• What Employees Want: Well-Being Programs

    February 16, 2022

    Tags: , ,

    Work­place well­ness pro­grams have increased in the past sev­er­al years to pro­mote healthy diets and lifestyle, exer­cise and oth­er behav­iors such as quit­ting smok­ing.  As of 2020, most employ­ers had well­ness pro­grams of some kind, includ­ing 53% of small firms (those with 3–200 employ­ees) and 81% of large com­pa­nies.  Since employ­ees spend most of their wak­ing hours on the job, well­ness pro­grams seem to be a nat­ur­al fit to try to pro­mote healthy changes in behav­ior.  But, in 2022, employ­ees want more; many work­ers are look­ing for employ­ers who show authen­tic con­cern for their well-being.

    Well-being is about how our lives are going.  It’s not only about health and hap­pi­ness but also about liv­ing life to its fullest poten­tial.  In fact, data shows that employ­ees of all gen­er­a­tions rank “the orga­ni­za­tion cares about the employ­ees’ well-being” in their top three criteria.

    Finan­cial stress soared dur­ing the pan­dem­ic but so did reg­u­lar stress, too.  Men­tal health strug­gles such as anx­i­ety, depres­sion, and sub­stance abuse are also climb­ing.  These are expen­sive issues to ignore both in terms of the human suf­fer­ing but also the company’s bot­tom line: Depres­sion alone costs an esti­mat­ed $210.5 bil­lion per year.  These costs are due to absen­teeism (missed work days) and pre­sen­teeism (reduced pro­duc­tiv­i­ty at work) as well as direct med­ical costs (out­pa­tient and inpa­tient med­ical ser­vices and phar­ma­cy costs).

    Employ­ers must rec­og­nize the inter­re­la­tion­ship between the phys­i­cal, finan­cial, work and well-being com­po­nents of employ­ees’ lives.  For exam­ple, employ­ees who need help with their finan­cial well-being are sig­nif­i­cant­ly less like­ly to be phys­i­cal­ly healthy and more like­ly to report feel­ing stressed or anx­ious which can impact pro­duc­tiv­i­ty and job per­for­mance.  Vice Pres­i­dent for Com­mu­ni­ca­tions at Fideli­ty Invest­ments in Boston, Mike Sham­rell,  rec­og­nizes the need for all dimen­sions of well­ness.  “It’s tough to be well in one area when you’re unwell in anoth­er,” he said.

    Well-being is often asso­ci­at­ed with gym mem­ber­ships and green smooth­ies but it is much more than that; it is a result of many dif­fer­ent aspects of one’s life.  Here are 5 com­mon dimen­sions of well-being that can be addressed through a work­place well­ness program:

    • Emotional/Mental Health – Under­stand­ing your feel­ings and cop­ing with stress.
    • Phys­i­cal Health – Dis­cov­er­ing how self-care can improve your life and productivity.
    • Finan­cial Health – Suc­cess­ful­ly man­ag­ing your money.
    • Social Con­nect­ed­ness – Cre­at­ing and being a part of a sup­port network.
    • Occu­pa­tion­al Well-Being– Feel­ing appre­ci­at­ed at work and sat­is­fied in your contributions.

    Great employ­ees want great employ­ers.  Com­pa­nies that want cre­ative, high-per­form­ing teams must be will­ing to sup­port work­ers both in and out of the office.  Well-being has a major influ­ence on an employee’s per­for­mance and sat­is­fac­tion; employ­ees who feel val­ued and appre­ci­at­ed are more invest­ed in their com­pa­ny in return.

  • What You Need to Know About Healthcare Benefits in 2022

    February 8, 2022

    Tags: , ,

    While the new year feels like a fresh start for most work­ers, it’s also expect­ed to come with a spike in health insur­ance pre­mi­ums. Pre­mi­ums and deductibles have been steadi­ly increas­ing for years. The Kaiser Fam­i­ly Foun­da­tion (KFF) found that pre­mi­ums for a fam­i­ly rose 4% in 2021, accord­ing to a sur­vey focused on employ­er-spon­sored benefits.

    The aver­age fam­i­ly pays $22,221 in pre­mi­ums, accord­ing to KFF. Work­ers con­tributed $5,969 toward their cov­er­age, while employ­ers paid the rest. In fact, since 2011 the aver­age fam­i­ly pre­mi­ums have increased 47%, which KFF found was more than wages (31%) and infla­tion (19%).

