sleep — which can reduce productivity and cause faster burnout. Help your team get enough rest by encouraging everyone to disconnect after hours.
Faber suggests disconnecting from devices an hour before bedtime to give your brain time to shut down for easier sleep. She also suggests defining a sacred space at home where devices aren’t allowed, such as the bedroom. Doing so breaks the association of doing work in a space that’s meant for relaxation.
Reward Employees Who Disconnect
What can leaders really do to promote better work/life balance? Faber suggests implementing a program that provides incentives for disconnecting. “I think having a built-in incentive program can give companies the opportunity to create a solution that’s actually best for their culture and best for their employees as well,” Faber says.
And remember that when we talk about productivity, we’re really talking about employee health. Keep in mind that productivity is really about “how to get more work done purposefully, in less time, from a more positive place,” she says.
https://talentculture.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/How-to-Stop-Burnout-in-Its-Tracks-1.jpg653980TalentCulture Teamhttps://talentculture.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/TCLogo_web-272x60-1.pngTalentCulture Team2018-04-18 09:04:462018-04-18 09:04:46How to Stop Burnout in Its Tracks
Improving my personal wellness is at the top of my resolution list for 2018. So far, I’d give myself a B-. I try to make it to hot yoga classes at least a few times a week. I try to grab healthy options for lunch. But then it snows for the millionth time in Boston and all my plans for fitness and healthy eating go out the window.
Plus, like many of you, I work remotely either in a home office or in coworking space a lot of the time. When I have a question for a team member or client, I don’t walk down the hall to their office. I don’t propose walking meetings. I Basecamp, Skype or email them — which doesn’t exactly improve my fitness.
So I was excited to test a solution that would keep me more active at work. Fellowes reached out to me and offered to let me try out their Lotus DX Sit-Stand Workstation. If you’re looking for ways to maintain a healthier lifestyle and in the market for a sit-stand for yourself or your team, keep reading for my review.
Product Overview: Lotus DX Sit-Stand Workstation
Fellowes calls this desk a sit-stand workstation because you can easily adjust it during your workday to 22 different height settings. You can convert any existing desk into a standing desk with this product.
It comes with some bells and whistles, too:
You can charge any device with built-in wireless charging and two USB ports.
If you’re worried about the germ factor, Fellowes has you covered with Microban antimicrobials.
It’s easy to keep all your cords plugged in and wrangled.
Smooth Lift technology makes it easy to change desk positions.
It arrives fully assembled.
The desk comes in black or white (I chose black).
It felt like Christmas morning when this box showed up. As soon as I set up the Fellowes workstation, I was excited to stand and move more during my work day. It’s very sleek, and I love the charging station to keep my iPhone humming all day.
It feels really sturdy, too. It’s easy to move up and down with the side handles. I was a little worried that it would be too tall for me (#shortpeopleproblems), but it adjusts perfectly.
The only difficult part of using this sit-stand was getting it into my office and out of the box! Like I said, I’m petite, so I needed help carrying the box into my office and pulling the pre-assembled desk out of the box. But once it’s set up, using it is a breeze.
Who It Would Be Great For
I love the idea of sit-stands for people who often work remotely from a home office, or for people who go into an office every day. It’s such a simple reminder to get out of the chair and move during the day. I can envision team competitions: Who can stand up longest today? If you’re competitive (I’m raising my hand here), you’d be all over this.
How to Buy
The Fellowes Lotus DX Sit-Stand Workstation retails for $599.99, and you can buy it on the Fellowes site.
And here’s the fun part: Fellowes is giving away a Lotus DX Sit-Stand Workstation to one lucky TalentCulture reader. To enter, comment on our Facebook post. (Don’t forget to “like” TalentCulture’s Facebook page to ensure you don’t miss the winner announcement!). The winner will be announced on April 19, 2018.
https://talentculture.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/Lotus-DX.jpg653965Meghan M. Birohttps://talentculture.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/TCLogo_web-272x60-1.pngMeghan M. Biro2018-04-05 15:34:032018-04-11 09:05:39Fellowes Sit-Stand Desk Review
The beginning of 2018 has brought with it record cold and extreme snowfall in many parts of the country, making some workers feel like they’ve entered a new ice age. Despite workers having to deal with snow-caked sidewalks and frigid mornings, work must go on.
Outside the tangible obstacles of winter, an employee’s ability to cope with the “winter blues” is another issue. In fact, it was recently reported that 28 percent of British workers skip lunch during the winter to avoid the outdoors, despite most workers claiming that forgoing outdoor time negatively impacts not only their mood, but also their health. This practice can lead to decreased productivity, kicking off a vicious cycle of downtime and disengagement.
