98: Helping Your Employees Perform at Their Personal Best

The problem is time management. The Solution is brining higher energy to the time we have at work.
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The problem is time management. The Solution is brining higher energy to the time we have at work.

Will your company achieve better results if you push your employees to work long hours? Or, could you outperform those results if they actually worked fewer hours?

What message are you communicating to your employees through your own actions?

Are you always working late?

Do you require your employees to work late?

Are you sending them emails on the weekends or late at nigh?

Is your message that work is more important than anything else?

More important than family, and health?

Do your words align with your actions?

Is there an unspoken/unwritten policy that those who work the longest hours get promoted?

You don’t need to read studies and you don’t need to be a business owner, or even an HR person, to see that there is a cultural problem here.

It’s certainly not the worst social issue individuals have faced like famine and surviving war and disease. In fact, those are still major problems in certain parts of the world.

But that’s not the issue. What we’re talking about is optimizing results, about gaining a competitive advantage and maximizing profits. And just because we live incredibly comfortable lives, historically speaking, that doesn’t mean we should stop trying to make it even better.

I’ve talked about this subject in many different forms, in several past episodes:

22: Employee Engagement

23: Employee Engagement Ideas

25: “What’s Good for People?” a report by Kate Lister

26: “What’s Good for People?” a report by Kate Lister – Part 2

47: Do You Suffer From Work Martyr Syndrome?

And, I’m currently reading a book by Dr. Jim Loehr called “The Only Way to Win”.

Dr. Loehr co-founded the Johnson & Johnson Human Performance Institute which is a division of Johnson & Johnson Health & Wellness Solutions, Inc.

According to Loehr we have a Human Energy Crisis.

This crisis is a result of the fast-paced nature of our lives. With work, family and social demands creating a “human energy crisis”.

  • Employee engagement is suffering
  • Company Executives are pushing harder on workforce to perform
  • 70% of employees are not engaged
  • 2/3 of workers are burned out
  • 75% of workers are stressed out

The Johnson & Johnson Human Performance Institute has a “Corporate Athlete” training system.

It’s built on 30+ years of their own research and training with elite performers. Their team is comprised of expert performance coaches, exercise physiologists, and nutritionists that together have trained countless elite performers in high stress arenas, from Olympic medalists, professional athletes, CEOs, Hostage Rescue Teams, and military Special Forces.

The program teaches students how to:

Manage your energy well.

Create sustainable behavior change.

Live a meaningful life.

Stress continues to increase over time as the finish line gets further and further away. The problem is time management. The Solution is brining higher energy to the time we have at work.

Achieved using energy management strategies.

4 energy dimensions:

  • Physical – Food, exercise and rest. It’s the foundation and impacts the others.
  • Emotional – Quality of energy.
  • Mental – High performers have the mental ability to focus. They’ve learned to narrow their focus on making strategic decisions and take time to reflect, think, ponder.
  • Spiritual – Values, beliefs and connection to your purpose. Helps you survive life’s storms.

What can you do as an employer to help your employees with these “dimensions”?

Cure your company of the work martyr syndrome.

Create a more engaged workforce

In Kate Lister’s report we learn that employees have the following needs:

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs:

  • Self-Actualization: Purpose and meaning.
  • Esteem: Self-worth and respect.
  • Belonging: Relationships and connections.
  • Safety: Security, safety and stability.
  • Physiological: Physical health and comforts.

Here are some things you can do.

Encourage movement and activity:

  • Centralize printers, trash cans and other commonly used resources.
  • Provide a variety of fitness options on- and off-site.
  • Beautify stairwells.
  • Provide a range of work surface heights ·
  • Create spaces to accommodate standing meetings Work Practices and Work Processes.

Promote a healthy lifestyle:

  • Offer healthy food and drink options on-site.
  • Post and email healthy workplace tips.
  • Provide wellness incentives.
  • Establish work policies that discourage overworking.
  • Encourage leaders to lead by example.
  • Conduct wellness and well-being training.
  • Offer medical benefits that include prevention.

I’m a little pessimistic when it comes to wellness programs. Most are just too passive to be effective and a lot of people just aren’t going to change. Even the critics acknowledge that the right structure can create measurable improvements.

Encourage active workdays:

  • Remind employees to take frequent breaks.
  • Discourage working lunches.
  • Promote standing and walking meetings.

Reduce work-life conflict:

  • Offer alternative work locations.
  • Provide paid sick leave and personal time off.
  • Discourage employees from coming to work sick.
  • Support parental leave and eldercare.
  • Offer flexible work schedules.
  • Make counseling available.

Create a culture of safety:

  • Make it safe for employees to report threats.
  • Create clear workplace safety policies and procedures.
  • Routinely hold safety awareness events.
  • Develop a crisis communication.

About the author, Thomas

I have 20 of years insurance industry experience in C-level management, focusing on all aspects of workers compensation, risk management, loss control, employee benefits, HR, payroll and professional employer organization (“PEO”) operations. Currently, I am the owner and CEO of Humanly HR, and founder and host of SmallBiz Brainiac; a podcast providing employer intelligence to small business owners.

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