    Not only is this a finan­cial hard­ship for Amer­i­can fam­i­lies, but it’s also drain­ing com­pa­nies that are strug­gling to main­tain employ­ee cov­er­age. To com­pli­cate the mat­ter, sev­er­al fed­er­al pro­grams pro­vid­ing sup­port for health­care are due to expire in 2022.

    What to Expect in Healthcare Coverage

    Ris­ing health­care pre­mi­ums are only part of the prob­lem. Deductibles are also sky­rock­et­ing. This is the amount work­ers have to pay before insur­ance kicks in and could make a huge finan­cial dif­fer­ence for fam­i­lies deal­ing with a seri­ous health issue.

    The aver­age sin­gle deductible has dou­bled in the last decade to $1,669. For the more afford­able health­care plans, deductibles can be as high as $8,000. Over­all, 85% of the 155 Amer­i­cans with employ­er-spon­sored cov­er­age have a deductible.

    Anoth­er sur­vey con­duct­ed by the Busi­ness Group on Health antic­i­pates health­care costs increas­ing by as much as 6% in 2022. Ana­lysts point­ed out that 2021 rates actu­al­ly flat­tened out slight­ly because many Amer­i­cans avoid­ed treat­ments dur­ing the pan­dem­ic. That’s expect­ed to end in 2022, which will dri­ve up prices. Of all employ­ers sur­veyed by BGOH, 94% expect­ed high­er med­ical costs because of delays in treatment.

    Expiring Federal Support Programs

    Fed­er­al leg­is­la­tion is also expir­ing in Jan­u­ary 2022. The Coro­n­avirus Aid, Relief, and Eco­nom­ic Secu­ri­ty (CARES) Act was one of the first bills signed in 2020 to help work­ers. It gave mon­ey to busi­ness­es, enhanced unem­ploy­ment pro­grams, and fund­ed hospitals.

    One pro­vi­sion known as “safe har­bor” allowed high-deductible health plans to cov­er tele­health and remote care ser­vices at lit­tle to no cost. The CARES act expired on Decem­ber 31 and will now impact who is eli­gi­ble for tele­health services.

    Anoth­er rule under the Amer­i­can Res­cue Plan Act (ARPA) in 2021 allowed for mid-year elec­tion changes for Depen­dent Care Reim­burse­ment Accounts (DCRA). This allowed work­ers to elect high­er lim­its to help pay for child­care pre-tax. The ARPA also expires on Decem­ber 31. If the new high­er exclu­sion lim­it is not extend­ed into 2022, fam­i­lies will have to con­tend with the pre­vi­ous $5,000 limit.

    Around 30 mil­lion Amer­i­cans get their health cov­er­age from the Mar­ket­place, which was estab­lished by the Afford­able Care Act. With more enrollees and more avail­able plans in 2022, experts antic­i­pate a change in pre­mi­um sub­si­dies that could increase the total price peo­ple have to pay.

    Navigating the Future

    Regard­less of what employ­ers decide to do, HR depart­ments need to be proac­tive in guid­ing employ­ees through the process. Health­care deci­sions are com­plex and no com­pa­ny wants dis­grun­tled work­ers as a result of cut­ting or switch­ing plans with­out notice. Clear com­mu­ni­ca­tion and assis­tance are nec­es­sary to ensure a smooth tran­si­tion that is ben­e­fi­cial for everyone.

    Com­pa­nies and HR depart­ments should also keep in mind that the ben­e­fits they ulti­mate­ly choose will define future recruit­ing. Health­care ben­e­fits are a top deci­sion-mak­ing fac­tor for most prospects.

    By Mcken­zie Cassidy

    Orig­i­nal­ly post­ed on HR Exchange Network

  • Pros and Cons of the Gig Economy

    January 31, 2022

    Tags: ,

    Since the start of the pan­dem­ic, the gig econ­o­my has become more ubiq­ui­tous. Human Resources lead­ers need to under­stand the new kind of work­er attract­ed to the world of gigs, and learn how to make that kind of non-tra­di­tion­al work­er fit into their teams.

