Work Hard, play hard, health, wellness, quick shots, hr, business, resources

I’ve always been a work hard, play hard kind of girl. Sometimes though, I must admit, I feel that the scales tip a bit more into the “work hard” category and I have to remember the importance of taking time for myself. It’s not only about making time for relaxing and having fun, but it’s good for my health.

A recent survey from GuideSpark found a big disconnect between wellness programs and employee participation. You can read more about their findings here. I think this is going to be a real challenge for both employers and employees – staying motivated and engaged with wellness. As a result, companies are really looking for creative ways to help employees develop healthy habits.

One thing I’ve been fortunate enough to build into my routine is my treadmill desk. It allows me to be productive and heart-healthy at the same time. But I know that won’t work for everyone. So I’ve included a few great resources that you may find helpful:

The Wellness Project NYC has created what I’d call a virtual boot camp – regular email reminders for employees to help them stay on track and motivated, especially where their eating habits are concerned. I test drove the program for a week and particularly enjoyed the reminders to drink all of my water (as an example). They also provide resources and tips to human resources pros to help them administer the program.

Another company focused on helping employees develop good habits – this time in the exercise area – is EveryMove@Work. It’s a fitness community to encourage people to stay active. The work program allows companies to create custom challenges that employees can participate in. I had the chance to hear from one of their beta participants, Ambassador Health, about the results they’ve seen. Kara Russell, corporate director of health, wellness and safety said the company has seen a boost in team morale upon implementing team challenges.

While some programs focus on eating and others on activity, wellness also extends to other areas – like our eyes. I recently discovered an iPhone/iPad app called “Vision Test”, which does what you would expect – a vision test. While I’m not sure we’re ready to give up the eye doctor, I found the idea fascinating.

If part of your 2015 goals include a corporate wellness program, you should download the new SHRM Foundation report “Evaluating Worksite Wellness: Practical Applications for Employers”. This report provides a step-by-step guide for organizations to evaluate their existing wellness programs. I particularly liked the section of the report that addresses cost-benefit analysis and return-on-investment.

In addition, check out these two reports. Aflac’s 2014 WorkForces Report offers data about health insurance, employee benefits, and the trends impacting the workplace. And Blue Goji’s Consumer Health and Wellness Index offers insight into people’s health and wellness resolutions for 2015. I thought both reports provided interesting information about how people are thinking when it comes to their overall health.

Next month (February) is National Heart Healthy Month. According to the Centers for Disease Control, cardiovascular disease (CVD)—including heart disease, stroke, and high blood pressure—is the number one killer of women and men in the United States. It’s also the leading cause of disability, preventing Americans from working and enjoying family activities, as well as costing the United States over $300 billion each year from the cost of health care services, medications and lost productivity.

What are you doing to stay committed to your wellness goals?

Image courtesy of Sharlyn Lauby

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Your 5-Day Plan to Learning Instagram

by Sharlyn Lauby on January 29, 2015

The next post in our “5-Day Plan” series focuses on Instagram. If you haven’t checked out the other posts in our series, you can find them here:

Your 5-Day Plan to Learning Twitter

Your 5-Day Plan to Learning LinkedIn

Your 5-Day Plan to Learning Pinterest

Now, depending upon your age, you might be wondering why we should pay attention to Instagram. Some statistics say upward of 90% of Instagram users are under age 35.

Sharlyn Lauby, social media, Instagram, images, visual, photo, video

That’s exactly the reason. First, your business should have a focus on young professionals. I’m not saying ignore everyone over 35 years old. But, these individuals are going to be your customers and employees someday (if they aren’t already).

Second, we need to be exposed to new things. It’s possible you will love Instagram and find it valuable. Lastly, Instagram is all about images. And, according to research from the 3M Corporation and Zabisco, 90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual and visuals are processed 60,000 times faster in the brain than text. So visuals are appealing.

What is Instagram?

Instagram is an online, mobile photo and video sharing service. It is owned by Facebook and has 300 million users, making it bigger than Twitter.

How do I create an Instagram account?

