News flash: Your company is literally throwing money down the drain by not focusing on employee wellness. If you’re not intentionally focused on the health and wellness of your employees, it’s literally costing you tens – if not hundreds – of thousands of dollars a year. Your employees are getting sicker because of it and profits are going down the drain.
According to the CDC, employee absenteeism (taking the day off when you’re sick) costs American corporations $1,685 per employee in productivity. The numbers aren’t much better either for presenteeism (staying at work when you’re sick). The Harvard Business Review has found that employees who show up to work while not well result in two-thirds the total cost of employee illness. Not to mention the fact that many illnesses are contagious and can spread from Sarah in Accounting to Michael in Marketing just because they’ve touched the same door handle – yuck!
So often we immediately default to physical challenges and dietary lifestyle changes when we think about employee wellness initiatives but it’s time to upgrade our thinking. These days, it’s not a lack of physical exercise that is the biggest hurdle to employee wellness and it’s not the fact that the break room isn’t stocked with apples and oranges. No, it’s the stress we feel at work that causes employees across the country to cope with unhealthy habits.
How many times have you sat on the couch with pizza and wings for a weekend of Netflix binging because you needed to forget about the incredibly stressful challenges you’ve faced at work? How much has your waistline expanded since your last promotion – or since you launched your company – due to the exhausting pressure you feel to perform? You’re not alone.
The stress elephant in the room can be avoided no longer. We can no longer pretend that the proper response to ailing and demotivated employees at work is smoothies and step challenges. We need to reengineer the way we work and the expectations we have about work. We need to be intentional about creating an atmosphere where people feel mentally free and confident in their ability to stop and take a breather from time to time.
Here are a few helpful employee wellness tips to make your organization less stressful and more healthy and productive:
1. Encouraging Employees to Take Vacation
If we want to create an atmosphere of employee wellness, we have to encourage our employees to come up for air from time to time and take vacation. It doesn’t matter if that time away from work is spent at home decompressing or traveling to a new city, employees need vacations to reset and recharge their mental battery. A recent study by Project: Time Off revealed that Americans take a whole week less of vacation per year verse what Americans took off in 1978. Could you imagine what you’d do with an additional week of time spent with family and friends or adding cool pictures to your Instagram? I guarantee you’d be a much more refreshed and focused individual while at work and your employees would too.
Yoga. Meditation. Prayer. No matter your employee’s pathway towards reaching zen, it’s a worthwhile pursuit for you to encourage and celebrate. In a recent Business, Life, and Coffee podcast interview with Yoga Master Michael Kohan, we spoke about the vital role that mindfulness plays on awareness, engagement and productivity. Between the fights we have with our spouses before work this morning to the project deadline that looms ahead of us, we have many thoughts that compete for our attention during the day. Having the presence of mind to capture these thoughts and be present in whatever moment we are in is extremely powerful.
Behind the smile of every Type-A personality is the unbearable stress of a seemingly unmanageable workload. Okay, so that might not be true but Type-A personality often take work very seriously and display hostile and aggressive behavior that doesn’t work well in a small team environment. Scientist have produced study after study that show Type-A personalities get that way due to increased stress and that stress can be deadly. Take the image below:
The chart shows Type-A behavioral patterns as a direct implication of home and work stress. Left unresolved, this behavior can contribute to physical manifestations of health challenges, low engagement, and lack of concentration. This behavior is exponentially toxic when displayed in a manager of people. I guarantee that there is a strong link between employees who “join organizations but leave bosses” who exhibit Type-A behavior and lash out on their teams.
If someone on your team has Type-A behavioral patterns, it’s time to speak up. What if we saw Type-A personality not as a badge of honor, but a sign that it’s time to pump the brakes a bit and take some time off? I’m sure your employees would benefit greatly from this approach.
These are just a few innovative ways you can increase mental and physical well-being at work. Employee wellness is not just about physical fitness but it’s also about mental health, focus, and clarity of mind.
Got another employee wellness tip to share? Comment below.
If there’s one thing I’m sure you enjoy as a small business owner or manager, it’s keeping up with changes in Washington and the impact it has on your business and your ability to hire new employees. Don’t worry, Jumpstart;HR, LLC has you covered with the latest update you need to know.
On July 17, 2017, The USCIS (U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services) released the new Form I-9, replacing the current version that expires on September 17, 2017. Not sure if you’re using the most recent, or second-most recent, document? Skip the worry and download the latest version by clicking the link below:
There are many reasons why small businesses suffer financial setbacks, but a big one is HR non-compliance when completing paperwork (see the video below). You can ensure you’re on the right path of compliance by constantly reviewing your forms and deleting old, expired on-boarding and new hire forms. This includes tax documents, employment verification documents, and other statutory forms specific to your state.
At Jumpstart:HR, LLC, we’re passionate about keeping your business in business and helping you grow. Be sure to subscribe to our newsletter so you can be kept in the loop about changes in legislation and HR best practices.
What is Form I-9?:
Form I-9 is used for verifying the identity and employment authorization of individuals hired for employment in the United States. All U.S. employers must ensure proper completion of Form I-9 for each individual they hire for employment in the United States. This includes citizens and non-citizens. Source: https://www.uscis.gov/i-9
Need help with HR Compliance and on-boarding employees at your organization?