    Some mis­tak­en­ly believe that the gig econ­o­my, also known as the shared econ­o­my, only refers to on-demand jobs like dri­ving for Uber or Lyft or mak­ing Ama­zon deliv­er­ies. How­ev­er, it is also applic­a­ble to white-col­lar jobs. It’s becom­ing a solu­tion for employ­ees, who need more flex­i­bil­i­ty, and employ­ers, who need tal­ent dur­ing a his­toric labor short­age. The HR Exchange Net­work’s State of HR Report revealed that HR lead­ers hold flex­i­ble work cul­ture as a top pri­or­i­ty, sec­ond only to employ­ee engage­ment and expe­ri­ence. Buy­ing into gig work might be a way to address both those priorities.

    What Is the Gig Economy?

    “The gig econ­o­my is a free mar­ket sys­tem in which tem­po­rary, flex­i­ble jobs are com­mon­place and com­pa­nies bring on inde­pen­dent con­trac­tors and free­lancers instead of full-time employ­ees, and in many cas­es, for short-term engage­ments,” accord­ing to Embro­ker.

    A look at the num­bers demon­strates how impor­tant it is for HR lead­ers to pay atten­tion and get up to speed on how this new kind of work arrange­ment could influ­ence their busi­ness. By 2023, the glob­al gig econ­o­my is expect­ed to be a $455 bil­lion indus­try, accord­ing to Har­vard Busi­ness Review. Two mil­lion new work­ers joined the U.S. free­lance work­force in 2020. In fact, one in three work­ing Amer­i­cans rely on free­lanc­ing for all or part of their income. Gallup esti­mates rough­ly 57 mil­lion Amer­i­cans are gig work­ers, accord­ing to Forbes.

    “The rapid­ly accel­er­at­ing growth of the gig econ­o­my rep­re­sents one of the most sig­nif­i­cant and all-encom­pass­ing chal­lenges faced by Human Resources pro­fes­sion­als,” accord­ing to SHRM. “The fun­da­men­tal ques­tion is whether Human Resources can demon­strate the agili­ty to lead the change in cul­ture, pro­grams, process­es, and poli­cies orig­i­nal­ly designed for work com­plet­ed by full-time employ­ees to a new era when more of the work is being com­plet­ed by a tal­ent port­fo­lio increas­ing­ly rep­re­sent­ed by con­tin­gent work­ers (also referred to as gig­sters, free agents, tem­po­rary help, agency work­ers, on-call work­ers, con­tract work­ers, inde­pen­dent con­trac­tors, or freelancers).”

    Pros of the Gig Economy

    Affordable Labor

    A full-time employ­ee requires a salary and ben­e­fits. You have to make hefty invest­ments in train­ing and career pro­gres­sion. Hir­ing an on-demand work­er elim­i­nates the need for all that. You pay them per project or on an hourly basis for as long as you need them. They usu­al­ly can work remote­ly or only need to come into an office or place of busi­ness on a lim­it­ed basis.

    Specific Skills or Talents

    Some­times, you need an expert in an area for one or two projects and not on a reg­u­lar basis. Being able to hire con­tract work­ers as you need them means you can look for exact­ly what you need at that moment. You don’t nec­es­sar­i­ly have to wor­ry about well-round­ed skills like you might with a full-time hire.


    Free­lancers and on-demand hires offer flex­i­bil­i­ty. Even if you’re renew­ing a con­tract with one of them on a reg­u­lar basis, you only have to pay them for the work they actu­al­ly do. You can turn to them when the work demands more help or when their par­tic­u­lar ser­vice will enhance outcomes.

    Cons of the Gig Economy

    Carousel of Workers

    Team dynam­ics can be hard to pin down when you are always work­ing with dif­fer­ent peo­ple. Even if you con­sis­tent­ly work with the same free­lancers, they are not bound by the same par­tic­i­pa­tion expec­ta­tions as full-time work­ers. This can make it even more chal­leng­ing to define a cul­ture or help teams bet­ter collaborate.

    Different Kind of Relationships

    There’s more of a hier­ar­chy when you are work­ing with full-time employ­ees. Man­agers and super­vi­sors over­see their work and usu­al­ly pro­vide some sort of per­for­mance mea­sure­ments to track their progress. With free­lancers, you are their client. They are still work­ing for you, but it changes the dynam­ic of the relationship.

