Addressing Mental Health in the Workplace

Addressing Mental Health in the Workplace

I wish people could understand that the brain is the most important organ of our body. Just because you can’t see mental heath issues like you could see a broken bone, doesn’t mean it’s not as detrimental or devastating to a family or an individual.

Demi Lovato

Mental Health: The Facts

Mental health should be treated as a primary concern to us, as individuals, as much as it should be to organisations around the world. The reasons for this are quite simple, yet heart-breaking, in many ways. As Natasha Bach commented in her Fortune.com article, illness in the workplace is more common than you might think.

 

As WHO (World Health Organisation) articulates, more than 300 million people suffer from depression (a leading cause of disability) and a recent WHO-led study estimates that depression and anxiety disorders cost the global economy US$1 trillion annually in lost productivity.

 

lost-productivity-mental-health-issues

Depression is an illness that not only debilitates, but also causes huge productivity losses at work.

 

Allow those staggering numbers to sit with you for a while.

 

Let’s take a look at two Malaysian stories that made headlines recently. First, a 15 year old girl who was supposed to take her PT3 examination and was found dead at her apartment block in Penang – she had fallen to her death from her 11th floor unit, leaving behind four letters. It’s not the first time we have heard of similar incidents and yes, children too are subject to and have to manage stress. Second, a manager at a reputable telco was suspended after a video of her flaring up at employees went viral on social media.

 

In both these situations, mental health was obviously in question. Whether the parties involved were under significant pressure and stress or facing untold challenges, the end result was horrific. Further, what is even more compelling about this, is that situations like these do not only affect the person in question – it affects all those around – colleagues, subordinates, leaders and families.

 

What Can Employers Do?

As organisations, what are we supposed to do and what can we do? As it turns out, a lot.

 

As organisations, we do have certain responsibilities towards the people who work for us, but it is a quid pro quo situation. Our people devote the best hours of their days to us and in return, we treat them as they deserve to be treated. We support, we mentor, we teach, and generally, we help our talent to do the best job they can so that we, as organisations, are able to drive forward, achieve our targets and deliver the products and services we believe in.

 

mental-health-support-programs

Employers can provide counseling for workers at risk of mental health issues. Peer support programs can make a world of difference for an employee coping with mental health issues.

 

Mental health is one of the things organisations need to pay attention to because work takes up so much of our time, energy and resources.

 

First, in tangible terms, it takes up a third of our day at the very least, assuming an eight hour day. But many of us work much longer hours, both officially when we stay longer or work weekends as well as unofficially, when we are answering phone calls, emails or text messages late into the night or bringing our work home.

 

Second, harassment and bullying at work are commonly reported and these can have a significant and adverse impact on mental health.

 

Third, the idea of mental health check-ups, which were raised some time ago but didn’t receive significant traction then, has been raised once again. Much of this is coming out of both the UK and the US and the goal is integrating mental health care into physical health care.

 

As L. Casey Chosewood, director of the Office for Total Worker Health at NIOSH said, “The best companies invest in the health and well-being of their workers throughout the day. Workers bring that additional health back to the job the next morning in the form of increased productivity, decreased injury and illness risk, decreased health care spending, and more engagement with their work.”

 

What’s Holding Us Back?

It all makes perfect sense. However, organisations around the world still struggle with getting this right. There are so many risk factors for mental health within the work environment. A great part of it relates to the interactions between people and the interactions between the different types of work. Some of relates to the organisational culture and managerial environment. Some of it relates to the competencies people bring to their roles, the expectations managers may have of them and very importantly, the work that organisations do as a whole to support the employee in carrying out their work. All of these factors, and likely, the combination of these factors have a profound impact of mental health.

 

A lack of understanding and communication breakdowns at work can worsen an already precarious situation when it comes to mental health. Managers and co-workers must practice empathy and listening to contribute to a more receptive culture in the workplace.

 

Mental health is also affected by the communication and management practices, how much autonomy people feel they have over their work, the quality of work they are tasked with and how the work they do relates to the wider organisational objectives.

 

In reality, organisations understand the need for a healthy work environment, but they can sometimes place unreal and unreasonable pressures on their people in their drive to lower costs, increase profitability or manage stakeholder expectations. It has become so commonplace in business today that the organisation that takes a more reasonable stand, who does not put profit over people and who takes a more holistic approach stands out.

