A Small Investment In Corporate Staff Coaching Can Have a Huge ROI
Work Life Balance For a lot of people, the pursuit of a healthy work/life balance seems like an impossible goal. With so many of us torn between juggling heavy workloads, managing relationships and family responsibilities, and squeezing in outside interests, it's no surprise that more than one in four Americans describe themselves as “super stressed.” And that’s not balanced—or healthy. In our rush to “get it all done” at the office and at home, it’s easy to forget that as our stress levels spike, our productivity plummets. Stress can zap our concentration, make us irritable or depressed, and harm our personal and professional relationships. Over time, stress also weakens our immune systems, and makes us susceptible to a variety of ailments from colds to backaches to heart disease. The newest research shows that chronic stress can actually double our risk of having a heart attack. That statistic alone is enough to raise your blood pressure! While we all need a certain amount of stress to spur us on and help us perform at our best, the key to managing stress lies in that one magic word: balance. Not only is achieving a healthy work/life balance an attainable goal but workers and businesses alike see the rewards. When workers are balanced and happy, they are more productive, take fewer sick days, and are more likely to stay in their jobs. Here are a few practical steps we can all take to loosen the grip that stress has on us and win back the balance in our lives. Read on and reap the benefits. At Work
Set manageable goals each day. Being able to meet priorities helps us feel a sense of accomplishment and control. The latest research shows that the more control we have over our work, the less stressed we get. So be realistic about workloads and deadlines. Make a “to do” list, and take care of important tasks first and eliminate unessential ones. Ask for help when necessary.
Be efficient with your time at work. When we procrastinate, the task often grows in our minds until it seems insurmountable. So when you face a big project at work or home, start by dividing it into smaller tasks. Complete the first one before moving on to the next. Give yourself small rewards upon each completion, whether it’s a five minute break or a walk to the coffee shop. If you feel overwhelmed by routines that seem unnecessary, tell your boss. The less time you spend doing busy work or procrastinating, the more time you can spend productively, or with friends or family.
Ask for flexibility. Flex time and telecommuting are quickly becoming established as necessities in today’s business world, and many companies are drafting work/life policies. If you ask, they might allow you to work flexible hours or from home a day a week. Research shows that employees who work flexible schedules are more productive and loyal to their employers.
Take five. Taking a break at work isn’t only acceptable, it’s often encouraged by many employers. Small breaks at work—or on any project—will help clear your head, and improve your ability to deal with stress and make good decisions when you jump back into the grind.
Tune in. Listen to your favorite music at work to foster concentration, reduce stress and anxiety, and stimulate creativity. Studies dating back more than 30 years show the benefits of music in everyday life, including lowered blood pressure. Be sure to wear headphones on the job, and then pump up the volume—and your productivity.
Communicate effectively. Be honest with colleagues or your boss when you feel you’re in a bind. Chances are, you’re not alone. But don’t just complain—suggest practical alternatives. Looking at a situation from someone else’s viewpoint can also reduce your stress. In a tense situation, either rethink your strategy or stand your ground, calmly and rationally. Make allowances for other opinions, and compromise. Retreat before you lose control, and allow time for all involved to cool off. You’ll be better equipped to handle the problem constructively later.
Give yourself a break. No one’s perfect! Allow yourself to be human and just do the best you can.
Unplug. The same technology that makes it so easy for workers to do their jobs flexibly can also burn us out if we use them 24/7. By all means, make yourself available—especially if you’ve earned the right to “flex” your hours—but recognize the need for personal time, too.
Divide and conquer. Make sure responsibilities at home are evenly distributed and clearly outlined—you’ll avoid confusion and problems later.
Don't over commit. Do you feel stressed when you just glance at your calendar? If you’re overscheduled with activities, learn to say,” no.” Shed the superman/superwoman urge!
Get support. Chatting with friends and family can be important to your success at home—or at work—and can even improve your health. People with stronger support systems have more aggressive immune responses to illnesses than those who lack such support.
Take advantage of your company’s Employee Assistance Program (EAP). Many organizations offer resources through an EAP, which can save you precious time by providing guidance on issues like where to find a daycare center and caretaking for an elderly parent, as well as referrals to mental health and other services.
Stay active. Aside from its well-known physical benefits, regular exercise reduces stress, depression and anxiety, and enables people to better cope with adversity, according to researchers. It’ll also boost your immune system and keep you out of the doctor’s office. Make time in your schedule for the gym or to take a walk during lunch—and have some fun!