    This becomes most com­pli­cat­ed with con­tin­gent work­ers, who work con­sis­tent­ly for a com­pa­ny but with­out job secu­ri­ty or tra­di­tion­al ben­e­fits. They do this for a num­ber of rea­sons, includ­ing hav­ing more free­dom over their sched­ules, being able to work for oth­ers, and being their own boss. As a result, the con­tract dic­tates their work more than the man­ag­er does. How­ev­er, the man­ag­er or com­pa­ny could end up being a dis­sat­is­fied cus­tomer, and con­tin­gent work­ers can be let go at any time and you don’t have to prove they deserved to be fired.

    Lack of Routine

    If you’re work­ing with a blend­ed team – full-time employ­ees and free­lancers or con­tin­gent work­ers – you might have a hard time cre­at­ing a sol­id sched­ule or rou­tine for the group. Poten­tial­ly you could still get the job done, but full-time employ­ees might feel incon­ve­nienced or maybe even a bit resent­ful. They have to be in one place for a cer­tain amount of time, where­as their free­lance coun­ter­parts are free to work on their own clock.

    Obvi­ous­ly, there are pros and cons to the gig econ­o­my. But HR lead­ers can’t afford to ignore the fact that there is a soci­etal shift toward this kind of work­place, where peo­ple have more free­dom over their sched­ules, the kind of work they do, and even the rela­tion­ship they have with employ­ers. There’s still so much we have to fig­ure out when it comes to the gig economy.

    “Online gig work has grown increas­ing­ly com­mon in recent years – and yet there’s still lim­it­ed under­stand­ing of how to effec­tive­ly sup­port these non-tra­di­tion­al work­ers,” accord­ing to Har­vard Busi­ness Review. “While gig work­ers can ben­e­fit from greater flex­i­bil­i­ty and auton­o­my than tra­di­tion­al employ­ees, they also face unique chal­lenges: less job secu­ri­ty, few­er resources for career devel­op­ment, and often, a strong sense of alien­ation and dif­fi­cul­ty find­ing mean­ing in their work.”

    In fact, many reports have sug­gest­ed that HR lead­ers in the future will pro­vide access to resources regard­ing ben­e­fits like med­ical insur­ance instead of pay­ing for it as they would for a full-time employ­ee. Com­pa­nies may begin to sup­port co-work­ing spaces to pre­vent iso­la­tion of their con­tin­gent or free­lance work­ers. The point is that change is afoot, and HR lead­ers are paving the way for this new work paradigm.

    By Francesca Di Meglio

    Orig­i­nal­ly post­ed on HR Exchange Network

  • Healthy Eating Tips

    January 24, 2022


    It can some­times feel as if we’re bom­bard­ed with infor­ma­tion about the lat­est eat­ing trend or buzz­wor­thy ingre­di­ent. But good nutri­tion is real­ly about hav­ing a well-round­ed diet, and it’s eas­i­er to do than you may think. In fact, liv­ing a nutri­tious lifestyle can be easy and fun.

    Nutri­tion is about more than vitamins—it also includes fiber and healthy fats. Now is a per­fect time to learn sim­ple ways to help your whole fam­i­ly eat healthier.

    Need tips specif­i­cal­ly for young chil­dren? Learn how to intro­duce kids to healthy foods.

    Add healthy fats.

    Not all fats are bad. Foods with monoun­sat­u­rat­ed and polyun­sat­u­rat­ed fats are impor­tant for your brain and heart. Lim­it foods with trans fats, which increase the risk for heart dis­ease. Good sources of healthy fats include olive oil, nuts, seeds, cer­tain types of fish, and avocados.

    Try this:

    • Top lean meats with sliced avo­ca­do, or try some avo­ca­do in your morn­ing smoothie.
    • Sprin­kle nuts or seeds (like sliv­ered almonds or pump­kin seeds) on soups or salads.
    • Add a fish with healthy fats, like salmon or tuna, into your meals twice a week.
    • Swap processed oils (like canola or soy­bean oil) for oils that are cold-pressed, like extra-vir­gin olive oil and sesame oil.

    Cut the sodium.

    Good nutri­tion is about bal­ance, and that means not get­ting too much of cer­tain ingre­di­ents, such as sodi­um (salt). Sodi­um increas­es blood pres­sure, which rais­es the risk for heart dis­ease and stroke. About 90% of Amer­i­cans 2 years old or old­er con­sume too much sodi­um. For most peo­ple ages 14 years and old­er, sodi­um should not exceed 2,300 mg per day.