 

To take a positive and proactive stand would involve taking a closer look at the culture within, what does not seem to be working and why. It involves a degree of transparency and honesty to come to terms with what is wrong within an organisation and then taking the necessary steps to fix the problem at its root. We do this for the well-known economic impact it will have but also because we owe it to our people. If we show them we care and have their interest at heart, then we are working in unison and together towards a single common goal.

 

 

 

World Mental Health Day is observed on the 10th of October every year, with the overall objective of raising awareness of mental health issues around the world and mobilising efforts in support of mental health.

Is Feedback Not Working? Ask This Instead.

Is Feedback Not Working? Ask This Instead.

When we talk of feedback, most of the time, what we’re really talking about is our ability to deal with constructive criticism. No one has an issue taking a compliment but nearly all of us find it challenging to hear something negative about our personality, work style or behaviour.

 

It starts with truth.

 

Is feedback not working for you? Understand that our solutions lie not in the quality of answers but in the quality of questions we ask. Let’s examine some examples.

 

asking-the-wrong-questions-anonymous feedback

Asking a close-ended question with no consideration or empathy gives the impression that you do not care about your workers’ well-being nor current workloads. Even if the question was not designed to be insensitive, an external party could view it as a “no-excuses” obligation to say – “yes”, or a simple “easy-way-out” “no”.

 

asking-the-right-questions-anonymous-feedback

Leaders can instead ask an open-ended question with the simple addition of “How” in front of their prior question, opening the door for innovative answers and initiative. It also opens up avenues to be empathetic, in terms of catering to how employers can provide the environment or means to allow workers to take on more responsibility. Perhaps through more L&D events? A robust incentive program? This question invites such responses.

 

Being transparent.

It starts with the truth, a recognition of what we see in front of us and a call for us to be honest about how this may make us feel about the people we’re managing and circumstances we find ourselves in. It calls for humanity, yes, humanity.

 

The thing about corporate life is that it puts a layer between you and your people. We call on this when we need help and when we’re in a mess. “Am sorry about this, my hands are tied. I wish I could do more.” “I’d really like to help you but my boss says this is how it has to be.”

 

avoiding-responsibility

When it comes to helping a colleague in need, too often we are jaded by the selfish demands placed on ourselves regarding our own responsibilities. Hence, we resort to putting up excuses instead of being honest with our colleagues.

 

What are we really protecting?

 

We hold on to this protective layer because it helps us out of tough situations. We’re busy protecting ourselves. But if we want feedback to work, we not only have to listen, we have to take action.

 

We have to show our people that we’re serious about what we want to discover and then remedy. When we show this to them, not through our words but in our behaviour, then we show our people that we mean what we say.

 

It is easy enough to see things from our point of view – it is the only view we know and are comfortable with, that we believe is the right view. It takes a big pause for us to step outside ourselves to look beyond at this wide, wide world and consider an alternative to what we’ve always seen and understood. So, “what’s not working?” is less about you see as the way things are and how things need to go and far more about what others see and make sense of things.

 

You owe a duty.

 

As an organisation, it is your duty, your responsibility to gather and provide feedback to your people. As an organisation, you should regard as serious, this opportunity to grow your people, to inspire them, to bring out the best in them and to lead.

 

employee-pulse-surveys-feedback

Gather as much feedback on how you can help your employees grow, then deliver actionable behaviour to cater to those needs and wants.

 

As much as there are things you are expecting your people to provide you in terms of experience and expertise, they are also looking to you for guidance, hope and faith in carrying out their duties. And more than anything else, remember that they give you the best hours of their days and best years of their lives in the fulfilment of their obligations.

 

That is a lot.

 

Allow the space for providing and receiving feedback to be one that is less chastisement and more of support. Ask questions about what’s working so you know where you need to reinforce certain actions. Ask questions about what’s not working so you know what needs to be fixed. Ask questions about what’s challenging or frustrating them so you can see what support you can provide. Explore a variety of channels, both formal and informal, to collect and collate feedback.

 

Ask great questions for great feedback.