Treat your body right. Being in good shape physically increases your tolerance to stress and reduces sick days. Eat right, exercise and get adequate rest. Don’t rely on drugs, alcohol or cigarettes to cope with stress; they’ll only lead to more problems.
Get help if you need it. Don’t let stress stand in the way of your health and happiness. If you are persistently overwhelmed, it may be time to seek help from a mental health professional. Asking for help is not a sign of weakness—taking care of yourself is a sign of strength.
Important Statistics on Staff Retention & Engagement.
EMPLOYEE RETENTION & ENGAGEMENT STATISTICS (Source Access Perks) Engagement levels are consistent across every generation
$11 billion is lost annually due to employee turnover (Bloomberg BNA)
Total turnover in 2014: 15.7% of the workforce (Compensation Force)
Total voluntary turnover in 2014: 11% of the workforce (Compensation Force)
Industries with highest turnover in 2014: Hospitality (20.2%), Banking & Finance (13.3%), Healthcare (13%), Insurance (11.2%) (Compensation Force)
The industries with the highest employee engagement are heavy manufacturing and financial services (Modern Survey)
The industries with most disengaged workers at hospitality, government and light manufacturing (Modern Survey)
Companies that increase their number of talented managers and double the rate of engaged employees achieve, on average, 147% higher earnings per share than their competition (Gallup)
Each year the average company loses 20-50% of its employee base (Bain & Company) (Commonly cited statistic, source link unfound)
States with the highest percentages of engaged employees: Montana (39%), Mississippi (37%), Louisiana (36%) (Gallup)
States with the lowest percentages of engaged employees: Connecticut (21%), New York (21%), Michigan (21%) (Gallup)
Cities with highest percentage of engaged workers: San Antonio (38.1%), Oklahoma City (37.6%), Riverside, Cali. (36.8%) and Tulsa (36.3%) (Gallup)
Cities with lowest percentage of engaged employees: Buffalo (23.5%), San Jose (24.7%), Minneapolis (24.9%), DC (25.9%) (Gallup)
33% of senior leaders believe employee loyalty has a direct relationship to profits (American Management Association)
Customer retention rates are 18% higher on average when employees are highly engaged (Cvent)
Almost 50% of organizations fail to measure employees’ engagement with the customer or the brand (Edelman)
32% of US workers were engaged with their employers in 2015, up from 31.5% in 2014 (Gallup)
16% of workers in the US are “fully engaged" (Modern Survey)
Only 13% of employees are engaged worldwide (Gallup)
23% of employees are "Disengaged" (Modern Survey)
50.8% of US employees are "not engaged", 17.2% are "actively disengaged" (Gallup)
21% of sales employees are “Fully Engaged” compared with only 13% of non-sales employees (Modern Survey)
The number of highly and moderately engaged employees in the U.S. increased from 55% last year to 57% this year (Temkin Group)
Of those who said their organization does not have a set of values, only 1% are “Fully Engaged” (Modern Survey)
33% of women are engaged with their employers, 28% of men (Gallup)
58% of women without young children would rather work outside the home (Gallup)
47% of employees report feeling very loyal to their company (Metlife)
HR professionals' most important issue in 2015: culture and engagement (Deloitte)
53% of employees say they will be with their current employer one year from now (Mercer)
31% say they changed jobs in the past three years (Gallup)
40% of companies are reporting loss of personnel as a top concern (SHRM)
The top three challenges faced by HR organizations today are turnover, employee engagement, and succession planning (SHRM)
Belief in senior leadership is the strongest engagement driver, growth & development is the second (Modern Survey)
59% of employees say they can "grow and develop" at their organization (Modern Survey)
Employees who are supervised by highly engaged managers are 59% more likely to be engaged (Gallup)
Highly engaged employees are:
2.5 times more likely to stay at work late if something needs to be done after the normal workday ends more than twice as likely to help someone at work even if they don’t ask for help more than three times as likely to do something good for the company that is not expected of them more than five times as likely to recommend that a friend or relative apply for a job at their company (Temkin Group)
42% more likely to evaluate their overall lives highly
27% more likely to report "excellent" performance in their own job at work
27% more likely to report "excellent" performance by their organization
45% more likely to report high levels of adaptability in the presence of change
37% more likely to report always recovering "fully" after illness, injury or hardship
59% less likely to look for a job with a different organization in the next 12 months
18% less likely to change employers in a 12-month period
19% more likely to volunteer their time in the past month (Gallup)
Actively disengaged workers are nearly twice as likely as engaged workers to have been diagnosed with depression (Gallup)
Engaged workers are 28% more likely than their actively disengaged peers to get involved in company-sponsored wellness programs (Gallup)
On a monthly basis, actively disengaged employees have 2.17 unhealthy days, compared with 1.25 unhealthy days for engaged employees (Gallup)
91% of highly engaged employees always or almost always try their hardest at work, compared with 67% of disengaged employees (Temkin Group)
92% of employees said that they are at least “somewhat happy” (Spherion)
33% of employees knew whether they would stay at their company long-term after being on the job for one week or less; 63% had decided within the first month (Ultimate Software)
Companies highest performing employees have three things in common: talent, engagement, and 10+ years of service (Gallup)
How To Boost Ambition In Your Workforce Top-performing companies encourage workers to step up to risk. (Source: Danny/Shutterstock.com) Plenty of workplaces are staffed with qualified employees who get the job done. The most successful companies, though, are stacked with superachievers, folks with turbo drive. Here’s what experts say you can do to encourage ambition at work.
