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5 Proven Employee Wellness Programs to Improve Productivity

5 Proven Employee Wellness Programs to Improve Productivity

We tend to put in more efforts to attain the best possible result out of our everyday work in the workplace. This is because we believe in working hard in order to earn our place in the organization. We spend up to 9 hours a day at our offices and needless to say, the corporate life is full of stress and mental pressure.

Sometimes, we feel like extending our shift to complete our work not only because we need to deliver it at the end of the day but also because we want to earn the faith of our seniors.

Despite the busy professional life of people like us, there are people, especially in the production line, who have mostly sedentary working hours. Since they need to oversee the work done by their inferiors, they either just sit in the chair looking around or keep an eye on individuals working around and guide them to improve their work standards. The rest of their waking hours elapse in taking care of other personal and social activities.

Health is Wealth

While working for hours in our respective workplaces, we fail to track our health and other physical activities like Morning/Evening Exercise or Yoga, and subsequently face various health problems. Cervical and Migraine are amongst the most common medical conditions, which arise out of busy corporate life.

Organizations voluntarily provide their employees with the best health insurance coverage, in order to conquer these and other fatal health hazards. Since prevention is better than cure, it’s prudent to participate in one or more of health & fitness programs to avoid the odds of health issues whatsoever.

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Organizations need to implement various health and fitness programs in their workplaces. In fact, these programs have already gained much popularity in the organizational culture globally. Various multinational organizations that have implemented employee wellness programs have stronger employee satisfaction and morale, resulting in high employee productivity and happier customers subsequently.

Employee Wellness Programs

Employee wellness programs primarily have two key approaches to be implemented in workplaces.

1. The primary workplace wellness program focuses on different workplace ethics and efforts in their support. This combines various improvements that need to be done with reference to the workplace environment, leadership style and feedback/assessment sessions, organization and assignment of different tasks, different practices related to management of work, lifestyle improvement, employee engagement programs, healthy habits, behavioral improvement etc. This also includes preparing personality development lectures and continuous feedbacks.

Well, changing one’s lifestyle in the workplace is a good practice and often results in strong morale and high productivity, which eventually is the goal of every organization.

2. This strategy combines both personal wellness and organizational productivity at the same time. Organizations, nowadays, have multiple options to improve the health of their employees.

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For example, they can organize various healthcare programs, aerobic sessions, yoga and fitness campaigns, and marathons at times and urge their employees to participate in these activities to improve their health significantly. Such activities mostly succeed when organized on a large scale. Naturally, taking part in physical activities improve one’s health and significantly helps them get a better physique.

Stages of Change

There are not more than two stages, i.e. pre-contemplation and contemplation, employees most likely are in, especially in terms of their health.

When we talk about pre-contemplation, we refer to employees that have an unhealthy lifestyle, behavioral issues, including those who are not ready to accept changes in their lifestyle at work and those who still need to realize that they need it. In contrast, those who are in the contemplation stage have a fair enough idea about this very need.

Such employees are always ready to accept changes in their lifestyle at work. All they need is guidelines or motivation to get started whenever necessary

And, when really necessary, they welcome the changes in their behavior in the workplace, provided they are offered the right incentive in terms of guidelines or coaching in the right direction.

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However, there are big hurdles on an employer’s way of guiding such employees, e.g. inspire and engage employees that are interested in lifestyle amendment at work, thereby making them aware of supporting activities that collectively lead to sustainable health and fitness.

Employee Wellness Programs

The following are some essential tips that help employees engage in health and fitness at work:

1. Listen to Health and Fitness Podcasts

People, already, are not interested in listening to health and fitness programs available online and being telecasted on T.V. Employers can take an idea from this, and therefore, they must plan something really interesting and equally engaging. Also, the program should be organized on a large scale to ensure that each employee is benefiting from the same. Create leaders across departments and let them select their volunteers to take care of the event.

2. Take Polls Of What Employees Want

Employers need to create one or more polls to see what exactly employees want in the event. The poll may include multiple activities and sports activities, based on the interest of employees in particular. This proves to be a great idea when it comes to knowing what individuals in the workplace wants to see in the event.

3. Organize a Corporate Health Event

Employees must be given the responsibility to organize the event, as they can implement their personal ideas to support the event. There is a possibility that the event turns out to be everyone’s favorite and the company can plan for similar events in the future.

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4. Explore Other Options For Event Venue

If not in the workplace, then the health and fitness events can be organized at places that are reachable and affordable (if chargeable) too. This will invite more and more employees to participate and the event can be even more admired.

5. Have Fun in the Workplace

Make sure to include the pleasure principle in workplace wellness initiatives, as people look forward to having fun while working and it helps them get refresh and continue with their work with sufficient energy. This is the reason why corporate challenges are the real challenges.

In the meanwhile, the performance of individual employees needs to be evaluated to ensure that there are continuous improvements in their productivity and work standards.

