wellness

The Girl in HR’s #SHRM15 Tip No. 14

Its hard to model wellness — especially away from home… and in Vegas — but do your best to make conscience decisions and if you’re going to indulge, do it wisely.  As HR ppl, we ARE leaders in this area for our teams and leaders.

The healthy stuff might be harder to find, but your body will appreciate it — when you get back home (and adjusting to this desert heat).  What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas — I’m gonna try to leave behind some of those empty calories! (note: as I write this the caterer JUST walked past me with a tray of chewy chocolaty brownies, on of my favs). Its not easy.. not an understatement.

Hope you’re having a great conference!

Making the HR Connection, yours

An Alternative to the Standing Desk – Meet Cubii #Kickstarter

I am IN LOVE with Kickstarter — its not just the the scientist (aka the geek in HR) in me who loves all the creative inventions — the innovation really fuels and inspires me — and then there are the times I come across something that I’ve just gotta have.

This is my next gotta have — the Cubii! The Cubii comes to us from the folks at fitnesscubed.com. I almost missed it — but thanks to TechCrunch, I came across this cool product!

I went to a standing desk earlier this year — well a “makeshift” desk. I’ve been documenting my experiences (trying different options and waiting to blog about it) over the last few months and as much as I love it, I still kinda hate it. It does take a while to get use to the standing and the days that I wear my high heels I either hate myself or I’m walking around barefoot — fortunately, I work at a place where no one even questions that or gives a second look.

What I like about the idea of the Cubii gives you another alternative to the standing desk. I’m really tempted to buy it to try it out and use it in addition to one of my set ups. Finding ways to combat “the sitting disease” is on my list of things to combat (its at the forefront of my mind and writings)– and I know its on many others’ lists as well by the number of publications and studies on it — plus my sessions at #IHRIM14 and #SHRM14 really continue to shine the light on employee wellness, particularly for those who are working sitting at desks all day.

What do you think (of this alternative and the whole standing desk things in general? Would something like this work in your office place or at your desk?

If I give in to my kickstarter temptation and try it out, I’ll let ya know!

 

Making the HR Connection, yours

What is the opposite of depression…

I recently wrote a post on employee depression and its impact on engagement. Well this evening I came across this TedX talk and thought that I’d add a bit more to the conversation. I know its kinda downer thing to talk about and explore, but it could be something that is really impacting your employees — so as HR people, we should explore it and learn more about it… plus I really enjoy Ted Talks :).

“The opposite of depression is not happiness, but vitality, and it was vitality that seemed to seep away from me in that moment.”

A gut-wrenching talk on overcoming depression:

What’s up with your employee … Disengagement or Depression?

I found this article (Depression in the workplace) by chance — I saw a tweet from Dr. Sanjay Gupta on twitter … and it really made me stop and look twice. 1 in 8 US workers… that’s just over 12% .. totally likely that someone that I (or you) work with is depressed.

What if we are mistaking disengagement with depression? Is there a difference or is one impacting the other? What if you take this as a sign that they are being a jerk but its really depression?

Often employees’ signs of depression go unnoticed. “Even if someone is less efficient, feeling less creative or they can’t smile much, which is common, it’s rarely showing as much as it seems,” said Sally Winston, PsyD, a psychologist and co-director of the Anxiety and Stress Disorders Institute of Maryland.  —http://www.everydayhealth.com/health-report/major-depression-resource-center/sanjay-gupta-depression-in-the-workplace.aspx?xid=tw_dsg

Ulitmatately, we can not make assumptions — one way or the other. I have no doubt that being depressed would have a positive correlation to a decrease in employee engagement…but a dip in engagement doesn’t necessarily mean that one is depressed.

I’d recommend that you ensure that you are creating an environment of trust at all times. Create a sincere and genuine relationship with your employees so that if they need to talk to you about what is on their minds or share that they are undergoing treatment that they feel safe to disclose. I have no doubt that as HR professionals that you’d handle it discretely and professionally to work with that employee and manager to make reasonable accommodations.  However, a great relationship built on trust can also help open the door to talk about changes in behavior or things that might be out of the norm for that employee that might suggest that they are disengaged. Imagine the difference if you could openly and honestly talk about why someone might be disengaged before it becomes a larger issue.