 

Marcel Schwantes, in his Inc article, Here’s how good managers give bad employees feedback, shares that good managers analyse the problem first in order to understand all perspectives. He shared four questions crucial to helping a manager and setting the right expectations and accountability measures with both parties :

  • Does the employee understand what the problem is?
  • Does the employee really understand that expected level of performance?
  • Does the employee fully understand what will happen if performance standards are not met?
  • Have you, as the manager, gotten all the facts? Who, what, where, when, why, and how?

 

Learn to read between the lines.

 

You’ve got to treat people the way you want to be treated too. Stay aware – learn how to open your eyes to the truth because there is no one version of the truth. We all bring different experiences and insights to our situations and no two situations are alike.

 

If you’re facing difficulty, you’ll want a good manager who can spot it early, who will come forward to talk about it. You’ll want a manager who is sensitive enough to know how, when and where to bring it up.

 

supportive-feedback

Ask the right questions. Be the support your team needs. Learn to read what your colleagues are telling you.

 
And you’ll want them to be more of a coach about it – asking probing questions, allowing you to come to the solutions yourself rather than being prescriptive and judgemental. Yet, on top of all of these things, you need to remember to stay compliant and stay legal. Do what you need to do and do it right.

7 Keys to Building an Effective Team

7 Keys to Building an Effective Team

If you are looking to create a successful and productive team offsite, you may want to explore the following 7 ideas

 

  1. Open Communication

Announce to the team how this offsite team-building will actually improve business. Set up live business goals for the meeting – e.g. sales strategy and sales goals for the next year, new delivery of ideas, or product/service lines to roll-out.

2. Allow Time for Networking

There should be scheduled time slots throughout the offsite team-building duration to enable everyone to get to know each other. I recommend that “getting to know each other” activities need not be planned; instead teams should be doing this naturally. It could be a late evening sitting at the pool and chit-chatting, or having a round of “antakshri” or karaoke, whatever the team would like to do post the offsite day work!

7 Keys to Building an Effective Team
                                                                                                            Remember to set aside time for networking!

 

3. Build A Learning Mindset

Build their skills, and self-confidence by providing constant training. Hold weekly, or bi-monthly team workshops to teach systems and procedures for every element in your business. Teach your employees how to get the most out of the time and effort that they are putting in to reap the most rewards. Also, eliminate the need for guessing when it comes to difficult situations – create systems to specifically manage a crisis.

4. Reward the Results

Set clear and realistic targets for your employees, and keep it as transparent as possible. Targets are proven to motivate employees and give them something concrete to focus on. But don’t treat missed targets as an opportunity to punish your team; simply offer a reward (cash / kind) that will drive your team to meet the targets you set in the future. Check out this blog post for ideas on designing an effective employee rewards system.

5. Don’t Miss the Basic Needs

As an employer, the onus to provide a healthy lifestyle to employees is on you. Here are basics listed –

  • Comfortable, clean and well-lit rooms and sitting place.
  • Break areas.
  • A place for quick power-naps.
  • Flexible working schedules as the focus is on work, and not thenumber of hours.
  • Robust recognition program.

Basic infrastructure at work
                                                       Ensure the working environment is clean and comfortable to maximize employee satisfaction and productivity.

6. Offsite Events

Are overnight events allowing the team to enjoy and relax, having dinner, drinks, music etc, and truly bonding. In my experience, good teams tend to end up staying late, and talk over or brainstorming new, innovative solutions to recurring problems, and work through existing business problems. These sessions are invaluable as team members work together to work out existing problems, setting the scene for new opportunities, and building real relationships in the process.

7. Last But Not Least

Remember it’s important to keep the momentum rolling. If you fail to come out with an action plan, then you will plan to fail eventually. You may have a list of ideas from the offsite meeting, but have no clarity on executing them. Ensure that action planning is clear to all members with identified goals/actions, associated responsibilities, measurement criteria, and timelines of completion. And all of this is documented soon after the event.

This post was guest written by Saloni Kaul, a human resource specialist and corporate trainer.

How Can Your Employee Assistance Program (EAP) Help You?

How Can Your Employee Assistance Program (EAP) Help You?