    Try this:

    • Avoid processed and prepack­aged food, which can be full of hid­den sodi­um. Many com­mon foods, includ­ing breads, piz­za, and deli meats, can be sources of hid­den sodium.
    • At the gro­cery store, look for prod­ucts that say “low sodium.”
    • At restau­rants, ask for sauces and dress­ings on the side. Get more tips for low­er­ing sodi­um while eat­ing out.
    • Instead of using salt, add deli­cious fla­vor to your meals with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice, a dash of no-salt spice blends, or fresh herbs.

    Bump up your fiber.

    Fiber in your diet not only keeps you reg­u­lar, it also helps you feel fuller longer. Fiber also helps con­trol blood sug­ar and low­ers cho­les­terol lev­els.3,4 Fresh fruits and veg­eta­bles, whole grains, and legumes (beans and peas) are good sources of fiber.

    Try this:

    • Slice up raw veg­gies and keep them in to-go bag­gies to use as quick snacks.
    • Start your day off with a high-fiber break­fast like whole grain oat­meal sprin­kled with pecans or macadamia nuts.
    • Steam veg­gies rather than boil­ing them. When buy­ing frozen veg­gies, look for ones that have been “flash frozen.”
    • Add half a cup of beans or peas to your sal­ad to add fiber, tex­ture, and flavor.

    Aim for a variety of colors on your plate.

    Foods like dark, leafy greens, oranges, and tomatoes—even fresh herbs—are loaded with vit­a­mins, fiber, and minerals.

    Try this:

    • Sprin­kle fresh herbs over a sal­ad or whole wheat pasta.
    • Make a red sauce using canned toma­toes (look for “low sodi­um” or “no salt added”), fresh herbs, and spices.
    • Add diced veg­gies like pep­pers, broc­coli, or onions to stews and omelets to give them a boost of col­or and nutrients.

    Are you eat­ing healthy to help you get to a healthy weight? Learn more about bal­anced eat­ing.

    Orig­i­nal­ly post­ed on Cen­ters for Dis­ease Con­trol and Pre­ven­tion (CDC)

  • Healthy Teeth, Healthy Mouth, Healthy You!

    January 18, 2022

    Tags: ,

    Did you know that prob­lems in your mouth can affect the rest of your body? Or that your den­tal health offers clues about your over­all health?  Poor den­tal health con­tributes to major sys­temic health prob­lems. Con­verse­ly, good den­tal hygiene can help improve your over­all health.  As a bonus, main­tain­ing good oral health can even REDUCE your health­care costs!

    Researchers have shown us that there is a close-knit rela­tion­ship between oral health and over­all well­ness. With over 700 types of bac­te­ria in your mouth, it’s no sur­prise that when even one of those types of bac­te­ria enter your blood­stream that a prob­lem can arise in your body. Oral bac­te­ria can con­tribute to:

    1. Endo­cardi­tis—The infec­tion of the inner lin­ing of the heart can be caused by bac­te­ria that start­ed in your mouth.
    2. Car­dio­vas­cu­lar Dis­ease—Heart dis­ease, as well as clogged arter­ies and even stroke, can be traced back to oral bacteria.
    3. Low birth weight—Poor oral health has been linked to pre­ma­ture birth and low birth weight of newborns.

    Over $45 bil­lion is lost in pro­duc­tiv­i­ty in the Unit­ed States each year because of untreat­ed oral health prob­lems.  These oral dis­eases can result in the need for cost­ly emer­gency room vis­its, hos­pi­tal stays, and med­ica­tions, not to men­tion loss of work time. The pain and dis­com­fort from infect­ed teeth and gums can lead to poor pro­duc­tiv­i­ty in the work­place, and even loss of income. Chil­dren with poor oral health are more prone to ill­ness and may require a par­ent to stay home from work to care for them and take them to cost­ly den­tal appoint­ments.  In fact, over 34 mil­lion school hours are lost each year because of emer­gency den­tal care.