A great relationship also shows that you care and that you notice changes that may be going on – and you can point them out as matters of conversation and not a coachable moment. Keep the right line of “friend” to keep it professional, but as of late, I’m starting to think that there is just a lack of genuine compassion for others in the workplace. Life happens outside of the office (and sometimes, in the office) and people carry that with them. It can (and does) impact engagement and maybe even depression.

There is also a need to put in place a good EAP (employee assistance program), provisions for counseling visits, and/or a neutral ombudsman.  You don’t have to do all three, but make sure that if something is going on with your employees, that they have some options to work it out.  Do know that all of these programs, while options, have different purposes — you’ll need to make sure that it is clearly defined and well marketed to your employees. They should be able to access these with little to know effort (without having to draw a whole lot of attention to it if they want to use them.) We’d all like to think that if people have problems that they will go to the source and work it out, but the truth is, that often doesn’t happen. So provide other avenues and don’t be offended if they don’t come to you but choose another means — just be happy that they went somewhere.

IMHO, you don’t need to know the difference — but understand that they are not the same thing. Don’t just jump to “disengaged employee” mode and try to attack the problem from that angle. It could be something way bigger. You do need to know when something is different or out of character — take note, be supportive, and leverage a great relationship to help your employee back get what they need to be happy and productive. And remember… you may not even see the signs of depression … Give them the right tools and the option to make choices to help them get back to where they want to be.

Making the HR connection, yours,

 
 
 
 
photo credit: http://curitibainenglish.com.br

Its Not News, Its a Distraction – First Dog to Climb Mt. Everest

Okay so ignore the not great writing of the story and focus on the cutest dog ever (after my pooches of course) who accomplished something big and pretty cool!

A former stray dog has pulled himself up by the bootstraps and created a better life for himself. A life that includes becoming the first dog ever to climb Mount Everest.

Many of yall know that I’m a BIG animal lover — and LOVE dogs! While Rupee wasn’t trying to do anything “great” or break any world records, I imagine Rupee was just as happy as could be just hanging out with his person and doing something that they enjoyed together.  The bond between a person and their dog is special!

My take away–> GET OUT AND GET MOVING! And I’m going to take one of my furry friends with me! We love walking, hanging out in the park, people/squirrel watching, shopping (you’d be surprised the places where you can take your dog — especially in Austin — love it!), or grabbing a bit to eat at Sonic!

Need some more motivation and/or don’t have a dog? If you’re nearby I’m happy to let you “borrow” one of mine and we’ll adventure together! Otherwise, I know of a lot of dogs at local shelters who would love a caring human to take them on a long walk or play fetch with for a couple of hours.

You don’t have to climb Mt. Everest to make a difference or inspire — you’d still get “cool points” with me if you did either of ’em.

Make Today Great!

Yours,

 

How to Have a Blissfully Unproductive Weekend

Getting some much needed rest and relaxation is on my mind (again) — This is one of my struggles as I still can’t find the balance. However, I’ve learned a few times over my working career, and once again as recently as last week, that if you don’t take the time to slow down and rest, your body will do it for you. I’ve been sick the last 13 days — twice! And while I’m starting to finally feel like “myself” I know that I largely got sick because I’d over extended myself for too long.

Still my challenge to overcome so I maintain committed to finding the balance — and sharing with you want I find. I found this great article from Debbie Woodbury with some great tips:

1. Change your mindset, if only for the weekend. If you have a workaholic, productivity-proves-validity mindset, like me, you don’t relax easily. Why not try changing your mindset for just a weekend? Everyone needs time to relax and recharge, and anyone who thinks they are productive 24/7 is just kidding themselves anyway. So go ahead, throw relentless productivity to the wind and resolve to be blissfully unproductive this weekend. You can always go back to being a crazed workaholic on Monday.

