Employee engagement has been a hot topic in HR world-wide for the past few years. Employers across the globe are trying to figure out how to get and keep their employees engaged. For the most part engaged employees are happy employees. Engaged employees stay at their jobs longer than disengaged employees and engaged employees provide an emotionally stable work environment.
While upper management and HR are trying to figure out how to get and keep their employees engaged, employees continue to focus on obtaining a work-life balance. Many HR professionals believe providing a work-life balance for employees will facilitate engagement (I’m one of them). In the past few years I have read only a few articles and participated in a limited number of conversations that focused on making sure employees did have a work-life balance.
If upper management and HR truly want what’s best for their employees they would recommend employees go home on time. Gemma Dale is an HR professional that resides in London, in her blog post Go Home On Time she provides a good case why employees should “go home on time”. Upper management and HR professionals should seriously consider Gemma’s suggestion. As an employee of any organization you’ll agree that Gemma’s assessment is accurate.
In this second post on self-care I’m going to keep my word and address the emotional and physical health of the employee.
Society as a whole rarely engages in conversations about emotional health. You may not know but anxiety, shyness, and stress are related to our emotional health. This is what the American Psychological Association says about emotional health:
Emotional health can lead to success in work, relationships and health. In the past, researchers believed that success made people happy. Newer research reveals that it’s the other way around. Happy people are more likely to work toward goals, find the resources they need and attract others with their energy and optimism — key building blocks of success.
We see that emotional health can lead to personal and professional success.
I can’t stress enough the affect that life-changing events have on our emotional health. Life-changing events such as: the birth of a child, the loss of a loved one, being recently married or divorced, starting or returning to school as an adult student, going back to work after a long absence, etc. Any of these events can cause someone to go into a downward spiral because of the stress they place on an individual. As a society we need to pay more attention to our emotional health.
You can’t go anywhere and not be reminded about your physical health. You could be watching television and a commercial comes on advertising a weight loss program or gym membership. When you go to the grocery store there are sections dedicated to healthy foods. If you go to a sandwich shop many of them offer baked or kettle chips instead of fried chips. As a society we are very conscious about our physical health.
As a human being I want you to be very conscious about your mental, physical, spiritual, and emotional health. Remember, your productivity or lack thereof is dependent upon your health.
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The New Year is here but are you well rested? With all of the activities you hosted or participated in during the holidays were you able to decompress from 2013? When you made your New Year’s resolutions did any of them involve taking better care of yourself and a work-life balance? The most important component of HR and OD are the employees. If you don’t take care of yourself you’re no good to your employer. In an effort to put yourself first in 2014 your top five New Year’s resolutions should read something like this:
1. Take better care of myself
2. Work-life balance
3. Take better care of myself
4. Work-life balance
5. Take better care of myself
As a generation millennials understand the importance of a work-life balance. This post is really for my peers in generation X and baby-boomers. The order in your life should be you, family, friends, and last but not least work.
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Today’s workforce poses problems for managers because it consists of three generations: baby boomers (boomers), generation X (Xer’s) and generation Y (millennials). The recent economic collapse has kept many boomers in the workforce longer than they expected. It has also forced many boomers back into the workforce. Even with all of these boomers in the workforce, most of the workforce comprises Xer’s and millennials.
It is important for managers to know the strengths and weaknesses of each person they manage. In our current workforce, some of the strengths and weaknesses of employees stem from when they were born.
Boomers will make any necessary sacrifices to get the job done. They will sacrifice personal time, family ect. Xer’s will also make the necessary sacrifices to get the job done. While willing to make the necessary sacrifices Xer’s will also aim for a work life balance. They are not as willing as boomers to sacrifice their personal time, family etc. Millennials have an attitude of entitlement. The world revolves around them. Not to say they aren’t hard workers but for the most part millennials are not willing to sacrifice any of their time for something that does not directly benefit them.
Managers have to be aware of the tendencies of each generation. Boomers have been in the workforce longer and possess a wealth knowledge and wisdom. Millennials are tech savvy but lack wisdom and experience. Xer’s have the benefit of being between the two. They have been in the workforce long enough to have gained some wisdom and are young enough to be tech savvy.
Boomers will not embrace change as easily as Xer’s and millennials. Managers should not allow the unwillingness of boomers to affect their ability to glean wisdom from the older generation. Managers also have to help millennials realize that technology is not the solution to every problem. Xer’s have both problems, some of them are slow adapters and others think technology has a solution for every problem that exists.
Regardless of which generation you are a part of, make sure you consider the tendencies of the other generations. The following link provides a more indepth look into managing boomers, Xer’s and millennials http://guides.wsj.com/management/managing-your-people/how-to-manage-different-generations/ .
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