Employment Trends

5 Free Solutions to Keep Your Employees Healthy and Focused

Laura Nolan, Health Solutions Executive at Humana, is a strong advocate for bringing a healthy lifestyle into the corporate office environment. We spoke the other day and she spoke passionately about how health solutions can positively affect output for any company AND the community.

Here are the numbers:

  •  Productivity losses linked to absenteeism cost employers $225.8 BILLION (or $1,685 per employee). Source: CDC, International Monetary Fund
  • People going to work when they’re sick (presenteeism) accounts for nearly TWO-THIRDS OF THE TOTAL COSTS of worker illness. Source: Harvard Business Review
  • More than 48 million workers—or 38 percent of the U.S. working population— have no paid sick leave. Source: NHIS, 2008
  • Companies that have exemplary safety, health and environmental programs OUTPERFORMED THE S&P 500 by between 3 and 5 percent. Source: Fabius R, Thayer R, Dixon BA, et al. 2013

And then it hit me:

Why aren’t all companies already doing this? It would save them so much money!

After 16 years with Humana, Laura has to say this to employers:

“…with wellness, each and every employer should consider it. Even if they aren’t, [or if] they don’t have the funds with the budgets to purchase a high tech wellness program for their employees, anything that you can do to think outside of the box [to ensure your employees are treated well.]”

There are BILLIONS — okay, maybe not billions – but a lot of apps out there to help you and your employees on their health journey!

Check out these other articles:

The best 8 Apps for a Calm, Focused Mind by Huffington post

15 tools that will help you stay focused by Product Hunt

 

Personally, I’m old school and if I try to take a break, I try to do it away from tech. So, here are some of the things that are free (or close to free) that can help you through the day.

 

1.     Set up reminders to take a break

“[At Humana,] twice a day I get an email that tells me to be mindful and to take a moment to meditate, to stretch or to do yoga and it’s linked to YouTube videos, so right. They don’t want me sitting and stuck at my desk all day zoning out and becoming less productive because I’m in the zone, so twice a day I get an email.”

 

This takes time, yes, but overall a free alternative and makes you (your company) an ‘accountability partner’ to your employees’ health journeys.

2.     Stretch

Do some chair yoga! This sound intense, but even just not looking at your computer, or stretching forward while sitting down will do your body some good! Our bodies take so much physical strain from sitting. YES, you heard correctly! Or as Laura would say: “Sitting is the new smoking.”

3.     Dance

Now for those who follow me on “the” social media, you know that I don’t waste any time. In the morning, I like to get my blood pumping! Some mornings I spend at The Gym Jax, but in the office, I like to dance…with my office! We usually do the YMCA, we blast the volume, share some laughs.

Check out this sweet video of us in action. AND YOU’LL LOVE THIS: I did the #inMyFeelingsChallenge, check it.

Are you in Jax? Check out some classes at The Gym Jax here or listen to our other podcast episode about The Gym Jax, here.

4.     Walk it Out

Bring your phone, don’t bring your phone, whatever you choose, just set a timer to 5 minutes and see how far you can walk away from your desk! Whatever you do, the point is to get those legs moving and your brain a break from going 100MPH all morning/afternoon.

5.     Play a Game

Get your office involved, too! Arren was telling me about her college job: she worked at the Dean of Students office and at 2:55pm every day the entire office gathered and would play a game. The games would range from doing icebreakers, light team building activities, and or just being in the room together silent and listening to classical music – just something unrelated to work!

So there they are, 5 free, easy solutions to get your employees happy, healthy, and more productive.

Keep workin’ hard my friends!

 

 

To listen to the full conversation, click here.

Why IT Professionals Quit Their Jobs – And Ways to Keep Them From Leaving

IT employees leave their jobs for various reasons, some are personal but many are a result from workplace culture. As the latter is ultimately under the control of the company, the employer has the opportunity to shift this mass exodus into a positive situation by listening to the complaints of their team. Per assorted surveys that were distributed and completed by IT specialists, here are the top 3 reasons they leave their jobs and a few tactics employers can use to keep them happy:

Salary

While compensation is not always the smartest reason to leave a position, it is often the most common motivation behind someone switching roles. The employee’s feeling of being overworked and undervalued by their employer usually drives this decision – they may not always be seeking higher compensation, rather positive recognition to show their talent is appreciated. 

A way for employers to remedy this is starting by listening to their employees when they are requesting a raise and simply ask “why”. If increasing the salary amount is out of reach from a budgetary standpoint, then possibly propose a little something extra like additional PTO days – Anything to make them feel heard and rewarded.

Career Advancement

 
No one likes to feel bored day in and day out at their job, especially IT professionals – They are used to being challenged with problems that only they know how to solve. Once a lack of interest takes over, subpar work and constant job searching on LinkedIn will be the results. Room for advancement is huge in this industry; so employers need to offer this in order to successfully retain their talent. If the company isn’t in a place to offer promotions, then there are other ways to help employees grow in the field that will also be of benefit to the employer. Offering to pay and send teams to workshops and / or leadership courses is one great way to boost their motivation and take new techniques learned back their everyday role.

Company Culture

In this generation, company culture is everything. Millennials are persistently looking for other opportunities the moment they feel low morale in the work place and this all starts with the management. IT specialists are known to work during unconventional times, in very different environments – The last thing they desire at the office is set hours and micromanagement. Companies can work towards a solution here by offering accessible management, who are understanding of the way the “9-5” mindset is shifting and willingly adapt to that change. Offering an office environment that is transparent and appealing to the age group in today’s work force will, not only keep great current employees, but will also attract likeminded talent.

While this article is tailored to those in the IT profession, these strategies can also be successfully used for other industries. Utilizing these recommended approaches will hopefully help reduce turnover, while keeping valued and hard-working employees satisfied with their current employer!