1. Truly want Organisational Excellence and Resilience, it’s not your Systems, it’s your People you need to focus on for Positivity

    September 6, 2019 by BPIR.com Limited

    It’s been a long standing view that implementing ‘Systems’ will be the key to increasing overall organisational excellence. Organizational excellence is defined as the ongoing efforts to establish an internal framework of standards and processes intended to engage and motivate employees to deliver products and services that fulfil customer requirements within business expectations (asq.org). It is now well established that engaging your staff is the key to making systems and processes work effectively, not the other way round (Markos & Sridevi, 2010). Moreover, engage your staff and you not only get operational excellence, you get a productive and engaging work culture where leadership and operations thrive. Whether it’s production, clinical healthcare, customer services, aviation, construction, transportation or any other industry, the findings are relevant and consistent. Employee engagement matters most.

    But building engagement is not as obvious as it may sound. The answer is not adding gaming to the office lounge or having casual Fridays. It is much more foundational to every person’s psyche than the superficial fixes often deployed. Engagement itself has been shown to be poor globally, primarily due to the lack of understanding on what it is and how to increase it. Engagement is when your employees are full of vigour, dedication and immersed in their tasks.

    Globally only about 15% of the workforce is engaged, with 18% being actively disengaged and 67% just not engaged. The actively disengaged are disgruntled employees, the sabotagers, they actively steal from the organisation, are knowingly negligent or spend most of their time purposely sabotaging processes. The not engaged are simply there at work. They are aren’t actively sinking the ship, but they aren’t rowing either. They’re just there for the ride, to clock in and clock out. This equates to an estimated US$67 Trillion loss in productivity to the global economy. The NZ/Australia figures sit just below the global figures in engagement, with 14% engaged, 15% actively disengaged and a whopping 71% in the middle, just not engaged. Losing the economy roughly NZ$2.7 Billion in lost productivity.

    What makes matters worse is that globally, across industries and countries, engagement has been pretty much stagnant since engagement measures started in the 2000s. Not decreasing overall, but definitely not increasing either. This is primarily because organisations continue to simply measure engagement annually, don’t understand what they measured fully, how to fix it or what interventions exist or how to implement them. So they spread the stats to top management, have a meeting, put it in a file, do not much else about it and measure it again the next year!

    The primary driver to enhance engagement lies not in the organisation systems, or tearoom fun activities, but in each employee’s psychological capital (PsyCap). PsyCap is the internal ‘positivity’ you build into your personnel to enhance the will to chase goals. Building PsyCap has been scientifically shown to make us smarter. Our peripheral vision literally expands, we can take in more information from our surroundings in lesser time. Our brain has more information to work with so processes information faster. We have more info and retrieved it faster, so we problem solve faster. This all feeds back on itself so we get smarter, faster. The more we can do this and for longer, the more permanent it becomes. Think going to the gym now and then versus going consistently every week. The changes and results become permanent. Doctors have been shown to reach differential diagnosis faster and more accurately. Production staff have been shown to produce fewer defective products with less risk and health and safety issues in the workplace. Service focussed employees have been shown to retain customers and increase customer satisfaction. The same tide (PsyCap) raises all ships (all industries have been shown to reap the benefits globally).

    When employees with PsyCap interventions, positivity interventions, were measured against employees with no interventions within the same organisation, significant KPI differences were found. Those with positivity intervention showed 37% less absenteeism, 65% less turnover in high turnover orgs, 28% less org. shrinkage, 48% less safety incidents, 41% less patient incidents, 41% less quality defects, 10% increase in customer satisfaction, and a 22% increase in productivity enhanced profitability. Build positivity, engage in work, increase productivity, increase profitability.

    Organisational resilience relies on 9 key factors in order to have robust resilience, material resources, planning, information mgt, redundant pathways, governance, leadership, culture, social collaboration and human capital. Of these 9, 4 (nearly half your organisational resilience) rely entirely on the positivity of your employees to be successful. Positive employees need positive leadership, which together establishes a positive culture, which enhances social collaboration, which reinforces your human capital overall. This positivity builds and enhances engagement, which in turn then effectively enhances your other 5 resilience components in efficiency, resources, planning, information mgt, redundant identification and overall governance,

    But it’s not all about work either! People who have positivity interventions have greater mental resilience, in life, significant well-being overall and generally have a better quality of life after and are more likely to be promoted, have successful marriages, increase immune function and general health, have better brain functionality and basically excel in all aspects of life. And it lasts long term with far reaching benefits. Because when we are happy, those around us are more likely to be happy, work colleagues, friends, family. It makes good business sense to invest in positivity. It makes good life sense to invest in positivity.

    If you are interested in this article, can you help?

    The author, Ranjeeta Singh, Positive Coach & COER Researcher, is looking for participant organisations that would like to be involved in her exciting research project on Employee Positivity. If interested please contact Ranjeeta ranjeeta.singh@gmail.com. Minimal time commitment, full ethics, legal and confidentiality conformance is part of the study and, the big plus is that you will receive a measure of Employee Positivity for your organisation (and a comparison against other participants) and access to the research findings on how to improve it.