To help employees break the inactivity cycle of winter and overcome the winter blues, leaders need to think of ways to encourage movement in their people, transforming an icy situation into a bright and rich opportunity.
While leaders may not be able to maximize the benefits of cold-weather workouts for their employees (you certainly can’t force people to go for an outdoor jog), there are a few simple ways you can encourage movement and increase physical activity right in the office.
Set Up Centralized Trash Cans and Printing
Think twice about where you set up commonly used items like trash cans and printers. The decision could be an opportunity to get people moving. Think about it: You wouldn’t station a coffee pot at every worker’s desk, so why have 20 trash cans in 20 different places?
In addition to making people walk a little to throw things away, centralizing trash cans helps cut down on maintenance costs by not having to supply and empty numerous bins. Likewise, having a single printing center streamlines maintenance while encouraging movement and workplace interactions — a benefit to the body and the soul. As a bonus, these changes declutter the workspace and aren’t that difficult to implement.
Keep the Water Flowing
Water is, of course, integral to any fitness plan, and proper hydration is important for maintaining a positive mood and promoting higher energy levels. Water coolers, like trash cans and printers, should be placed in a common location. But beyond centralization, office water stations have an added benefit in terms of encouraging movement. Good hydration increases the cadence of restroom breaks, which gets people out of their chairs even more.
Use Walking Meetings
While the sedentary statue of Rodin’s “The Thinker” is an iconic figure, movement actually helps the brain work better than hours of sitting. Thus, curbing the dreaded rambling meeting (something about sinking into chairs seems to anchor people in that mode) should be a top priority. Stand-up meetings are a good step in the right direction, but taking it a step further — literally — means that you can cover the necessary ground while remaining succinct and precise.
Walking meetings, in which teams stroll around the office to discuss business, provide a major emotional boost and drive enlivened and creative thinking. Plus, these meetings can be done even during a blizzard, leaving workers feeling energized when they return to their workspaces to implement the ideas discussed.
Lead by Example
Employees look to leadership to set the mood and culture of the organization, and that’s just as true for the culture of physical activity at your workplace. Beyond the strategies mentioned above for promoting an active workspace, you can tailor the culture of your organization around activity.
Set up company walking clubs or stair clubs and be a proud member, take part in any health screenings or flu shots, make exercise convenient by allocating workout time throughout the day, or challenge your colleagues to report their personal bests for daily steps taken by using pedometers. These practices can all be undertaken in the spirit of camaraderie, and they’re a great way to not only encourage physical activity, but also to foster team dynamics.
Winter isn’t a time for business stagnation, so why should it be a time for employee stagnation? By centralizing essential items, promoting good hydration and physical engagement, and leading actively, you can cultivate an active workspace that staves off the cold weather slump while increasing productivity and morale. Winter can be an exciting start to the new year, so step up and get your people going.
https://talentculture.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/4-Ways-to-Encourage-Active-Healthy-Teams-in-Winter.jpg653980Jason McCannhttps://talentculture.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/TCLogo_web-272x60-1.pngJason McCann2018-02-21 07:00:172020-05-04 15:19:464 Ways to Encourage Active, Healthy Teams in Winter
The mental calm of yoga may seem out of place in the bustling world of organizational leadership, but author Tarra Mitchell says yoga is just what leaders need —a break from the action so they can focus on refreshing themselves and being better leaders.
Her approach focuses on a yoga teaching that divides a person into five aspects: physical, energy, mind, knowledge and bliss. Supporting every aspect in balance can help leaders be more effective at work and get more out of life.
“Leaders are neither inspiring nor productive when they’re feeling depleted, depressed, stressed or anxious,” Mitchell says. “They feel like they’ve lost a sense of meaning or purpose and are merely checking boxes.” The TalentCulture team talked to Mitchell about how to use wellness to boost productivity.
Accept the Connection Between Wellness and Productivity
According to the CDC Foundation, workplace illnesses, injuries, absenteeism and sick employees at work cost U.S. employers billions of dollars each year, averaging out to more than $1,600 per employee. But focusing on health and well-being can turn that around: Employees at one company who took part in a free, voluntary wellness program saw their health improve and improved productivity by 10 percent — 11 percent among those with medical conditions. Most notably, already healthy workers whose health did not improve still boosted productivity by 6 percent.
Leaders may downplay personal wellness because they feel they need to be working all the time, Mitchell says. But being “on” all the time only leads to burnout. “We know we need to have a little more balance in our lives, but it’s all about connecting productivity to the bottom line. Leadership has to be convinced of that. It’s hard to deny that personal well-being and having a team that feels good is not better for the organization.”
