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10 Ways to Alleviate Stress When Cheering for Your Kids

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It’s spring!  It’s sports!  It’s strike 3!  It’s stress!

Fewer activities can cause a family more stress than participating in a young athlete’s sports program.  Competitive sports can be a wonderful opportunity for a child to learn sportsmanship, following the rules of a game, coping with winning and losing skills, and teamwork.  Watching, encouraging (and maybe even coaching) a child can be rewarding for parents as well, but expecting too much from the child can result in competition among parents and a breakdown in communication between parent and child.

Here are 10 tips to help parents alleviate stress associated with watching their children from the bleachers:

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Well-Being at Work

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What does a peanut butter and jelly sandwich have to do with well-being in the workplace? Read on.

In recognition of “May is Mental Health Month” I want to take a look at mental “well-being at work.” Not necessarily mental disorders and how to address them, but the overall well-being of the workplace and its individual workers. Well-being is more than just physical wellness and following a program to reduce insurance costs. The gym memberships, the occasional healthy lunch provided by an employer are all nice, but it’s more than that. It is the whole organization and the whole person. Gallup states that one of the reasons workplace well-being programs do not succeed is because they are “solely focused on the physical well-being” and not addressing the other aspects of well-being. Continue reading

How To Improve Your Relaxation

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For my own health and well-being I have  recently determined (again) to de-stress my life. “How’s that going?” you ask.  Well…it hasn’t been easy for me.  Old habits die hard.  I continue to re-assess things for myself, and my biggest hurdle is not becoming stressed about de-stressing.  Yep.  Sad, but true.  I have been researching stress and de-stressing for my next few blogs. (April is Stress Awareness Month)  In that reading I have found a myriad of tips but just a few that I want to apply to my own situation.  But at the same time, it is a bit overwhelming! So I decided to break it down, for myself, and for you. Continue reading

How are Millennials a Diversity and Inclusion Opportunity?

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Every generation has its own mojo, which is comprised of those attributes that make it identifiable to the era in which they will work and participate in society.  Professionally each group brings a certain set of awareness and competencies reflective of their time period in the culture. While noisy and sometimes derogatory commentary is common at the tipping point of new generational arrivals in the workplace, Millennials have some fairly divergent aspects that have gotten a lot of press. It will be interesting to see what we will find to complain about the emerging Z-generation with their measured interest, as reported in SHRM Magazine (February 2017), in entrepreneurship and views on diversity and inclusion. Quick tip: half of them will want plenty of face time with you. Smile.

My proposal is that the time has come to move away from glib chatter and harness what we are learning about Millennials through the lens of our own professional self-interest. The self-interest I refer to relates to some unprecedented conditions with which we are ALL dealing in the modern workplace. Most of us reading this item are either feverishly working toward solutions, fumbling along on a need-to-respond basis or even in denial with regard to the enormous set of challenges before us. Only one of those challenges is the multi-generational issue triggered by the wholesale arrival of Millennials.

Not only do we have the multi-generational story, we also, per Gallup, PwC, Deloitte, and other trusted sources, have a fairly intractable engagement problem. To round those out, the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) across many of their articles in the last couple of years advises us, when considered together, we now expect managers to be adept coaches for teams increasingly made up of remote workers, performing during flexible work hours, and contract employees around the globe in varying cultural conditions. We expect those managers to be skilled at helping their employees grow their internal and after-company careers and foster a meaningful collaborative environment. Have our prior generational performers on average been asked to do this all at once?

For the above juggernaut, here is what I think may be a way for all of us to benefit from what we know about Millennials, their workplace requirements, and the overall picture painted in the paragraphs above. The opportunistic solution has the added benefit of becoming somewhat of a Community of Practice (CoP) model already in place for when those newly minted Gen-Z-ers hit your companies too. Some of them are already twenty years old.

Given that many of you have already hosted presentations on what comprises the attributes of your multi-generational workforce let us activate the necessary themes of diversity and inclusion to benefit ALL of us. We have the good fortune that research has already identified what we must do to attract, grow and retain talented high performers among the Millennial crowd who will make up 80% of the workforce in 2020.

For your management teams, in particular, the solutions include:

Going beyond reporting facts. Decide to learn about and then teach awareness about how each generation approaches the workplace. Then coach all your team members to approach this rich generational experience for excellent professional results. Millennials have a need to incorporate collaboration and community into their working lives. This approach is a perfect pairing.

Going beyond value statements by making use of mindset. Learn about how to help your millennial and other employees develop a mindset that encourages them to cultivate meaning, belonging, and a sense of connection at work. This will result in  growing and sustaining employment engagement and performance. Millennial research suggests that they want to feel that their valuable work hours are part of something beneficial to their lives beyond money. Think about then connect the dots for them to the bigger picture and their place in it. Encourage them to see their importance to the overall effort and how their talent fits or belongs to it.

Going beyond reward systems for performance management. Brush up, if needed, on your own workstyle then assist your millennial and other employees to develop a self-responsible work-style.  This way they can take an active role in growing and developing their own work lives reflective of their talent, interest, and values. While previous generations were able to climb the ladder of success without much insight to those themes, today’s career successes require a bit more awareness. Millennials tell us that in order to be attracted to your company and to stay engaged in your work, while money is important, they also have to perceive that you add to their working sk illset and are invested in their career arc in general. They want to work where they know they will be mentored to grow.

For a delivery approach  you will likely need to start with your Learning & Development (L&D) teams to collaborate. The elements will require a combination of instructor led conceptual teaching and guided group activity and discussion. As mentioned above, a Community of Practice (CoP) approach provides an excellent conceptual and delivery container for work of this nature. And some of the components for this diversity and inclusion solution lend themselves well to e-courses that can be flexibly deployed for new hire on-boarding or other needed learning options.