Featured photo credit: investinyourbody.com via investinyourbody.com

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Published on January 16, 2019

How to Effectively Manage a Heavy Workload at Work

How to Effectively Manage a Heavy Workload at Work

We’re all busy, but sometimes we go through periods where the work piles up and it seems like it might never end.

You might have such a heavy workload that it feels too intimidating to even start.

You may have said yes to some or too many projects, and now you’re afraid you won’t be able to deliver.

That’s when you need to take a step back, take a deep breath, and start looking at what’s working and what’s not working.

Here’re 13 strategies you can use to get out from under your overwhelming workload:

1. Acknowledge You Can’t Do It All

Many of us have a tendency to think we can do more than we actually can. We take on more and more projects and responsibility and wear numerous hats.

We all have the opportunity to have and take on more work than we can reasonably expect to get done. Unfortunately, our workload is not static. Even now, while you are reading this article, I’m guessing that your inbox is filling up with fresh new tasks.

To make real, effective progress, you have to have both the courage and resourcefulness to say, “This is not working”. Acknowledge that you can’t do it all and look for better solutions.

At any given time in your life, there are likely many things that aren’t going according to plan. You have to be willing to be honest with yourself and those around you about what’s not working for you, both personally and professionally.

The more you exercise your ability to tell the truth about what’s working and what’s not working, the faster you’ll make progress.

2. Focus on Your Unique Strengths

Whether you’re an entrepreneur, a leader or working as part of a team, every individual has unique strengths they can bring to the table.

The challenge is that many people end up doing things that they’re simply not very good at.

In the pursuit of reaching your goals or delivering a project, people end up doing everything themselves or taking on things that don’t play to their unique strengths. This can result in frustration, overwhelm and overwork.

It can mean projects taking a lot longer to complete because of knowledge gaps, or simply not utilizing the unique strengths of other people you work with.

It is often not about how to complete this project more effectively but who can help deliver this project.

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So, what are your unique strengths that will ensure your workload is delivered more effectively? Here’re some questions to help you reflect:

  • Are you a great strategist?
  • Are you an effective planner?
  • Is Project Management your strength?
  • Is communication and bringing people together your strength?
  • Are you the ideas person?
  • Is Implementation your strength?

Think about how you can bring the biggest value to your work and the projects you undertake.

3. Use the Strengths of Your Team

One of the simplest ways to manage your workload effectively is to free up your time so you bring your highest level of energy, focus and strengths to each project.

Delegation or better teamwork is the solution.

Everyone has unique strengths. It’s essential to think teamwork rather than working in isolation to ensure projects can be completed effectively. Besides, every time you give away a task or project that doesn’t play to your unique strengths, you open up an opportunity to do something you’re more talented at. This will empower both yourself and those around you.

Rather than taking on all the responsibilities yourself, look at who you can work with to deliver the best results possible.

4. Take Time for Planning

“Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe”. – Abraham Lincoln

One hour of effective planning could save hours of time. Rather than just rushing in and getting started on projects, take the time to map everything in.

You can take the time to think about:

  • What’s the purpose of the project?
  • How Important is it?
  • When does it need to be delivered by?
  • What is the best result and worst result for this project?
  • What are the KPIs?
  • What does the project plan and key milestones look like?
  • Who is working on this project?
  • What is everyone’s responsibilities?
  • What tolerances can I add in?
  • What are the review stages?
  • What are the challenges we may face and the solutions for these challenges?

Having absolute clarity on the project, the project deliverables and the result you want can save a lot of time. It also gets you clear on the priorities and timelines, so you can block out the required amount of time to focus and concentrate.

5. Focus on Priorities

Not everything is a priority, although it can often feel, in the moment, that it is.

Whatever you’re working on, there is always the Most Urgent, Important or Most Valuable projects or tasks.

One tool you can use to maximize your productivity and focus on your biggest priorities is to use the Eisenhower Matrix. This strategic tool for taking action on the things that matter most is simple. You separate your actions based on four possibilities:

  1. Urgent and important (tasks you will do immediately).
  2. Important, but not urgent (tasks you will schedule to do later).
  3. Urgent, but not important (tasks you will delegate to someone else).
  4. Neither urgent nor important (tasks that you will eliminate).

James Clear has a great description on how to use the Eisenhower Matrix: How to be More Productive By Using the Eisenhower Box

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    The method I use with my coaching clients is to ask them to lay out their Top Five priorities for the day. Then to start with the most important priority first. At the end of the day, you review performance against these priorities.

    If you didn’t get everything accomplished, start the next day with your number one priority.

    If you are given additional task/projects during the day, then you will need to gauge their importance V the other priorities.

    6. Take Time Out

    To stay on top of a heavy workload, it’s important to take time out to rest and recuperate.

    If your energy levels are high and your mind and body is refreshed and alert, you are in more of a peak state to handle a heavy workload.