Dedicate Time to Taking Care of Yourself
The biggest challenge for leaders is finding time to make well-being a priority, Mitchell says. “It’s hard to connect when your mind is preoccupied and you’re distracted,” she says. “Time is always going to be a barrier, especially for leaders who have so many different people pulling them in many different directions.”
Change happens slowly, so start by scheduling time for yourself on your calendar. Think about what it means to you to be physically healthy, Mitchell says, as well as what it means to have high energy in your life and how you might work on feeling more calm. If you work for a change-averse organization, taking this time may be a bigger challenge, but Mitchell says it’s important if you want to reap the benefits.
Serve as an Example
Leaders who prioritize their well-being can serve as an example for the rest of their team, Mitchell says. Talking about the changes you’re making in your life to take care of yourself can inspire others on your team to do the same. “It all trickles down from leadership,” Mitchell says.
As you continue on your well-being journey, ensure that people on your team who may be inspired by you have the flexibility to make changes for themselves. “If you want to have some kind of scalable change, it needs to happen at a leadership level,” Mitchell says.
https://talentculture.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/wellness-and-productivity-1.jpg550980TalentCulture Teamhttps://talentculture.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/TCLogo_web-272x60-1.pngTalentCulture Team2018-01-30 10:06:412018-02-15 14:48:04One Way to Improve Productivity: Focus on Wellness
Health and wellness extends far beyond preventing the spread of germs in the office during cold and flu season. It is a combination of keeping your mind, body and mental wellbeing in good standing to reach a higher level of productivity. Companies should prioritize the general health and wellness of their employees because it can impact productivity and the bottom line.
Recent research indicates that the availability of a wellness program is a selling point when looking for a new job, but many indicate their workplace doesn’t offer one.
On this week’s #WorkTrends podcast and Twitter chat, Host Meghan M. Biro and our special guest Jenya Adler from Staples Business Advantage, discussed health and wellness in the office.
Here are a few key points Jenya shared:
A wellness program is more than just fitness plan. It takes into account the whole employee.
Break rooms are the heart of the office. Make them a place people want to gather.
Let your employees know it’s ok to work from home and recharge when they are sick.
You can also check out the highlights of the conversation from our Storify here:
Didn’t make it to this week’s #WorkTrends show? Don’t worry, you can tune in and participate in the podcast and chat with us every Wednesday from 1-2pm ET (10-11am PT). Next week, on Sept 21, host Meghan M. Biro will be joined by Greg Besner, CEO of Culture IQ, to discuss how to layer business data and culture data.
The TalentCulture #WorkTrends conversation continues every day across several social media channels. Stay up-to-date by following the #WorkTrends Twitter stream; pop into our LinkedIn group to interact with other members; or check out our Google+ community. Engage with us any time on our social networks, or stay current with trending World of Work topics on our website or through our weekly email newsletter.
Recent research indicates that the availability of a wellness program is a selling point when looking for a new job, but many indicate their workplace doesn’t offer one. In a wellness program, employees report they’re looking for fresh foods, onsite gyms and other perks that help improve health and fitness. Additionally, employees want their kitchen, lounge, café or break room to be well-stocked.
Join Host Meghan M. Biro and our special guest from Staples and its business-to-business arm, Staples Business Advantage (@StaplesB2B), to discuss health and wellness in the office. Jenya Adler, director of workplace strategy for Staples Business Advantage, helps businesses explore how they work, and how they want to work.
This show is guaranteed to be an informative and practical conversation about how to improve the health and wellness of your workforce.
#WorkTrends on Twitter — Wednesday, Sept 14 — 1:30 pm ET / 10:30 am PT
Immediately following the podcast, the team invites the TalentCulture community over to the #WorkTrends Twitter stream to continue the discussion. We encourage everyone with a Twitter account to participate as we gather for a live chat, focused on these related questions:
I give you a fair wage. I give you competitive benefits. I give you a safe workspace. I give you freedom to work at home, and innovative tools to communicate. I give you beer bashes and company events. I give you a professional title. I give you a team, a staff, a department. I give you the work you love.
But it’s just not enough, is it? It’s never enough. You just keeping taking, and taking, and taking.
What else can I do? What’s that? Oh, I see. It’s not you, it’s me — is that it?
Talk Is Cheap
Even the most gracious, modest employers can develop this kind of benevolent hubris. But competition for top talent is continuing to heat up, and people are losing interest in luke-warm relationships with their employers. Combine that with the fact that the world of work is getting more stressful for us all — from CEO to freelancer — with blurred lines between professional and personal life.
Here’s the good news: Less than 2% of respondents say they hate their company and want out. Even better, 75% say they either “love” their company because it’s a great place to work, or they feel “pretty good” about it. At first blush, that looks like a win for employers. But here’s the rub — only 25% of respondents say they feel love in return.