    So, how do you pre­vent this night­mare of pain, dis­ease, and increased health­care costs? It’s sim­ple! By fol­low­ing through with your rou­tine year­ly den­tal check-ups and dai­ly pre­ven­ta­tive care, you will give your body a big boost in its gen­er­al health. Check out these tips for a healthy mouth:

    • Main­tain a reg­u­lar brushing/flossing routine—Brush and floss teeth twice dai­ly to remove food and plaque from your teeth, and in between your teeth where bac­te­ria thrive.
    • Use the right toothbrush—When your bris­tles are mashed and bent, you aren’t using the best instru­ment for clean­ing your teeth. Make sure to buy a new tooth­brush every three months. If you have braces, get a tooth­brush that can eas­i­ly clean around the brack­ets on your teeth.
    • Vis­it your dentist—Visit your den­tist for a check-up every 6 months. He/she will be able to look into that win­dow to your body and keep your mouth clear of bac­te­ria. Your den­tist will also be able to alert you to prob­lems they see as a pos­si­ble warn­ing sign to oth­er health issues, like dia­betes, that have a major impact on your over­all health and health­care costs.
    • Eat a healthy diet—Staying away from sug­ary foods and drinks will pre­vent cav­i­ties and tooth decay from the acids pro­duced when bac­te­ria in your mouth comes in con­tact with sug­ar. Starch­es have a sim­i­lar effect. Eat­ing healthy will reduce your out of pock­et costs of fill­ings, hav­ing decayed teeth pulled, and will keep you from the increased health costs of dia­betes, obe­si­ty-relat­ed dis­eases, and oth­er chron­ic conditions.
    • Drink more water—Water is the best bev­er­age for your over­all health—including oral health. Drink­ing water after every meal can help wash out some of the neg­a­tive effects of sticky and acidic foods and bev­er­ages in between brushes.

    A healthy oral hygiene rou­tine will do won­ders for your teeth, mouth, and smile from a den­tal per­spec­tive.  Oral health is also a key indi­ca­tor of over­all health and well-being.  That should keep the rest of your body smil­ing as well!

  • How to Make (and Keep!) a New Year’s Resolution

    January 10, 2022

    Tags: , ,

    Ever won­der why the res­o­lu­tions you make in Jan­u­ary don’t stick around after March? You aren’t alone! Stud­ies show that only 8% of peo­ple keep their New Year’s res­o­lu­tions. Why? And how do peo­ple achieve their goals set at New Year’s? We’ve bro­ken it down for you so you can iden­ti­fy your goal-break­er as well as give you some tips on how to make those res­o­lu­tions stick.

    There are three main rea­sons that New Year’s res­o­lu­tions fail. The first goal-break­er is tak­ing on too much (too big of a goal) and expect­ing it to hap­pen too fast. Researchers have found that it takes 66 days to break a habit. That’s much high­er than the pre­vi­ous­ly pub­lished 21 days. It con­verse­ly means that it also takes 66 days to form a new habit. So, bat­tle your goal-break­er by set­ting small­er, achiev­able goals to focus your ener­gies on rather than spread­ing your­self too thin on lofty goals.

    The sec­ond rea­son you fail to keep your res­o­lu­tion is you don’t have any­one sup­port­ing you. This could be because you sim­ply didn’t tell any­one that you have new life goals. It could also be due to fear of account­abil­i­ty. You need some life-cheer­lead­ers that root you on to vic­to­ry. These cheer­lead­ers also call you out when you are rid­ing off the tracks. Their sup­port isn’t tied to your achieve­ment of your goals but instead their sup­port is firm­ly tied to you and they want to see you succeed.

    The last goal-break­er set­ting a goal that is too vague.  You can’t get to your des­ti­na­tion if you don’t know where you are going.   A goal like “I want to try hard­er at work” or “I want to save more mon­ey this year” is too gen­er­al a notion that does not give you some­thing spe­cif­ic to work towards or a well-defined path to fol­low.  And if you can’t pro­vide spe­cif­ic bench­marks, you can’t mea­sure your progress.

    Now, let’s steer this ship back on course with some tips on KEEPING your New Year’s resolutions.

    Plan Ahead

    To ensure suc­cess, plan ahead so you can have the resources avail­able when you need them.  Then, you won’t have excus­es for why you can’t fol­low through.  Here are a few things you can do to prepare:

    • Read up on it – Get books on the sub­ject. Whether it’s tak­ing up run­ning or becom­ing a veg­e­tar­i­an, there are books to help you pre­pare for it.
    • Plan for suc­cess – Get every­thing you need so things will go smooth­ly. If you are tak­ing up run­ning, make sure you have the clothes, shoes, and playlists so that you are ready to get started.
    Reward Yourself Along the Way

    Small rewards are great encour­age­ment to keep you going dur­ing the hard­est first days.  After that, you can try to reward your­self once a week with a lunch with a friend, a nap, or what­ev­er makes you tick.  Lat­er, you can change the rewards to month­ly and even pick an anniver­sary reward!