An Employee Assistance Program (EAP) provides professional counseling where you may address a wide range of personal issues in an environment of understanding and strict privacy.

It provides you with confidential, professional consultation for problems and challenges you may be experiencing.

If you’re wondering whether EAP is for you or not, here are three benefits of using an EAP:

Identify Mental Health Conditions

It had almost been a month that Reena was not her chirpy self. She didn’t feel like getting out of bed, was feeling irritable at the drop of a hat and on most days, didn’t want to meet anyone. Till one day, one of her colleagues suggested she take some help. Upon her insistence, Reena visited her EAP counselor.

After a one hour conversation, her counselor helped her understand that she was exhibiting symptoms of depression. More than anything else, Reena was relieved to hear that there was a name to her mood issues and that it was treatable. She started working with her counselor, learnt new mood management skills and built an internal system of taking care of her mental health. Within 2 months she could take back control and her depression was much more manageable.

This is not just Reena’s story. We’ve met countless such clients, who have benefited by learning about their mental health conditions and working on them.

Resolve Every Day Life Challenges

An unresolved conflict with spouse, challenges faced as a working mother, loss of interest at work, irritability without any reason or feeling under-confident at meetings! Everyday life presents us with many such challenges.

More often than not, we have the resources to handle such challenges. It could be our own coping mechanisms, speaking with a friend or consulting a colleague.

But sometimes that might not be enough. A colleague could have a conflict of interest, a supervisor might be hard pressed for time or a loved one might not be able to understand your work situation. You might need a different perspective, an objective analysis or a patient listener. Your EAP counselor can support with all of this and help you alleviate your every day life stress.

Learn New Skills

Have you ever felt you can’t concentrate on anything? You can learn mindfulness techniques to live in the present moment.

Do you want to feel more confident? Learn exercises such as power posing to feel powerful from within.

Or are you struggling with your spouse’s anger issues? Assertiveness skills will come in handy.

These are just some examples. Your EAP can help you learn behavioral skills to level up your work and personal life.

 

Source: Santulan

The New Principles of Work-Life Balance

The New Principles of Work-Life Balance

As Richard Branson, CEO of Virgin Airlines puts it brilliantly, “Some of my best ideas have come from engaging my children in conversations about work.

Today, no more do you look at 9 to 5 as work hours. The earlier distinction between “my time” and “company time” seems to have vanished. However, the concept of work life balance has evolved just as much as the concept of work; into a new reality. Since it is more about choice, on the way to work, you have the choice to listen to music, attend to work calls, or do nothing at all.

In light of this new reality, if we still try the balancing act of the old way, it’s outright dangerous. So what’s our new need? In fact, there are two of them:

 

#1 Feeling in Control

We need to feel in control of our time and lives. That feeling of the whole world’s weight falling on your delicate shoulders comes when you don’t know how your time just went by.

#2 Energy Matching

The changing work environments require that rather than matching time, we match our energy levels with tasks at hand. As rightly put by the authors of The Power of Full Engagement

Energy, not time, is the fundamental currency of high performance.

With this clarity of concept, the question is, what are some concrete skills you need?

For us at Santulan, science is the driving force. That is the reason why we bring you not a set of tips, but an elaborate system of skills that will help you cater to these new needs of the new reality.

 

Skill No. 1 – A Science Based EDS

Not all hours are created equal in a day. There are times when our energy is at its highest, and then there are times when we need to recharge. We all have some kind of an “every-day” schedule. But to make it energy efficient, try the science based Every Day Schedule (EDS) which has five components.

Part 1: Morning Routine

Whether one is a morning person, or more of a night owl, we all start our day at some point. While there is no ideal morning routine, research shows that there are a few items we need to include to be able to start our morning off on the right foot.

But firstly, why do we even need a morning routine?

According to Steve Kay, Director of Convergent Biosciences at the University of Southern California – most adults perform their best cognitive work late in the morning.

A morning routine occupying the first 30-120 minutes after waking up, helps you arrive at your peak performing hours, in the right mindset.

Additionally, you also get the benefit of the Endowment Effect, which explains that if you’ve already started the day by moving your life forward, you’ve established positive momentum, and are more likely to keep doing positive things.