This gap signals a major opportunity for companies to develop stronger relationships with their troops. But how? The same survey asked employees to rank what they wish mattered more to their employers:
• 44% my financial well-being • 40% my career development • 39% my work/life balance • 35% my emotional health (e.g. reducing stress) • 29% my overall well-being and quality of life.
You can see where this is going. Other recent research echoes these sentiments. We want a better life overall — and that doesn’t mean just more pay and health coverage. We want employers to invest in us as complete humans.
Two Ways To Connect
Yesterday’s #TChat conversation reinforced this understanding. The TalentCulture community got right to the heart of what motivates people in the workplace:
1) Aim Deeper: Surface perks like nap rooms, chair massages, and ice cream socials are nice, but there are more meaningful, practical options. People respond to things like flexibility to manage their schedule. They need to take care of business and family without compromising either — whether they work in a corporate office, at home, or both. They don’t want to feel guilty or take a financial hit when they’re tending to a family member’s health, or their own.
2) Aim Wider: People want to feel better about themselves while loving the work they do. They respond to programs and resources that improve their overall health and well-being — not just health club reimbursements, but onsite gyms and stress management support, healthy cafeteria options, even financial planning assistance. If they’re being asked to contribute “the total package” to their job, they want to know their employer has a similar commitment to therm.
So, Workforce Cupid, how do I love thee? Let me count the healthy ways. Happy Valentine’s Day.
#TChat Week-In-Review: Love Your Employees, They’ll Love You Back
See Chris Boyce discuss wellness and healthcare costs
#TChat Twitter: Immediately following the radio show, Meghan, Kevin, Chris and Kevin guests moved over to the #TChat Twitter stream, for an open all-hands conversation with the entire TalentCulture community. This dynamic discussion focused on 5 key questions about employee engagement issues and opportunities in today’s business environment.
See highlights from the Twitter stream the Storify slideshow below:
#TChat Insights: Does Your Workforce Feel The Love?
GRATITUDE: Thanks again to Chris Boyce and Kevin Herman for sharing your perspectives on the importance of driving employee engagement through wellness programs that serve the “whole” person. Your passion and perspectives are invaluable!
NOTE TO BLOGGERS: Did this week’s events prompt you to write about employee engagement strategies? We welcome your thoughts. Post a link on Twitter (include #TChat or @TalentCulture), or insert a comment below, and we’ll pass it along.
(Editor’s Note:CONGRATS to Paul Thoresen — winner of the recent Pebble smartwatch giveaway from Dice! And thanks to all the #TChat contributors who shared tech recruiting ideas and questions with Dice and #FutureofTech.)
https://talentculture.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/love-241204_1920-2.jpg352700Kevin W. Grossmanhttps://talentculture.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/TCLogo_web-272x60-1.pngKevin W. Grossman2014-02-13 14:33:582020-05-27 17:01:48Employee Engagement: Say It Like You Mean It #TChat Recap
Both of these executives see tremendous potential in strengthening employee loyalty and engagement by focusing on lifestyle fundamentals — health and well-being. Last year, Chris explained in a Bloomberg broadcast interview why it’s wise to invest in workforce wellness, especially in the face of rising healthcare costs and reduced benefits. Watch now:
Recently, Chris contributed a TalentCulture post expanding on this concept. In “Workplace Wellness: The Story Starts With Healthy Culture,” he makes the business case for embracing next-generation wellness programs — not just to promote employee health, but to build a more resilient business, overall.
What do you think about the importance of wellness programs and other employee engagement strategies in demonstrating employer “love”? This topic affects all of us in the world of work, so we hope you’ll join the #TChat crowd this week and add your perspective to the conversation.
#TChat Events: Love Your Employees, They’ll Love You Back
Immediately following the radio show, Meghan, Kevin and our guests will move to the #TChat Twitter stream, where we’ll continue the discussion with the entire TalentCulture community, in a dynamic live chat.
Everyone with a Twitter account is invited to participate, as we address these 5 related questions:
Q1: Why does workforce recognition and engagement matter more than ever? Q2: What are the best ways employers can demonstrate this kind of “love”? Q3: Where have you seen engagement in action, for better or worse? Q4: What technologies help nurture workforce engagement? Q5: What kind of engagement metrics are relevant and useful?
Throughout the week, we’ll keep the discussion going on the #TChat Twitter feed, and on our newG+ community. So feel free to drop by anytime and share your questions, ideas and opinions.