For a refresher on Millennial attributes there are some helpful downloads available: PWc NextGen (2013) and for additional reading on what defines a Community of Practice (CoP) download Wegner & Trayner’s,   A Brief Introduction to Communities of Practice (2015).

Our guest blogger today, Amber Chamberlain, M. Ed, Talent & Employee Well-being Consultant, is a long-time advocate, teacher and practitioner for employee and talent well-being.  Amber is devoted to supporting people and organizations to make well-being principles a part of doing profitable and high performing business. She is an experienced business operations, program, and provider manager, as well as clinical supervisor in behavioral health care and quality of life for Managed Care Organizations (MCO), Employee Assistance Programs (EAP), Department of Defense (DoD), Quality of Life (QOL) and Hospital System settings. Read more about Amber here.

The Greatest Weapon Against Stress

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“The greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another.” ~William James

Are you stressed? The stress levels in today’s world are off the charts, therefore there are a myriad of resources to minimize its effects. You may have read articles, books, blogs and had lengthy discussions about stress. But that’s it.  No solutions, no change?  You may be at the place where thinking about de-stressing is stressful! Continue reading

Are EAPs Becoming Commonplace at Work?

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Safety is essential for any employer, but more so in the industrial, transportation and construction fields.   Ensuring safety of employees and the public takes more than a few OSHA trainings.  We have found that often employees are distracted from their work for various reasons and this could become a safety issue.  Think of the “distracted driver.”  We usually picture cell phones, and texting as the main distraction, or trying to settle the kids in the back seat. But that is not all. Continue reading

How To Get Your Mojo Back

How do our well-being intentions impact the workplace?  Studies have shown that employees with a greater sense of well-being bring their full abilities to work.  An employee who is satisfied with their lifestyle choices and health is more fully present at work and able to focus on the job at hand.

How does health coaching work?

Learning what to eat, what not to eat and how to eat are important. As Health Coaches, we help our clients figure out what works for them.

Correlating what you eat and how you feel (food/mood) is significant. Many people don’t realize they are sensitive to a food or foods they eat every day. Just eliminating that food could result in clearing brain fog and increased energy.

As a Health Coach, we can help identify your nutritional goals and the actions necessary to meet those goals.   Small and consistent changes over time lead to new nutritional habits, lifestyle change and long term success.  We have found that by implementing just one simple healthy change or strategy, and making it a daily habit, can have a major positive impact on a person’s health, weight, and energy level over time.

Lifestyle changes can mean: diet, exercise, stress management, health, time management, organization, and relationships.  Nutrition, especially as related to weight management, is at the top of many peoples list.  There are so many “diets,” prescriptions, supplements, food plans and promises and it is difficult to know what guidelines to follow and where to focus our energies

An important concept in health coaching is bio individuality.  That means that every single person is different. One person’s food can be another person’s poison. One diet that worked for your best friend, your mother, or your favorite actor might not work for you. And that is not your fault.

How can employee weight-loss benefit employers?

Weight loss is the most frequently stated intention for wellness coaching.  Often when people are unhappy with their weight and overall health, they feel poorly on a daily basis. Feeling poorly can result in lack of energy, general malaise, low productivity, using more sick days, taking more medicine, and increased stress.  People are reluctant to seek weight loss help, even if their doctor recommends it, because they feel they should be able to manage it themselves.  Many also mistakenly believe that weight gain, low energy and aches and pains are part of the normal aging process.

Guess what? Weight gain, low energy and aches and pains ARE NOT part of the normal aging process.  A health coach can help you figure out where the problems are in your lifestyle and help you fix them.

By coaching, educating, supporting, and encouraging people to make consistent healthy changes, they will become healthier, more energized and productive, use less sick days and hopefully take less medicine.  This is a win-win for individuals, families and employers.

Weight gain, low energy and aches and pains ARE NOT part of the normal aging process.

How does health coaching work?

Learning what to eat, what not to eat and how to eat are important. As Health Coaches, we help our clients figure out what works for them.

Correlating what you eat and how you feel (food/mood) is significant. Many people don’t realize they are sensitive to a food or foods they eat every day. Just eliminating that food could result in clearing brain fog and increased energy.

As a Health Coach, we can help identify your nutritional goals and the actions necessary to meet those goals.   Small and consistent changes over time lead to new nutritional habits, lifestyle change and long term success.  We have found that by implementing just one simple healthy change or strategy, and making it a daily habit, can have a major positive impact on a person’s health, weight, and energy level over time.

Our guest bloggers, Jill Tabak and Jen Ewing will  talk nutrition and how it can impact the workplace at our next HR30 Webinar  on “How to Get Your Mojo Back” on March 21st from 12 noon- 12:30 pm.  Click here to view and register for the HR30 Webinar.

Could Professional Coaching be Your Solution?

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Professional Coaching is a form of development in which the coach supports the client in achieving specific professional goals.  In application to the workplace, we call this Talent LifeCycle Coaching as the coaching needs vary with the career stage of the employee.

Coaches  partner with clients to focus on their professional lives in a way that brings out the client’s’ own strengths and resources so they can achieve excellence.  By creating clarity, professional coaching moves a client into action, accelerating progress by providing greater focus and awareness.  This allows the client to be cognizant of all the possibilities to create a fulfilling professional career and personal life. Continue reading

How to Prevent Bullying at Work

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Bullying.  We hear this word often, whether related to the schoolyard or the workplace.  It is an age old problem that can surface in any type of setting.  We hear a lot about bullying.  That it is due to low self esteem in the bully, that victims often become bullies, etc. There has been plenty of research on the topic and we could spend many blogs discussing the economic, social,  and mental health issues related to bullies and victims, (visit this site) but for today I want to  focus on how bullying can impact the workplace. Continue reading