And not to forget that sense of control that you get over your day! A nurturing morning routine gives you something to hold on to, and a sense of normalcy to root yourself within.

Now moving on to crafting your morning routine.

Research shows having any/all/some of these items helps us start our morning off on the right foot.

  1. Drinking water and eating a nourishing breakfast
  2. Exercising for around 30 minutes
  3. Reading a book
  4. Meditating
  5. Having a light chat with your partner

 

morning-routine

And in equal measure, it’s important to avoid rushing through your morning and checking your phone. It’s basically that time, before things start getting into motion.

Part 2: Protected Hours

Shallow work stops you from getting fired — but deep work is what gets you promoted.” – Cal Newport

Answering calls, responding to emails, and attending meetings is all work, but not result-oriented work, nor do they represent work that will take you to the next level.

The second part of your EDS is what your morning routine leads you to. It’s a pre-decided amount of time dedicated to the most important work, away from any other distractions.
Imagine working on a project in an environment where your phone is ringing off the hook, colleagues are passing by to say “hi”, and you can see a pile of emails rising by the hour.

Would you be able to concentrate on your work to the best of your capabilities now?

Most likely not!

All these distractions will definitely impact your output.

Setting protected hours for yourself essentially eliminates these distractions in order to enrich your performance to the maximum. This is the time when you push yourself to your limits and get some real work done, against all busy work like checking emails or answering calls.

In fact, research shows that we tend to be most productive 2.5 to 4 hours after we wake up. Hence it would be fair to reason out that protected hours scheduled in this time window are likely to be most productive.

The truth of the matter comes down to the fact that we may find ourselves busy all the time. But for how much of that time, are we really doing work that gives us guaranteed results?

Real work is fully results-oriented work while pseudo- or busy work tends to make you feel like you are working without actually producing much results. Thus, rather than thinking of protected hours in terms of amount of time, it would be beneficial to think of them in the context of result-oriented tasks done in a distraction-free environment.

Part 3: Regroup

Oh how wonderful it would be if we could work infinitely and get all our work done at one stretch, right? No matter how we dislike it, it cannot be denied that we are humans who cannot work tirelessly with the same efficiency all throughout.

These efficiency dips are not the end of the world. All you have to do is take a break – do something that lets you gather your thoughts without being too involved or too detached from the task at hand. Some ideas for regrouping are:

  • Eating mindfully
  • Going for a short walk outside
  • De-cluttering a drawer

The big idea here is to not keep working just because you don’t want to take a break, or you want to just finish it off. Rather, value “regrouping” as an essential part of your day. On some days you might need more than one regrouping. Just acknowledge it, and use it to guide yourself back.

Part 4: Busy Work

This is that time when you sort out the work that you think keeps you busy without challenging your intellectual capacity too much. This may include some repetitive chores

  • Filling in the already available data in an excel
  • Responding to emails
  • Scheduling meetings, phone calls

You get the idea!

Try to fit it into the afternoon window. Most of us experience an energy slump in the afternoon. So this time is best used for tasks that take up more time than energy.

Part 5: Recharge

And last but definitely not the least, don’t forget to recharge. Allowing time to recharge is as important as any other aspect of the EDS. After all, it is vital that we fuel the body that works up a sweat.

“It’s important not to be so immersed in your work that there isn’t anything else. Taking care of your body and your mindset, carving out time to be with your family, doing things that recharge you — these all make you more productive in the end.”

– Frits Van Paasschen, Former CEO, Starwood Hotels

Wait a second before you put that TV on to recharge. There is a science to it. And that is our skill #2.

 

Skill #2: Scheduling Free Time

Give this a thought – a day when you have no tasks to plan, no targets to achieve, a holiday or a Sunday if you will.

What would you like to do on such a day?

Most of us are likely to say “Just watch some TV, catch up on all my social media, maybe some lazing around in bed.” Yes, it’s natural to feel that way after a hectic workweek.

But here’s some food for thought.

All that TV you watched is probably just making you feel a little less upbeat.

The truth is we do easy things like watching TV, or idling around the house because that’s what they are – easy! They don’t require much effort but the problem is they don’t make us truly happy.

Researchers found that the majority of the subjects they studied were not able to identify anything they had done recently to try to increase their happiness or life satisfaction.