We’ll see you on the stream!
https://talentculture.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/ChrisB.jpg315631Tim McDonaldhttps://talentculture.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/TCLogo_web-272x60-1.pngTim McDonald2014-02-08 19:55:392020-05-27 17:01:04Does Your Workforce Feel The Love? #TChat Preview
(Editor’s Note: Chris Boyce is one of our featured guests at #TChat Events Wednesday, Feb 12, 2014. Join us to discuss employee engagement issues! See details in the preview post: “Does Your Workforce Feel the Love?“)
At first glance, these initiatives appeared to be falling far short of the mark. But (as is so often the case) headlines only tell a tiny slice of the story. To find the truth, we must look beneath the surface.
Traditional wellness has struggled because it overlooks a critical issue — telling employees how to act is not the same thing as empowering employees to make their own healthy behavioral choices, and supporting them along the way. In short, for workforce wellness to gain a meaningful foothold and make a lasting impact, culture must come first.
How can companies accomplish this mission? In theory, it’s simple. But in reality, it can be a challenge. Developing a culture-first mentality means focusing on employees’ Total Quality of Life — including physical, mental, social, emotional, and financial health. It’s not just about convincing them to join a weight loss program or complete an annual HRA. It’s about connecting with them in ways that put lifestyle changes within easy reach, and encouraging them support one another through the process of transformation.
Creating a culture geared toward Total Quality of Life requires solutions that are engaging, social and fun, so employees naturally weave them into daily activity. It means moving beyond traditional wellness boundaries by connecting participants with a highly available online platform. It means providing “anytime” access to smart tools and resources that comfortably fit into an employee’s world — making it simple, interactive and rewarding to choose healthier options on a continuous basis.
Success Factors: Walking The Walk
Download the related Pulse Paper now
Every Total Quality of Life strategy should incorporate healthy goals as foundational elements. For example, it’s essential to encourage nutritious eating habits and regular physical activity. But it’s also important for employers to demonstrate commitment to those goals by offering things like healthy cafeteria options and access to onsite workout facilities, so employees can easily integrate these choices into their daily routine.
Other elements can take Total Quality of Life even further. For example, classes that help employees establish and manage a 401k, or learn smart retirement savings strategies demonstrate an even deeper commitment to workforce well-being. The result? The more employers invest in employees’ personal and professional growth, the more committed, engaged and productive those employees will be. In short, a holistic approach is a wise investment in future business performance.
Measurable Improvement: It’s A Matter Of Time
Of course, cultural shifts take time. But they’re far more effective if employees believe you care about them — not just as “human resources,” but as whole humans. Employer commitment is key. Once employees move forward with wellness objectives, and begin to reach early milestones, they’ll start feeling better about themselves. Soon, personal achievements like weight loss or community volunteer involvement begin translating into direct payoffs at work. You’ll see more passion, creativity, and focus on the job. And when you reinforce these positive outcomes, it will lead to even more ambitious objectives.
Rewriting The Wellness Story
What headlines you should expect for Wellness 2.0? This next-generation approach to wellness, focused on Total Quality of Life, is helping companies shift their approach to a culture of continuous engagement. So keep looking for stories of individual and business transformation, fueled by more productive, loyal employees. Those stories are real, and ready to be told.
(About the Author: Chris Boyce is CEO of Virgin Pulse. He is an accomplished technology entrepreneur who brings more than 15 years of consumer loyalty, enterprise and consumer software experience to Virgin Pulse. Leveraging Virgin’s philosophy that business should be a force for good, Chris’ leadership has been instrumental in guiding Virgin Pulse’s development of market-leading, technology-based products and services that help employers improve workforce health, boost employee engagement, and enhance corporate culture. Chris has an MBA from Harvard Business School. Connect with him on LinkedIn or Twitter.)
https://talentculture.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/267437_7416-2.jpg349700TalentCulture Team + Guestshttps://talentculture.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/TCLogo_web-272x60-1.pngTalentCulture Team + Guests2013-11-24 16:40:292020-05-27 16:34:11Workplace Wellness: The Story Starts With Healthy Culture
Fortunately, there are ways to turn this around. Research and real-world examples reveal that when employees are encouraged to develop in mind, body and spirit, they become more focused, productive and committed to their work. It sounds like common sense, but putting it into practice can be a challenge.
So, what’s the secret? How can business and HR leaders more fully engage employees through cultures that celebrate the “whole person”?
• Build a compelling case for “total quality of life” initiatives; • Create a winning employee empowerment strategy; • Drive authentic engagement across the workforce.