    Take time out of your day to go for a walk or get some exercise in. Leave early when possible and spend time with people who give you a lot of energy.

    In the background, it’s essential to get a good night’s sleep and eat healthily to sharpen the mind.

    Take a look at this article learn about The Importance of Scheduling Downtime.

    7. Maintain a Healthy Work-Life Balance

    Maintaining a healthy work-life balance can be tough. The balance we all crave is very different from one another.

    I’ve written before about 13 Work Life Balance Tips for a Happy and Productive Life. Working longer and harder doesn’t mean achieving more, especially if you have no time to spend with the people that matter most. The quality of who you are as a person, the relationships you have, the time you spend in work, deciding on what matters most is completely within your control.

    Work-life balance is about finding peace within yourself to be fully present, wherever you are, whether that be in the office or at home, right now. It’s about choosing what matters most and creating your own balanced life.

    If you feel there is not enough balance, then it may be time to make a change.

    8. Stop Multitasking

    Multi-tasking is a myth. Your brain simply can’t work effectively by doing more than one thing at a time—at least more than one thing that requires focused attention.

    So get your list of priorities (see earlier point), do the most important thing first, then move to the next item and work down your list.

    When you split your focus over a multitude of different areas, you can’t consistently deliver a high performance. You won’t be fully present on the one task or project at hand.

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    If you allocate blocked time and create firm boundaries for specific activities and commitments, you won’t feel so overwhelmed or overworked with everything you have to do.

    9. Work in Blocks of Time

    To keep your energy up to produce your best results it’s essential to take regular breaks.

    I use the 60-60-30 method myself and teach it to my coaching clients.

    Work on a project for a sustained period of 50 minutes.

    Then take a 10-minute break. This could be taking a walk, having a healthy snack or just having a conversation with someone.

    Then continue to work on the project for a further 50 minutes.

    Then take another 10-minute break.

    Then take a complete 30-minute break to unplug from the work. This could be time for a proper lunch, a quick bit of exercise, reading or having a walk.

    By simply taking some time out, your energy levels stay up, the quality of your work improves and you reduce the risk of becoming burned out.

    10. Get Rid of Distractions

    Make an estimation on how many times you are distracted during an average working day. Now take that number and multiply it by 25. According to Gloria Mark in her study on The Cost of Interrupted Work, it takes us an average of 23 minutes and 15 seconds to return to the original task after interruption.[1]

    “Our research has shown that attention distraction can lead to higher stress, a bad mood and lower productivity.”

    Distractions don’t just take up your time during the distraction, they can derail your mental progress and focus for almost 25 minutes. So, if you are distracted 5 times per day, you could be losing almost 2 hours every day of productive work and almost 10 hours every week.

    If you have an important project to work on, find a space where you won’t be distracted, or try doing this.

    11. Commit Focused Time to Smaller Tasks

    You know sometimes, you need to simply tackle these tasks and take action on them. But there’s always something more pressing.

    Small tasks can often get in the way of your most important projects. They sit there on your daily To Do list but are often forgotten about because of more important priorities or because they hold no interest for you. But they take up mental energy. They clutter your mind.

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    Commit to spending a specific period of time completing all the small tasks you have on your To Do list. It will give you peace of mind and the space to focus more on your bigger priorities.

    12. Take a Time Audit

    Do you know exactly where your time is going each day? Are you spending too long on certain projects and tasks to the detriment of bigger opportunities?

    Spend a bit of time to analyze where you are spending your time. This insight will amaze you and give you the clarity to start adjusting where you focus your time and on what projects.

    You can start by taking a piece of paper and creating three columns:

    Column A is Priority Work. Column B is Good Work. Column C is low value work or stuff.

    Each day, write down the project or task and the time spent on each. Allocate that time to one of the columns.

    At the end of the week, record the total time spent in each column.

    If you are spending far too much time on certain types of work, look to change things so your focused time is in Column B and C.

    13. Protect Your Confidence

    It is essential to protect our confidence to ensure we don’t get overwhelmed, stressed and lose belief.

    When you have confidence as a daily resource, you are in a better position to problem solve, learn quicker, respond to anything, adjust to anything, and achieve your biggest opportunities.

    Confidence gives you the ability to transform fear into focused and relaxed thinking, communication, and action. This is key to put your mind into a productive state.

    When confidence is high, you can clearly see the possibilities at hand and create strategies to take advantage of them, or to solve the challenges you face each day.

    Final Words

    A heavy workload can be tough to deal with and can cause stress, burnout and ongoing frustration.

    The key is to tackle it head on, rather than let it go on and compound the long-term effects. Hopefully, you can take action on at least one of these tips.

    If it gets too much, and negatively affects your physical and mental health, it may be time to talk to someone. Instead of dealing with it alone and staying unhappier, resentful and getting to a point where you simply can’t cope, you have to make a change for your own sanity.

    Featured photo credit: Hannah Wei via unsplash.com

    Reference

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