Seek go-getters. The first step is to open the door to ambitious workers, says Ilona Jerabek, president and lead researcher at ArchProfiles.com, a workplace consultancy that specializes in employee recruitment and retention. Many managers hesitate to hire highly ambitious candidates because they think they won’t stick around long enough. Jerabek says that’s shortsighted. “First of all, not all top performers are going to leave if you provide good opportunities for them,” she told IBD. “But if, for example, you are a small business and can’t pay top dollar, it can be more of challenge to retain top talent. Even so, you still get a lot of productivity out of (top performers). You are still better off hiring them. Even if you keep a top performer for a year, you are getting more out of them than you would get out of a poor performer for five years.”
Encourage moonshots. Managers should resist setting a laundry list of goals for workers and instead inspire them to think big. “They should ask: What does crushing your job look like?” said, Kris Duggan, CEO of BetterWorks, a workplace consultancy. Duggan says the engineer at Alphabet‘s (GOOGL) Google who invented Gmail is a great example. “No one told that engineer to go think up an email system,” he said. “Google has a culture of paying fair wages and encouraging stretch-thinking.” Top-performing companies encourage workers to take risks and anticipate a fair amount of failure. Duggan says Google expects a 70% success rate for new ideas. “That’s how they know they are stretching enough,” he said.
Foster collaboration. Successful firms are honest and open about their goals and how each employee can contribute. Teamwork fuels achievement of common goals, Duggan said. “Goal-setting in an open way is key because if you don’t see what the CEO’s objective is and what others are working on, you can’t align your goals.” Create an environment where ambition and initiative are appreciated. “If you have a manager who shoots down ideas of people as stupid or just ignores them, that’s going to eat away creativity and the tendency of people to bring up ideas and show initiative,” Jerabek said. Give credit where credit is due, she adds. A true motivation killer is when your boss takes your great idea and makes it his own.
Develop leadership skills. Work with people who show the propensity to be good leaders, even if they are shy about it. “Rotate project leaders,” Jerabek said. “Don’t put them in management positions right away. Work with them and give them timely feedback; don’t wait until the end of the year.”
Pinpoint motivation. While some goals can be clearly tied to bonuses, that’s not the best strategy to boost ambition, contends Duggan. Working on the right projects and knowing you are being paid fairly often are more motivational. “The old way of attaching a bonus to every goal is not effective,” he said. “Successful companies are decoupling bonus from performance.” Assign projects or tasks based on people’s preferences as much as possible, Jerabek said. “This way you are making sure people are going to pick tasks they are interested in. They are going to be good at it; therefore you are increasing their engagement, and you increase likelihood they will own the job.”
Check in often. Ditch the annual review. Ambitious people don’t want to wait until the end of the year to find out how they’re doing. “Imagine if your Fitbit (FIT) gave you data only once a year,” Duggan said. “Studies have shown that if you track your walking daily, you take 40% more steps each day.” The motivational advantage of timely feedback at work is similar, as Duggan noted: “Work on frequent conversation. Have a monthly or bimonthly meeting between manager and employee. It’s important that it be a balanced, two-way conversation.”