Register for the webinar now
“Igniting employee passion and performance should be within every company’s reach.” Meghan says. “We’re thrilled to work side-by-side with Virgin Pulse in helping business leaders learn from one another about how to successfully transform their cultures. It’s all about changing lives for good — across the world of work.”
https://talentculture.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/SaveImagejpg-2.jpg350700TalentCulture Team + Guestshttps://talentculture.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/TCLogo_web-272x60-1.pngTalentCulture Team + Guests2013-10-23 08:28:512020-05-27 16:27:11Empowering Employees in 3D: Webinar with Virgin Pulse
Nearly four years ago, we launched TalentCulture on a simple premise — that talent-minded professionals can transform the “world of work” through purposeful social connections. Our vibrant community continues to grow and evolve, fueled by three core values:
In this spirit we welcome Virgin Pulse to the TalentCulture circle — where we’ll work hand-in-hand to help develop better business organizations from the inside out.
Virgin Pulse — Not Your Father’s Wellness Program
Learn more about Virgin Pulse
Part of Sir Richard Branson’s famed Virgin Group, Virgin Pulse (formerly Virgin HealthMiles) is the leading workplace health engagement platform. Every day, its “Total Quality of Life” approach empowers more than 1,000,000 participants to improve their health in ways that are meaningful, fun and sustainable. This elevates employee performance and retention, while simultaneously building stronger, more resilient organizations.
The Virgin Pulse philosophy fits naturally with TalentCulture’s emphasis on “seeing employees in 3D.” Together, we aim to advance the concept of “bringing your whole self to work.”
Everybody Plays — Everybody Wins!
What does this alliance mean for you? In the months ahead, look for TalentCulture and Virgin Pulse to:
• Examine core engagement issues facing today’s business and HR leaders;
• Investigate the connection between healthy employees and business performance;
• Exchange benchmarks and insights from our respective communities;
• Share thought leadership that is shaping engagement standards and practices.
Today’s organizational challenges are highly complex. There are no easy answers, but diverse ideas can lead to innovative solutions. That’s why we welcome everyone to the TalentCulture table — including HR technology and services vendors. We believe that this inclusive environment encourages effective problem solving, and accelerates everyone’s path to progress.
Our relationship with Virgin Pulse promises to add an exciting new level of depth and energy to the TalentCulture conversation. We invite you to join us each day on our combined social channels, as we explore workplace issues that affect us all.
(Editor’s Note: Save the date for a very special #TChat double-header (BlogTalk Radio interview and Twitter chat) with Virgin Pulse CEO, Chris Boyce on Wednesday, October 23!)
https://talentculture.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/2913346926_c002550eed_o.jpg351700TalentCulture Team + Guestshttps://talentculture.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/TCLogo_web-272x60-1.pngTalentCulture Team + Guests2013-10-07 16:30:062020-05-25 18:02:13Virgin Pulse + TalentCulture Team Up To Champion Workforce Engagement
(Editor’s Note: All of us in the TalentCulture community mourn the loss of our dear friend, brilliant colleague and mindful mentor, Judy Martin, who passed away unexpectedly on January 31, 2014. Her message and her life are a lesson for us all. We will forever fondly remember her humor, warmth and wisdom.)
The TalentCulture World of Work community was rockin the Twitter stream yesterday, as #TChat-ters tackled the elusive quest for work-life balance. But before we delve into the pearls of wisdom that emerged from the chat, I’m happy to report some community news.
There’s an evolution taking place in the overall scope and reach of TalentCulture, as we move forward into our 3rd year. It’s not just about our popular Wednesday night Twitter chats, anymore. You may be noticing more content and channel choices, along with increased social media momentum. This action is purposeful – intended to add value for every one of us who participates in the weekly chats. We hope this enriches your community experience, and inspires you to invite others to participate. The more the merrier – and the richer, more diverse and more rewarding everyone’s experience will be.
Finally yesterday, we fired up our Twitter engines for a dynamic discussion (as always) on the #TChat stream.
NOTE: To see specific highlights from yesterday’s “work life balance” #TChat session, watch the Storify slideshow at the end of this post.
Click to hear this week’s #TChat Radio interview
The #TChat crew came out of the gate with a discussion on how we track competing priorities in today’s social world and the types of HR technology that are crucial for prioritizing and relationship building. How do we use technology to separate the wheat from the chaff, and infuse meaning into our relationships without drowning in sensory overload?
Multiple people mentioned Yammer – a tool that makes it possible for businesses to create their own social networking sites and incorporate tools to help streamline workflows. This seems to be a big favorite for organizing technology and communications, although some said Yammer isn’t fully understood yet, and its capacity to organize still seems to be unfolding.
Most surprising, when speaking about planning and organizing ideas, classic paper “sticky notes” entered the discussion. It provided a chuckle and an interesting application of caveman like ideas melding with technology. Other ideas for ways to better manage workload and minimize stress included the simplicity of saying “no” to something that will only bring stress with it, and the need to recognize and respond when poor planning and others’ decisions have a direct impact your work.