Signing up is easy and free. Once you sign up, you are able to see your Facebook friends who have Instagram accounts and you can follow them if you choose.

Your 5-Day Plan

Day 1- Download the Instagram app. Instagram is better to use on a mobile device than your computer browser. It’s available for both iOS and Android.

Day 2 – Like an image. All you have to do is click on the “heart” button under the image. Can’t find an image to like? Check out HRCultureClub. She posts pictures from companies, inspirational quotes, and just fun stuff. I enjoy following her account.

Day 3 – Follow a business brand. You will find plenty of personal accounts to follow – friends, celebrities, etc. (I like Real Simple Magazine. You can find them here.) But this is a business exercise, so find a few business accounts. Some of my faves include O.C. Tanner Company, Mashable, and Red Branch Media. Oh! And don’t forget to follow Instagram.

Day 4 – Post a photo. At this point, you’ve been lurking and seeing what others post. It’s time to post something yourself. You’ll notice that Instagram uses hashtags, so include a relevant hashtag. Stuck on what you should take a photo of? Here are a few ideas:

  • Your morning beverage of choice – #coffee #tea #morning
  • Your bookshelf or something you’re reading – #books #reading
  • Your office or desk – #office #work
  • The sunset or sunrise – #sunset #sunrise

Day 4 – Make an event “Instagrammable”. Think about your next meeting, training session or employee event. Ask employees if you can take a photo and post it. If you don’t want to take pictures of people, maybe you can post something that happened like a flip chart or something that was in the room.

Day 5 – Create an activity. Consider using Instagram during onboarding or for an employee contest. Have employees take pictures of your corporate culture or great customer service and post them using a unique hashtag. It can create engagement and a little bit of fun.

BONUS! REPOST something. One of the quirky things about Instagram is that you are unable to repost something from someone else’s account. But you’ll find that as you start following accounts, you’ll want to remember something. For me, I’ll see an inspirational quote and want to share it. There’s an app called Repost that works with Instagram (available for both iOS and Android). It allows you to repost images and give credit to the original author. Check it out when you get a moment.

Instagram might not be a platform you’ll use every day, but it’s one you can have a lot of fun with. I like Instagram for creative inspiration. Because people enjoy visuals and visual learning, there are opportunities to bring images into the work environment. For more information about using Instagram in business, check out the Instagram for Business blog.

What do you think? Is there an opportunity to use Instagram at work?

Image courtesy of Sharlyn Lauby


Corporate Culture Must Enable Organizational Success

January 27, 2015

I think we all understand the importance of corporate culture. But do we understand the purpose? That was another big takeaway during the 2014 Great Place to Work conference. Culture must serve a purpose. And that purpose must translate into organizational success. For example, if the organizational culture is fun…that’s great…but how does a fun […]

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Understanding Conflict of Interest – Ask #HR Bartender

January 25, 2015

There are times when a situation just doesn’t seem right, but we really don’t know the appropriate next step. Today’s reader note is an example.  I’m the office manager and human resources representative at our company. I have business and accounting training but no formal HR training. I’m hoping you can help me with this […]

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In Your Career, Knowledge is Power [infographic] – Friday Distraction

January 23, 2015

(Editor’s Note: Today’s post is brought to you by our friends at the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF). As the philanthropic foundation of the National Restaurant Association, the NRAEF works to attract, develop and retain professionals for the restaurant industry. Enjoy today’s post!) In the human resources profession, we’ve been talking a lot lately […]

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Your 5-Day Plan to Learning Pinterest

January 22, 2015

I still remember a keynote presentation by Daniel Pink at SHRM’s Annual Conference. He told attendees that we should regularly read creative magazines/books to understand design. Because design is important. Design can inspire us. That suggestion has always stuck with me. Which is why I want to talk about Pinterest. When Pinterest first emerged on […]

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Telecommuting Discrimination – Ask #HR Bartender

January 20, 2015

We’ve talked before about telecommuting and about discriminating against parents, but never together. That’s the subject of today’s reader question.  I work for a company that sometimes allows employees to work from home. However, several of my co-workers have been told that they cannot work from home if they have children that are home with […]

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