An excerpt from a recent Expert HR leader interview of Jumpstart:HR CEO Joey V. Price:
What are some of the recent compliance issues that are causing small businesses to alter their HR practices and procedures? The false-start on overtime compliance regulation changes, potential minimum wage hikes, and the national conversation on immigration reform have small business HR experts on the edge of our seats trying to strategize for what comes next.
I was recently asked by eFinancialCareers.com “what should a person do if a job offer is put on hold?” Here is what I shared:
If a job offer is put on hold, I suggest the following:
Follow up with a note of thanks that emphasizes the value that you add to the organization. Sometimes it helps to show that the ROI of offering you a job is more beneficial to the employer than the cost savings of not offering the job at all.
Suggest a temp-to-perm or contractor role on a trial basis. This is your best way to get your foot in the door. TTP and Contractors offer a direct cost-savings vs a full-time employee because they are not paid benefits and do not count towards an employers mandatory employer tax burdens. While this may not be an ideal way to start off, it secures income and allows you to perform on the job rather than not having the job at all. Consider it like one of those 30-Day Money Back Guarantees that we see so much on TV these days. Their risk is minimize and you can really excel if you save the employer while they are in a pinch.
Continue pursuing other opportunities. Until you have a firm offer, you don’t have a job. It is in your best interest to continue to pursue other job opportunities because you never know – something better may come along and/or the current offer may fall through.
Just as a bonus…
Why job offers are put on hold:
Hiring Manager is still unsure that you are the best fit for the job (or they may still be unsure about what they want from the person in the role).
The company is considering re-aligning internally and want to give their experiment time to catch on or not.
You have a snag in your references or background check (if this is the case then I suggest looking for a new position especially if they uncover a lie or some other misleading information about what you have previously communicated to them).
The company wants to wait until a new fiscal season to ensure budget allows bringing someone on.
There’s a gift and a curse behind all of your success in life and leadership. What got you to this point in your life and your career should be celebrated but it should also be challenged. Learn to challenge the good and bad parts about your development as a person and as a leader so that you aren’t hindered from growing to the next step.
Self Reflection. I have come to find in my HR career that there were certain traits that I had to acquire in order for me to be successful at the next stage even though I may not have had them or been good at them when I first reached the next step. For example, before serving a four-month term as an interim HR director for a 1,200 employee, multi-state organization, I was terrified of delivering bad news. I hated to be the bearer of bad news because I wanted to always be liked. However, wanting to be liked in the workplace sometimes has to come secondary to keeping the integrity of the workplace in tact and heck, even keeping your job! When counseling managers and employees (who were all older than me by the way) I had to get over my anxiety of leading individuals older than me. Had I not overcome these fears I wouldn’t have been able to serve in the capacity that I did and our business would’ve suffered as a a result.
Fixing What Was Needed to be Fixed. If I had not been able to deliver bad news, personnel problems could have gone from minor infractions to monstrous catastrophes. Yes, I may have been elevated to that position due do a combination of education, having proven myself in the workplace and circumstance, but there were still things I needed to become better at in order to step into the role and not fail miserably. Never underestimate the need to grow to respond to new challenges.
If you are stuck in a rut or have hit a plateau then perhaps you should change things up a bit and do everything you’ve never done.
Here are a few suggestions:
If you’ve been a talker, start listening. If you are a leader, there’s a strong chance that your followers who have something to say about your leadership. There’s probably good and probably bad. Ask your team members about your progress as a leader and see what they say as your positives and negatives.
If you’ve been slow to action, speed up. Organizations and departments on the move can only move as fast as their leadership. If you’re the type to cautiously and meticulously analyze decisions, try pulling the trigger a little bit sooner. The problem with mulling over a decision too much is that you can actually talk yourself out of a really good plan or opportunity. Paralysis by analysis is real. Take some chances and see what happens!
If you’re a micromanager or task hoarder, loosen up. If this is your mode of operation and you have been successful, I have great news – life gets so much better when you loosen up! It’s a better use of your time to teach people how to do things than trying to do them yourself. Trust your team members to do a good job, coach them, and set up quality assurance measures so that you can go on to do more leadership activity for your team.
If you want to be liked, ask yourself why. This one obviously personal but maybe you can relate. You will need to realize that whether or not someone likes you, you still have to do your job effectively. Of course not everyone is going to like “bad news” or like “change” but if it is better for them and for the organization then you must do what it takes to ensure that everyone’s best interest is taken care of.
These are just a few things to help get you started. Work with your team and a consultant to discover your leadership blind spots. It will save you time and money in the long run and even allow your team to flourish in all the ways that you might have been holding them back.
Here are a few takeaways:
Leadership Takeaway: Never be afraid to challenge every aspect of your leadership toolkit. Your team members can help you figure out blind spots that may be holding you back and sweet spots that need to be sharpened. Learn the difference between the two and adjust accordingly.
HR Takeaway: Employee engagement is tied to their response to leadership. Ensure feedback channels are open and effective to help increase productivity, motivation and retention.
Professional Development Takeaway: Learn to lead by understanding that the key to leadership is understand how to motivate people and get them to produce results. As you grow in your career, be conscious of the different factors that motivate different types of colleagues.