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Pros and Cons of Fitness Trackers for Employees

May 26, 2019


As good as prompting workers to pay attention to their health might sound, though, providing wearable devices might spark concerns around privacy and preferential treatment.

According to a study by the JAMA Network, it may yield little to no actual benefits to employees. The study examined the experience of 33,000 workers at BJ’s Wholesale Club over the course of a year and a half. It found that, while workers had higher levels of physical activity or exercise and paid closer attention to their weight, there were no significant changes in things like their blood pressure or sugar levels, and no reduction in the company’s healthcare costs, which is often a major motivation in implementing health and fitness programs.

A health and wellness program like company-provided activity trackers often has a long list of pros and cons. Business News Daily spoke to health professionals and business experts to see what benefits and negative effects wearable fitness trackers could bring to your business.  

Pros of fitness trackers in the workforce

“Employee fitness incentive programs can result in reduced absenteeism, greater worker productivity and lower employee turnover,” said Alfred Poor, Ph.D., editor of Health Tech Insider. “All of these factors can result in real bottom-line financial savings for employers.”

In addition to increasing employee engagement, implementing an activity tracker program can create a culture of gamification in the workplace, which has been proven to increase morale, focus and drive for a given task. Gamification makes the mundane fun and provides social support, which increases a participant’s chances of maintaining their progress.

“Many organizations find that offering wearable fitness trackers that have shareable data encourages teams to work together to reach not only corporate goals but also [personal] fitness goals,” said Jared Weitz, CEO and founder of United Capital Source. “This …

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What Game Of Thrones Can Teach Us About Corporate Leadership

May 22, 2019


The corporate world is not so different from the world of Westeros; there can be battles in the boardroom just like the battles to take the Iron Throne – but hopefully, with less bloodshed. Whether you’re pro Lannister or Dothraki, backing the Iron Fleet or fighting for the North, or even team White Walkers, one thing each group has in common is the fact they are all united under one leader. 

And each leader has their own distinct leadership style. Just as the characters of GOT divide and conquer, strategize or deliver empowering speeches to head their armies, so to do business leaders. 

Daenerys Targaryen: The Democratic Leader 

Daenerys leads with grace and fairness – and a certain fierceness that just naturally comes with having dragons at your command. Like a true democratic leader, she is equitable in considering advice and opinions as she communicates all the way through the chain of command but still holds final decision-making responsibility. 

Mastercard president and CEO Ajay Banga could be considered an everyday democratic leader. Banga is known for being able to break down traditional barriers between executives and middle management, promoting inclusivity. Under Banga’s leadership, Mastercard ranked fourth on DiversityInc’s 2018 list of the top 50 most diverse companies and has committed to closing the gender pay gap. 

Cersei Lannister: The Autocratic Leader

Autocratic leadership is based on the idea that there is one boss, and that boss generally embodies the ‘my way or the highway’ mantra. Cersei is Queen and she doesn’t care what others think of her and stands by her choices. Autocratic leaders often make decisions on their own, communicate those decisions to subordinates and expect prompt execution – with little to no flexibility. 

In his time heading the Trump Organization, Donald Trump has been labelled an autocratic leader.…

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Workplace Violence: How Your Business Should Prepare and React

May 21, 2019


According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), workplace violence is defined as any act or threat of physical violence, harassment, intimidation or other threatening disruptive behavior that occurs at the work site. 

Workplace violence can range from threats and verbal abuse to physical assaults and even homicide, making it one of the leading causes of job-related deaths. OSHA said that nearly 2 million American workers are the victims of workplace violence each year. This number can be reduced by implementing proper workplace violence procedures and training. 

“Employers should make safety and prevention a priority by encouraging employees to take responsibility for their own actions and outcomes, creating an environment where employees feel comfortable reporting a problem, and showing employees that when they report a problem, it is promptly addressed,” said Julie Croushore, vice president of risk management at Engage PEO

Violence in the workplace is not limited to a company’s current or former employees; for example, it may be perpetrated by a customer, family member or even a stranger. Because of this, it is important that employees are aware of the best practices for dealing with workplace violence in each scenario. 

You can prepare for potential workplace violence by identifying high-risk industries and employees, creating a workplace violence plan and training your employees on the guidelines. 

Identify high-risk industries and employees.

The first step in prevention is to identify what leads to workplace violence and what industries are most susceptible. Although no company or employee is completely immune to the risk of violence, Suzanne Singer, partner at Rumberger, Kirk & Caldwell, said there are some factors that leave certain employers and industries at a greater risk. 

“Among those [at a higher risk] are employees who exchange money with the public, and those who work alone or …

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Business After #MeToo: What's Changed and What Hasn't in the Business World

May 20, 2019


Started by civil rights activist Tarana Burke, the #MeToo movement, rocked the business world in 2018 and culminated in, according to the New York Times, 201 men getting fired and replaced. Of course, the majority were replaced by other men, and not women, but at least action was taken. Unfortunately, movements are short-lived in the era of the 24-hour news cycle, and many of the men who were publicly accused of harassment are back in the workforce, while countless others were never disciplined at all.

We’re taking stock of the effects of the #MeToo movement on workers everywhere, HR representatives, and of course, small businesses.

#MeToo has inspired people to speak out and organize

The most obvious positive outcome of the #MeToo movement has been the platform it’s provided for women and men who face sexual harassment and violence. Discussing traumas, especially when speaking up can jeopardize employment, has always been a huge obstacle to resolving sexual harassment issues. The creation of a shorthand phrase (#MeToo) for such experiences has made it easier for people to share their struggles and connect with others who are in the same boat.

Activists and community organizers have mobilized around the hashtag, too, by creating new outreach organizations, taking to the streets in protest and drawing attention to existing support groups. Heal Me Too is one such organization, which provides people with resources for PTSD following sexual harassment or assault, and works with other outreach groups like RAINN, After Silence and PTSD Alliance.

Positive changes one year after #MeToo

Online movements are often criticized for being all bluster and no bite, but the effects of #MeToo appear to be going strong IRL. The Society for Human Resource Management did a follow-up survey of more than 18,000 workers and …

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3 Tips for Picking the Right Office Space

May 18, 2019


Whether you’re growing, moving to a better location or nearing the end of your lease, new office spaces are a natural part of the small business life cycle. While choosing a new location may not be difficult, finding the right one for your business and team can be. There are several important things to think about before choosing a space for your business, and your employees should be at the top of that list.

“When looking for a new office, the priority is how your team will feel in the new space,” said Joe Lawlor, co-founder of Digital Dynasty.

How can you consider your team’s attitude toward a new potential space? It’s good to start with some common questions and blend your business’s needs with the needs of your team. For instance, budget should dictate what office you move into, but location and proximity to mass transit or parking should be decisions made with your employees in mind.

Sandi Webster, managing director of C2G Partners, proposed some good questions to keep in mind when looking for new spaces:

  • Do your employees come in every day, or are they working from home?
  • What’s the public transit or parking situation like?
  • Does this office have space for your company to grow, or is it just enough space for right now?
  • Is there a realtor involved? What is their fee?

These are some questions that may not be immediately on your mind when looking but are very important – especially in the age of remote work, when many companies have liberal policies on when employees need to be in the office.

Looking for the right office space for your company boils down to three important needs: location, size and office feel.

Location

The driving force behind your office search is the …

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