A resounding proportion of contributors agreed that we are humans who are deeply connected “in real time” with and through our mobile devices. Many extolled the virtues of virtual work environments and tools. For example, social media phone apps truly make life more livable, with work at our fingertips. But what constitutes smart usage? How do we control what I call the “expectation of instant gratification” when that bell tolls on the phone?
That led to the idea that too often, we get caught up in business demands and lose sight of the “people” part of the work equation. Perhaps it is possible to enjoy a superior quality of life and still be productive. This prompted discussion around balancing our working and living experience with more consciousness. How? Lots of talk about meditation, deep breathing (which I endorse, as you can see in the attached video), and taking time to move beyond the virtual realm and meet work contacts in person.
Staying focused is a skill, but being mindful of the choices we make is also a decision. Sometimes, the very technology that connects us also allows just enough separation between work and family so that we can accomplish several goals from both worlds, almost simultaneously.
The question is, how far can we push that without suffering the downside consequences of multitasking? Ah, now that’s the ontological question of our #TChat times. And each of us is ultimately responsible for finding the best answer for our skills, sensibility and situation. The answer is not just about external tools, structure and processes. Ultimately, the answer comes from within.
# # #
NOTE: To see specific highlights from yesterday’s “work life balance” #TChat session, watch the Storify slideshow at the end of this post.
SPECIAL THANKS from TalentCulture to Judy Martin (who also wrote the recap above) and Cali Williams Yost – the stars of this week’s #TChat triple-header” (Google Hangout – BlogTalkRadio – Twitter Chat). You bring passion and insight to every interaction. Thanks for your commitment and contributions to our community!
NOTE TO BLOGGERS: If this #TChat session inspired you to write about social learning or the value of work life balance, we’re happy to share your thoughts. Just post a link on Twitter (at #TChat or @TalentCulture), or insert a comment below, and we’ll add it to our archives. There are many voices in this community, with many ideas worth sharing. Let’s capture as many of them as possible.
(Editor’s Note: All of us in the TalentCulture community mourn the loss of our dear friend, brilliant colleague and mindful mentor, Judy Martin, who passed away unexpectedly on January 31, 2014. Her message and her life are a lesson for us all. Below is the first post Judy contributed to our blog. This reflects her spirit, which is captured in an extensive body of work across multiple media outlets and social channels. We will forever fondly remember Judy’s warmth, wisdom and humor.)
Hello, TalentCulture Community. My name is Judy Martin, and I am the newest addition to the team. Below is my latest post from my blog. I am very excited to be a contributor and look forward to what’s ahead!
I’m only human despite being a self-proclaimed work life pundit. Fess-up time. My life has been less about the work life merge, and more about life and survival lately. As an entrepreneur and freelance journalist navigating a sudden health care mishap, for a time I felt like the gal looks to your left; cloistered and wrapped in my own stuff, due to sudden partial facial paralysis. Now in the healing process, I’m hoping that this post might help others as work life flexibility was the greatest key to moving forward.
I had entered The Dark Night of the Soul, as the 16th century Mystic, Saint John of the Cross wrote about. No where to go but inside and surrender to the moment. Such a seclusion is simply the norm of human nature whilst enduring such episodes.
But even in this rapture of emotional turmoil I was reminded of the words of American Buddhist nun Pema Chodron, the author of When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times…
If we’re willing to give up hope that insecurity and pain can be exterminated, then we can have the courage to relax with the groundlessness of our situation. This is the first step on the path. Without giving up hope that there’s somewhere betterto be, that there is someone better to be – we will never relax with where we are or who we are.
This is called radical acceptance; but it’s in the moment – and that moment changes as healing emerges. As we hit the depths of the chaotic waters of our being, some aberration occurs that shifts our perspective. For me, it was the realization that despite my appearance, I had a story to share that might help others in similar circumstances whose career was on the line. I could not appear on Tv for a while, could barely see out of one eye, suffered with headaches and exhaustion – and had to completely change my working scenario for nearly two months. But, there was a story.
I’ll spare you the gory and painful details. What happened is less important than how I dealt with it, toward maintaining some sort of work life balance. I haven’t blogged much because the collision of side effects was daunting. It was hard to get out of bed, let alone see. My work-life social media community checked in – from time-to-time – inquiring about the lapse in posting to my Work Life Nation blog. Soon the questions were building like a house of cards about to tumble.
“Haven’t seen you on Twitter, what’s going on?”
“Sent you that book a while back, do you still plan to review it?”
“It seems impossible to get a lunch date with you. Why do you keep rescheduling?”
“You have cancelled three major work life conferences. Fess up.”