–  100 Simple Secrets of the Best Half of Life: What Scientists Have Learned and How You Can Use It

Active leisure” is truly enjoyable but it requires more initial effort. In a study of teenagers it was found that they were 2.5 times more likely to experience elevated enjoyment when engaged in a hobby, compared to watching TV, and three times more likely when playing a sport.

The key is to overcome that inertia because as humans we are naturally drawn to things that are easy.

However, even if things may seem difficult initially, you can be sure that they will add value to your life. For example, getting up early to go cycling, stepping out of the house to attend a cooking class, or getting the car out to go to the sports ground.

All said and done, you may ask what good is planning even a no-work day?

Where is the spontaneity?

Well, research strongly points to the fact that people who schedule their free time are likely to lead a better quality life than those who don’t.

There is a strong co-relation between managing your free time and the quality of your life.

According to the American Psychological Association, the least effective ways of spending your free time are gambling, shopping, smoking, drinking, mindless eating, playing video games, surfing the Internet, and watching TV or movies for more than two hours.

But why do we still do these activities despite them not making us truly happy?

In the words of Harvard Researcher, Daniel Gilbert,  We’re terrible at accurately remembering how things made us feel in the past, so we make bad choices regarding the future.” 

This innate human behavior makes it imperative that we actively schedule our free time.

So what are some active leisure activities?

Here are some suggestions from the American Psychological Association:

  • Spending time with friends (Research shows that increasing your social time by 1.7 hours raises average happiness by 2%.)
  • Exercising or playing sports

  • Praying or attending a religious service

  • Reading

  • Listening to music

  • Getting a massage

  • Going outside for a walk

  • Meditating or doing yoga

  • Spending time with a creative hobby. 

  • Mastering existing skills (For example, if you’re a good cook, then learning a new dish will help you feel rejuvenated.

 

 

Skill #3: Rituals

The Oxford Dictionary defines a ritual as a series of actions, or type of behavior that is regularly and invariably followed by someone.

Harvard Professor Francesca Gino has researched extensively on the power of rituals. According to Gino, rituals can help in four ways:

  • Enjoy happy moments better
  • Manage stressful situations
  • Stop procrastinating
  • Increase your productivity

rituals

Here are 4 different types of rituals that you need to develop for yourself:

R1# Savoring Rituals

This could be something that helps you bring more joy to activities that may seem mundane. What it essentially does is it helps you enjoy the moment you are in.

Vishal, for example, loves to have his protein-filled breakfast of eggs after his workout.

Now he doesn’t eat those eggs just any how! He has developed a very specific ritual that he finds enjoyable – he boils them only for 8 minutes, not a minute more not a minute less, then cuts them in slices, just the way he likes it and then eats them only in his favorite bowl, relishing the taste fully.

He believes the whole process and not just eating eggs, helps him immensely in starting his morning on a good note.

Other examples of savoring rituals are:

  • Shutting off your phone every time you enter a party, signaling to yourself that now you’re in party mode!
  • Sharing the day’s happenings with a loved one every evening.
  • Spending half an hour every morning with your pet.

We all know there are things which make us feel happy. But the big idea here is to be AWARE of your savoring rituals so that you can use them more often.

R2# Stress Rituals

What do you do when you feel stressed?

Curl up in bed and hope for it to pass?

Or eat whatever comes your way?

Or vent your irritation at whoever crosses your path?

Try developing a stress ritual for such times.

According to Francesca Gino, having a set of rituals that you follow during tough times can help you get back that sense of CONTROL. It can help reduce the stress associated with the task or the situation.

It can be anything from:

  • Expressive writing to get it all out of your system
  • Going to a place that calms you down like a park or a coffee shop
  • Speaking with your spouse about the stressor to get a different perspective

 

R3# Peak Performance Rituals

There are times when you need the best of yourself. For example, before an important presentation, or while crunching numbers that will change the course of your organization, or an important sales pitch, or any other high stakes situation.

Unfortunately, there could be times when you’re not in that “frame of mind.” To enable peak performance at such times, rituals can help by making you feel calmer and more confident.