2. Unplug from your electronics. Put the stresses and obligations of the workweek on hold by separating yourself from your cell phone, tablet or laptop. Deliberately unplugging makes a statement to yourself and others, “I choose to relax and be blissfully unproductive for a few days.”

Go one step further and seek out silence. As Deepak Chopra said, “Silence is the great teacher, and to learn its lessons you must pay attention to it. There is no substitute for the creative inspiration, knowledge and stability that come from knowing how to contact your core of inner silence.”

3. Stay in the moment. As hard as it is to unplug from your electronics, it’s even harder to unplug from your monkey mind. You know what monkey mind is — the incessant chatter of worry, “shoulds,” “what ifs” and a past/future focus. When the chatter starts building, take a breath and stop. In that moment of awareness, you create a gap that allows you to recognize the noise for what it is, before it takes you away with it. Practicing “catch and release” of your monkey-mind thoughts keeps you present in the here and now and focuses your mind on one thing at a time.

4. Play. Play is not a luxury. Let me repeat. Play is not a luxury. In fact, play is vital to health and increased productivity. Spontaneous play and the fun it elicits are transformative, and happen more often when you’re in the moment. Planning play is as important as planning your meals. And play takes all kinds of forms — run through the sprinkler, have sex, read a fun book, take a hammock nap or just jump up and down! Play doesn’t have to be big and noisy. Play is whatever feeds your soul and makes you feel more alive. Go play!

5. Reconnect with loved ones. Sometimes we’re so overwhelmed with obligations, schedules, responsibilities and appointments that we forget to really be with the people we love. If you turn off the TV, phone and laptop — if you stay in the moment and open yourself to play and fun — guess where you’ll end up? Reconnecting with friends and family!

via 5 Steps to a Blissfully Unproductive Weekend | Debbie Woodbury.

Seems like its just 5 simple things, but some of these are still going to be a real challenge for me. I think I’ll have to take it one at a time and work my way up to all 5 at once :).

Relaxing, relating, and releasing — thanks for joining me on the journey to better work life balance! Making the HR connection, yours

All Work And No Play Means No Play

I am so lame. This you may have already known if you’ve been a long term reader of my blog 🙂 — but seriously I did the silliest thing ever last week.

About two months ago I brought 2 seats for my and my guy to go see Bill Burr in San Antonio. I was so looking forward to it. We don’t get out much. We haven’t assimilated much into the area and this was something that we would have done from “back home.” I bought our tickets (I even splurged and got ‘the good ones.’ Got excited. And waited for the date to come.

Coincidentally, the last 2 months have been some of the busiest in a long while. You’ve probably noticed that the blog has been a little quieter than normal too right? Its been a lot of late nights and early mornings at the office — long weekends working on projects for work and for other HR projects — but our night out with Bill was coming!

I was working late a couple of Friday nights — I was WAY TOO tired to go out, and figured I would work a bit longer and then go home and crash. And when I got home, I was SO tired that I literally fell asleep with my clothes on. I made it up the stairs, took my shoes off, and feel asleep. Out like a light. I woke up the next morning and checked email and my Facebook. I was greeted by a stream of photos, tweets, and updates from people talking about Bill Burr. Weird. Weird. Weird? What? Wait.. No.. no.. oh no.. seriously.. no way.  Yup. I MISSED the event that I had been looking forward to for months.

I wasn’t mad for the money that I wasted for the event that I didn’t get go to. My sig-o didn’t even remember ( but to be fair, I AM the calendar and he goes where I go). I was annoyed that I was so busy with work that I clearly had not made time for ME! Sounds cliche.  Cue every single work life “out of balance” saying you know out there now.

I’m bummed to have missed Bill Burr. But I’m even more bummed on all those other things that I missed. Don’t get me wrong – I LOVE my work — but October is gonna be all about bringing “balance” back.

Have you ever been “here” before? Let me here your stories?

Tell me I’m not alone 🙂 Thank goodness I have Netflix and can catch Bill there (its not the same, but its a lesson).

Making the HR connection, and fumbling through Netflix, yours,