Surrendering to the Human Condition and Fessing Up
No – I wasn’t dying. But there were no guarantees the malady would not leave me with scars of paralysis or other issues. So…after some prodding by colleagues, I felt an obligation to share how I navigated the intersection of work life and sudden illness. After all, that’s what I signed up to do here at Judy Martin’s Work Life Nation, although it’s been more like Work Sleep Nation for a while.
I knew upon the occurrence that I was dealing with what could last a few weeks – to a potentially long term, even life-altering disability or deformity. My response involved lots of crying, surrender to the situation and then my survival instincts kicked in. I’ve been a reporter for 20-plus years and I was going to systematically figure out the fastest track toward healing while mustering up enough energy to work; albeit that workload was cut by 50-75% in the first few weeks of the illness. The first lesson – my work life scenario had to change and I had to adopt an even more flexible working model for the short term.
7 Keys for the Work Life Merge when Navigating Illness
This sudden illness brought me to my knees and forced me to tap a deep inner strength that coddled my sanity along the way. I sat down and gave thought to the most important priorities, everything else was put on the back burner in stages. There was no choice but to merge the work life scenario and become even more flexible that I was before. It meant taking only certain assignments, even if they didn’t pay as well. Planning naps every day – twice a day. And somehow fitting in doctors visits twice a week. As an independent contractor, I govern my work in a flexible manner. But suddenly, my workload and income was contingent on how well I was healing – and healing was contingent on how much cash I could spend on extra procedures (such as acupuncture) to heal faster. Catch 22. So I made ground rules.
Key #1: At all costs, health comes first: Even if it means dipping deeper into the bank account for a short period of time or asking for outside help.
Key #2: Keep stress levels to a minimum, and get plenty of sleep. Stress deters the healing process. Plain and simple.
Key #3: Financial Stability: As an independent contractor, cash flow might slow down – but it can’t stop.I had to take on less strenuous freelance work for the short term.
Key #4: Maintain business relationships: Check in with major clients to be sure everything is up to snuff. If you can’t get it done, delegate. Do you have a cache of colleagues you can call upon to help out short term?
Key #5: Transparency and communication: Close friends need to know what’s happening and important clients or your workplace should be informed to a degree.
Key #6: Understand your health options and insurance coverage: Read the fine print in the doctors office, ask questions and get a second opinion. Getting the wrong medication, having an unnecessary procedure, or not knowing the consequences of a health care choice eats into recovery time. I ran into all three conundrums.
Key #7: Inquire about your workplace guidelines regarding illness: Every workplace is different. Read up on the Family Leave Act and ask your Human Resources department about your options. Some companies have their own policies for long-time employees. What are the consequences of taking a leave of absence or time off without pay? If your management is receptive, ask about more flexible working arrangements. Most of all be honest about what you can and can not do.
The 5 Rules for Engaging on the Grid when Navigating Illness
Due to this health issue I had to head off the grid to recover while working in spurts. My blogging stopped, my Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn updates were no more than sporadic. But I tried to check in at least once a week and made an effort to read a few articles or other blogs a few times a week. But participating in “the grid” was important to fuel business, my brand and my work life content, so I had to manage my time efficiently during the little time that I was functioning with my eye open. Here were some rules that I instituted:
Rule #1: Determine how many hours a day you can work on the grid. Give yourself a limit.
Rule#2: The hours that you are able to work should be spent on goal-oriented projects not web surfing unless research is part of your responsibilities.
Rule#3: To keep my presence on-line, I scheduled a few blog posts to hit a few times a month. These were evergreen posts that could be run at any time – but I could not keep up and should have adopted the following rule sooner than I did.
Rule #4: Call on your social media community in your niche. You’ll find support in that group and they might be willing to do guest posts while you are recovering.
Rule #5: Use an aggregator like Hooter or TubeMogul to post to Twitter, LinkeIn and FaceBook simultaneously.
A Conscious Approach to Recovery and Enduring Work Life Hell
I think the most important key to recovery is to find some serenity in the healing process. Sometimes we’re brought to our knees in tragedy, but how we endure that journey can either speed up our recovery or render it more daunting. My greatest gift this lifetime is that I’ve paid attention to the chaotic episodes I’ve endured in my work life and health, and have turned them into learning experiences. As such, I cultivate resilience through meditation, contemplation and exercise daily. A regular practice to cultivate serenity gives you a bit of an edge when tragedy hits. But that’s an individual choice.
Illness can break one down. It’s very important to be kind to ourselves when we get sick. We tend to beat ourselves up. At its core, health care issues force change. Unwanted change takes us out of our comfort zone and makes us vulnerable to our own self critical thinking and the judgment of others. Such challenges may erode our patience and ego, but inevitably, conquering them leads to growth.
When faced with illness how do you manage your work life merge? What do you do when you get so sick that working takes a backseat?Please share your wisdom!