    Write Your Goals Down on Paper

    Writ­ing estab­lish­es inten­tion but action needs to be tak­en to achieve your res­o­lu­tion.  Have a writ­ten account of your goals is a con­stant reminder to take action.  Mark Mur­phy says Writ­ing things down doesn’t just help you remem­ber, it makes your mind more effi­cient by help­ing you focus on the tru­ly impor­tant stuff. And your goals absolute­ly should qual­i­fy as tru­ly impor­tant stuff.” 

    Start When You’re Ready

    When you launch your res­o­lu­tion on Jan­u­ary 1st, you are mak­ing a change based on a cal­en­dar date.  What are the chances that you’re going to be ready for a life change at exact­ly the same time the cal­en­dar rolls over to a new year?  There’s no need to launch your res­o­lu­tion on Jan­u­ary 1st or even in Jan­u­ary.  Start work­ing on your goal when you’re ready.  That’s not to say that you need to wait until you feel ful­ly con­fi­dent before start­ing (that may nev­er hap­pen).  Delay­ing your goal a few weeks or a few months is bet­ter than aban­don­ing it altogether.

    Identify Your Purpose

    Know­ing your “WHAT” (goal) is impor­tant but know­ing your “WHY” can be just as impor­tant when it comes to fol­low­ing through on your inten­tions. Why do you want to lose weight in 2022? When you put the why to the what, you are tru­ly focused on what mat­ters. “I want to lose weight so that I can play with my chil­dren with­out get­ting tired and show them that hard work is worth it.”  Now, THAT’S a great goal.

    Iden­ti­fy­ing goal-break­ers and goal-mak­ers are equal­ly impor­tant pieces to achiev­ing what you set out to accom­plish, espe­cial­ly with regards to New Year’s res­o­lu­tions. Com­mit to mak­ing this year the year that your res­o­lu­tion is going to stick!

  • HR Trends to Watch in 2022

    January 5, 2022

    Tags: , , ,

    Human Resources lead­ers are always being asked to look into a crys­tal ball and pre­dict the future. You prob­a­bly don’t have any super pow­ers. But your Spidey sense might be telling you that a few trends that are sur­fac­ing are like­ly to stick around through the new year, 2022.

    The coro­n­avirus pan­dem­ic has changed your work and life. Slow­ly, things are improv­ing and you’re get­ting your orga­ni­za­tion (not to men­tion your­self) used to the new nor­mal. While you’re set­tling in (and still hav­ing an occa­sion­al pan­ic attack, no judg­ment), you might want to pay spe­cial atten­tion to what’s com­ing next.

    Transformation of Human Resources

    There’s no doubt that the biggest sto­ry of 2021, the Great Res­ig­na­tion, will spill over into 2022. When the pan­dem­ic began in 2020, HR lead­ers sud­den­ly had a seat at the table. You were charged with being the light as peo­ple nav­i­gat­ed safe­ty pro­to­col and tran­si­tioned to remote teams in the dark­ness. Your stature only con­tin­ued to grow.

    Then, peo­ple start­ed quit­ting jobs in droves. In 2021, you fig­ured out why this was hap­pen­ing. Peo­ple were tired of low wages, lack of child care and health­care, and an over­all malaise about the kind of work they were doing. Some renamed the era the Great Reshuf­fling because peo­ple were seek­ing a bet­ter fit in their work and more work-life bal­ance. In 2022, you will be deter­min­ing the best ways to recruit and retain top tal­ent. These strate­gies won’t be as basic they once were. It will def­i­nite­ly be a case of out with the old and in with the new.

    Four-Day Workweek

    In the wake of the pan­dem­ic, employ­ees learned how to be ultra-pro­duc­tive at home. They used the extra time that remote work afford­ed (with­out a com­mute) to enjoy their fam­i­lies, pur­sue their hob­bies, and get in a lit­tle me time. Peo­ple don’t want to give that up. Employ­ees have the lever­age now, and they are ask­ing for more flex­i­bil­i­ty in their sched­ules. While that’s already hap­pen­ing, some are talk­ing about tak­ing flex­i­bil­i­ty even further.

