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August 2, 2011

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Quotes of the Week

August 2, 2011

Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm. ~ Winston Churchill, Former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom

Do not fear mistakes. You will know failure. Continue to reach out. ~ Benjamin Franklin, Founding Father of the United States of America

In order to succeed, your desire for success should be greater than your fear of failure. ~ Bill Cosby, Comedian

I can accept failure, everyone fails at something. But I can’t accept not trying. ~ Michael Jordan, Professional Athlete

Think like a queen. A queen is not afraid to fail. Failure is another steppingstone to greatness. ~ Oprah Winfrey,  Philanthropist

Failure is a detour, not a dead-end street. ~ Zig Ziglar, Author

Every adversity, every failure, every heartache carries with it the seed on an equal or greater benefit. ~ Napoleon Hill, Author

How Work/Life Balance Drives Employee Engagement

July 27, 2011

I recently attended an HCI webinar “It’s Five O-Clock Somewhere”- Increasing Employee Engagement by Improving Work/Life Balance.  Work/life balance is something we all need to maintain; it’s also strongly connected to employee engagement. Employers who do not effectively manage balance fuel burnout and demotivation- the enemies of engagement!

Kevin Sheridan, the presenter and Chief Engagement Officer and Chief Consultant of HR Solutions, began the webinar by defining employee engagement.  He classified our desire to be part of the value that an organization creates into 3 categories: engaged, ambivalent and disengaged.

  • Engaged:  “highly engaged and committed to the mission, vision and values of the organization”
  • Ambivalent “not apt to go the extra mile”
  • Disengaged “negative energy, they focus on problems”

According to his research, only 27% of employees are actively engaged while 60% are ambivalent/ not engaged and 13% are actively disengaged (HR solutions’ International Research Institute).  Sheridan attributes much of this disengagement to a lack of respect for work/life balance on the part of employers.  He supported this claim with some research:

  • 86% of male employees and 67%of female employees work more than 40 hours a week (The Three Faces of Work-Family Conflict, 2011).
  • 74% of people say it is important to them that their organization consider and, where possible, support flexible scheduling arrangements or job sharing (HR Solutions Research Institute).
  • 87% of employees say it is important to them that their organization allows employees to choose from a variety of benefits to meet their individual needs  (HR Solutions Research Institute).
  •  In 1960, only 20 percent of mothers worked. Today, 70 percent of children live in households where both parents are employed (The Three Faces of Work-Family Conflict, 2011).

The presenter also emphasized the importance of flexibility and outlined three possible strategies.

  1. Providing alternative work options for employees
  2. Recognizing and respecting work life balance as an important trend
  3. Supporting virtual teams to minimize employee stress levels

Here are a few tips that have been inspired by Sheridan’s cardinal three;

Allow Employees to Work from Home Once a Week: Being more flexible with employees means you exhibit a high level of trust regardless of where they are working from. Allowing employees to work from home once a week also means that they no longer start off their day with the hassle and stress of a commute and they can work in a comfortable environment. This helps to strengthen the employee/ employer relationship.

Adopt Emailing Hours: It is more difficult for workers to draw a line between work and home given technologies that provide 7/24 access. In the same way that employees have set working hours (i.e. 9-5) employers should introduce emailing hours and refrain from contacting their staff past a mutually agreed upon time. This will make it easier for employees to create a division between work and home.

Equip Employees with Stress- Relief tools: Stress is an inevitable. Rather than trying to eliminate it, it is important to help employees manage it. Managers and leaders should equip their staff with tools to deal with stressful situations. Perhaps it means encouraging your staff to take a few minutes at the start of each day to walk through a guided meditation or sending them a funny cartoon, video, quote or story to get them laughing and relaxing. What is most important is to show them that you have an interest in their wellbeing.

Quotes of the Week

July 26, 2011

Image courtesy of Photography by jscreationzs/

An essential aspect of creativity is not being afraid to fail. ~Edwin Land, Inventor 

Anxiety is the hand maiden of creativity. ~T. S. Eliot, Poet 

Creativity can be described as letting go of certainties. ~Gail Sheehy, Journalist 

Creativity comes from trust. Trust your instincts. And never hope more than you work. ~Rita Mae Brown, Writer 

Creativity is piercing the mundane to find the marvelous. ~Bill Moyers, Journalist 

Rule of art: Cant kills creativity! ~Camille Paglia, Authour 

The heart and soul of the company is creativity and innovation. ~Robert Iger, CEO Disney 

Quotes of the Week

July 19, 2011

None of us is as smart as all of us.  ~Ken Blanchard, American Author

We must all hang together or most assuredly we shall hang separately.  ~Benjamin Franklin, Founding Father

Teamwork is the ability to work as a group toward a common vision, even if that vision becomes extremely blurry.  ~Author Unknown

If everyone is moving forward together, then success takes care of itself.  ~Henry Ford, Industrialist

No member of a crew is praised for the rugged individuality of his rowing.  ~Ralph Waldo Emerson, Poet

In union there is strength.  ~Aesop, Writer

Bust through Stress in 3 minutes or less

July 13, 2011

The reality is that stress is an inevitable part of life. However, the key to living a more balanced life is to manage stress so it doesn’t manage you as opposed to trying to eliminate it completely.

Here is a quick Watershed Training Solutions Stress Busting strategy:

Take 10 Slow Deep Breaths – Why? Breathing is one of the easiest systems to control in order to relax (Dr John Mason, Guide to Stress Reduction). Close your door or put on a headset so your colleagues won’t be disturbed. Close your eyes. Take 10 deep slow breaths where the exhalation is longer than each inhalation. As you breathe, make sure your abdomen fills up like a balloon when you inhale and sinks in when you exhale. Very quickly you will feel more relaxed and able to refocus.

Enjoy this tip? Check out our sample e-book Stress Busters: Simple Strategies in 3 Minutes or Less to gain access to 35 proven strategies for dealing with life’s ups and downs!

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