Some of our favorite peak performance rituals are:

  • Listening to a pre-designed playlist: We have a set of 12 songs that we listen to before we face an audience.
  • Dancing: Grooving to Sya’s Cheap Thrills, not only cheaply excites us, but also readies us for peak performance.
  • Power posing: Expanding your body for even as little as 2 minutes can help you generate the power hormone called testosterone, and make you feel more confident from within. Watch this video to better understand power posing.

R4# Anti-Procrastination Rituals

If we can overcome that innate desire to procrastinate, a lot of our problems related to work-life balance will be resolved on their own.

Rituals can help overcome procrastination.

According to Charles Duhigg, author of The Power of Habit, our goal should be to develop a ritual which gets our mood going because procrastination usually happens because of a bad mood, or “not feeling up to it.”

What are some anti-procrastination rituals that you can develop? Here are some examples from our own lives:

  • Reading for one hour on general topics before writing
  • Laying out yoga attire the night before
  • Breaking down a long to-do list into small tasks before starting

One of our friends, Nitin, developed this anti-procrastination ritual which has helped him maintain a more disciplined lifestyle.

He realized a while back that once he started surfing social media on the phone, he would lose track of time and would end up procrastinating important to-do’s. This would usually happen in the early morning – when he had to get ready and leave for work.

He then developed a system whereby he would set an alarm of 10 minutes right after he woke up, a tone which he was not particularly fond of. After those 10 minutes, come what may, he would go for a bath.

It took him some time but now that this habit has been in place, he hardly needs an alarm to remind him.

Whoa! That looks like a lot of skills but once you make them a part of your routine, you’ll enjoy the benefits.

Let’s put everything together.

 

Sum-Up

Remember the new reality of work-life balance. It’s more about having a sense of control over your time, and matching your energy levels with the task at hand.

Practise a science based everyday schedule comprising of five parts – 1. Morning Routine 2. Protected Hours 3. Regroup 4. Busy Work and 5. Recharge

Schedule your free time. We choose to do easy things rather than things that truly make us happy – active leisure is the key.

Four different types of rituals will help better your performance: a. Savouring Rituals b. Stress Rituals c. Peak Performance Rituals d. Anti-Procrastinating Rituals

Ryan Smith, Founder of Qualtrics sums it up brilliantly for us.

 

“Each week, I examine the categories of my life — father, husband, CEO, self — and identify the specific actions that help me feel successful and fulfilled in these capacities. This weekly ritual helps me feel like I’m doing everything in my power to address my needs and the needs of those around me. This is important because I can’t lose sight of the business agenda, and we’ve all seen or read about what it looks like when you lose sight of your family’s needs.” 

Source: Santulan

Tackle High Absenteeism with Employee Wellness Initiatives

Tackle High Absenteeism with Employee Wellness Initiatives

What is employee wellness?

Employee wellness relates to the physical and mental health and well-being of employees. Therefore, employee wellness initiatives are activities designed to improve employee wellness.

Employee wellness is already widely practiced by many companies. According to SHRM (2015), 80% of employers offer preventive wellness services and information.

300%: Average ROI of employee wellness programs according to a study done by Johnson & Johnson.

 

How to make the most of your employee wellness program?

  1. Take a holistic approach to reap the full benefits of employee wellness programs. According to Gartner, companies should see employee wellness initiative as an integral part of employee support program along with workforce management and talent management tools. Using a holistic strategy an employer may incorporate multiple activities around encouraging physical activities, diet, social activities, disease management and volunteering among employees. By taking care of employee wellness, companies can ensure employees can reach their full potential.
  2. Make employee wellness initiatives inclusive and engaging to mitigate the drop-out effects after early adoption. Use gamification and collaboration tools to increase adoption, and measure the impact of any initiatives deployed to help justify continued investment in the wellness strategy.
  3. Help employees get healthy by cultivating healthy habits. Use commonly available mobile and wearable technologies to facilitate collaboration and change the wellness behavior of employees. One innovation example: Muse, a wearable to cultivate mindfulness.
  4. There are many paths to wellness but which one works the best? “Wellness” means different things to different organizations and people, so it is important to listen to employees and tailor your programme to focus on what matters the most to your employees. To get more buy-in and adoption and crowd-source wellness ideas from your employees ask your employees for what they want.

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