    All this prompt­ed dis­cus­sions about the four-day work­week, a con­cept that has come up before. The debate will con­tin­ue on into 2022, and some com­pa­nies may adapt to this sched­ule to woo recruits and retain employ­ees dur­ing what con­tin­ues to be an his­toric labor shortage.

    Mental Health and Wellness

    The pan­dem­ic revealed that men­tal health and well­ness is impor­tant to every­one. No one is immune to stress, espe­cial­ly dur­ing uncer­tain times. Busi­ness­es are rec­og­niz­ing this fact and pro­vid­ing employ­ees with tools for reliev­ing stress, address­ing men­tal ill­ness­es, and pre­vent­ing burnout. Some com­pa­nies are offer­ing more flex­i­bil­i­ty, but they also pro­vide pro­grams. Maybe the employ­er offers a yoga class or med­i­ta­tion time. Some pro­vide men­tal health days as part of paid time off (PTO). Employ­ers are going to get more cre­ative and pay more atten­tion to the men­tal health of their employ­ees mov­ing for­ward. This will only become a big­ger part of HR leadership’s responsibilities.

    Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI)

    At the height of the pan­dem­ic, the world watched the Black Lives Mat­ter protests unfold before their eyes. Many demand­ed that busi­ness­es take a stand and show their sup­port for the move­ment. By putting the spot­light on injus­tices relat­ed to polic­ing, peo­ple began rec­og­niz­ing the lack of rep­re­sen­ta­tion in lead­er­ship and man­age­ment and even at junior levels.

    While diver­si­ty had been on the minds of HR lead­ers for some time already, DEI strate­gies have risen in terms of pri­or­i­ty. In 2022, you can expect DEI to remain at the fore­front of recruit­ing and reten­tion strategies.

    The Possibility of More Variants

    The Omi­cron vari­ant swept the nation dur­ing the hol­i­day sea­son, and it upend­ed plans for a return to the office for many employ­ers. While some tra­di­tion­al­ists are hold­ing out for in-office-only work­ers and some occu­pa­tions require going to a phys­i­cal loca­tion to get the job done, the real­i­ty is that most com­pa­nies will have to keep some lev­el of remote work as an option because of the var­i­ous COVID vari­ants that might sur­face. Until the pan­dem­ic turns into an endem­ic, some com­pa­nies will be remote only. Oth­ers will remain hybrid workplaces.

    Com­ing up with suf­fi­cient strate­gies on how to col­lab­o­rate, forge bonds, con­duct per­for­mance mea­sures, and attain desired results is a must. Of course, there are dread­ed con­ver­sa­tions to be had about mask­ing up and get­ting vac­ci­nat­ed. Take a holis­tic approach, make sure the strat­e­gy match­es your val­ues, and con­sid­er the risks asso­ci­at­ed with what­ev­er deci­sions you make.

    Generational Differences

    For the first time in his­to­ry, four gen­er­a­tions (Boomers, Gen­er­a­tion X, Mil­len­ni­als, and Gen Z) are in the work­force at the same time. The dif­fer­ences among the gen­er­a­tions – from pop cul­ture ref­er­ences to tech savvy – pop up at the water cool­er on a dai­ly basis. The real­i­ty is that Mil­len­ni­als and Gen Z hold most of the pow­er. The Boomers are retir­ing and Gen Xers are the small­est group and often get ignored or forgotten.

    In any case, many HR experts focused on the gen­er­a­tional dif­fer­ences that influ­ence the suc­cess of orga­ni­za­tions. The pan­dem­ic real­ly brought out some of the pro­found dis­agree­ments, like whether to per­mit work­ing from home in any city you choose or push­ing or a return to the office. Gen Z report­ed­ly del­e­gates to their old­er supe­ri­ors, while Mil­len­ni­als take a more mid­dle-of-the-road and even prac­ti­cal approach as they gain esteem and rise to pow­er. These gen­er­a­tional gaps will con­tin­ue into 2022, and you might notice more dif­fer­ences. Cer­tain­ly, HR lead­ers are going to be work­ing hard to unite all these groups. After all, DEI efforts should include age vari­a­tions, too.

    By Francesca Di Meglio

    Orig­i­nal­ly post­ed on HR Exchange Network

North Bay Business Journal - 2022 Winner Best Places To Work 2022 Excellence in Benefits Awards NBBJ Gives Awards Winner Email Badge NBBJ Community Philanthropy Award 2017-2022
Español »