  2. Building Highly Effective Teams

    August 31, 2019 by BPIR.com Limited
    This article has been provided by Dr. Omer Tigani, Organizational Excellence Specialists

    There is a commonly used saying that ‘people are the backbone of any organization’. However, it is suggested that human resources provide even more extensive support as they are at the heart of the entire management system, producing products and delivering services and enabling the organization to remain relevant and to survive in the marketplace. So how does an organization capitalize on this most important asset, build on the talent of their people and develop highly effective teams?

    Highly Effective Teams
    A team is a group of people working together to achieve a shared purpose and goal(s). Human resources of today’s organization tend to perform their day-to-day operations in teams. Those teams can be structured according to the organizational chart or can be unstructured and teams can be permanent or temporal. Table 1 describes different types of teams. The individuals in highly effective teams are committed to results, accountable and consistently deliver superior results and exceed expectations. The success of the team is paramount and supersedes the personal agenda of any one of the team members

    Tuckman Team Model
    In 1965, Bruce Wayne Tuckman (researcher, consultant and Professor Emeritus of Educational Psychology at Ohio University) proposed the four stages of group development (Forming, Storming, Norming, Performing) as necessary and inevitable stages or phases that should take place in sequence for any group of people or team to grow and achieve a desired outcome. In 1977, Tuckman added the fifth stage Adjourning (Figure 1).

    In light of the Tuckman Model stages, there is merit in discussing the dos, don’ts and the role of team leaders at each stage that contribute to highly effective teams in organizations.

    Stage 1: Forming
    Highly effective teams are formed from individuals who possess the suitable knowledge and experience necessary to achieve the desired outcomes of the team.

    In the Forming stage, the team’s purpose, mission, long-term goals and short-term objectives must be identified, well communicated and agreed upon by all team members. The team leader role in this instance is to communicate the team’s purpose, mission, long-term goals and short-term objectives to the team numerous times (7 times or more) to ensure that every individual on the team understands, has buy-in and will work with the rest of the team to achieve such. It follows that any related changes or updates that need to take place will be well communicated too.

    Having the work processes set and the roles and responsibilities of team members identified and agreed upon in the Forming stage are extremely important to help the team cooperate and work together to achieve a successful outcome. For highly effective teams, roles and responsibilities should be established fairly among the team individuals and in careful consideration to their background and experiences.

    In the Forming stage, the highly effective team drafts a Communication Agreement in which vertical and horizontal channels are identified. This Agreement sets the expectation for each team member such as: how feedback should be given, what to do when expectations are not met and how to respond to feedback, and so forth.

    The team leader plays an important role in setting the team rules and core values. Some commonly used core values may include:

    • Teamwork
    • Respect
    • Transparency
    • Honesty
    • Integrity
    • Professionalism
    • Continuous Learning
    • Continual Improvement
    • Excellence
    • Quality

    Stage 2: Storming
    In the Storming stage, it’s a newly formed team with individuals that have been recently brought together. These individuals have different backgrounds, experiences and personalities and each team member may join with his/her own understanding, priorities and agenda. Although the team’s direction may have been set in the Forming stage, there may be differences in perception when the team puts the plan into action. As a result, disputes and differences may arise and affect team performance.

    Effective communication is the key to overcoming these differences. The team leader must be a good role model for effective communication. This role is characterized by communicating clearly, being straightforward, providing constructive feedback and listening actively. As Tom Peter’s says “team leaders should not be 18-second managers”! Effective communication will play an important role in building trust among the team members and will pave the way for them to feel confident about peer intentions and alignment with the agreed upon direction.

    Managing conflicts will also be important at this stage. Conflict can be defined as ‘any tension, real or perceived, visible or hidden, clearly understood or not, between the important interests held by one or more people’. Team leaders must consider the breadth and depth of conflict when trying to manage it.
    For example:

    • Conflicts are inevitable and may occur at any time among the members regardless of their organizational levels and/or positions
    • Conflicts are not only about real, visible, clearly understood tensions. Team leaders should also be attentive to perceived, hidden, not clearly understood tensions and manage these conflicts as well. Much time and effort can be saved in managing conflict in the early stage when it is more simple and straightforward and has not had a chance to escalate
    • Conflicts may be caused by not satisfying human interests that are held by one or more individual(s) or group(s). Thus it is beneficial for team leaders to understand the origin of the conflict or the motivation of their team members. Remaining knowledgeable and curious about these motivations and having open discussions will provide a valuable learning experience for all parties. Such undertakings will pave the way for effective resolution of the conflict and for stronger and healthier relationships going forward
    • Team leaders must understand their role is not to resolve conflicts but to manage it so the team can perform well. This undertaking will help the team leader and members to focus on overcoming challenges and moving towards achieving the team’s agreed upon aim
    • Conflicts provide an opportunity (if effectively managed) to learn more about the team members and to strengthen relationships

    Stage 3: Norming
    Once conflicts are effectively managed in the Storming stage, the Norming stage has team members focus on setting norms and ensuring all work processes are in place and functioning well for the benefit of the team. The level of team cohesiveness at this stage is largely determined by the level of conformance to the acceptable behaviors and agreed upon norms.

    Most often, the Storming stage overlaps with the Norming stage. This overlap is due to the following:

    • It may be easier to agree on some matters (e.g. work processes, roles and responsibilities, team rules, communication agreement, goals, objectives, core values) than to implement such. To be successful with implementation, conflicts must be managed well
    • When new tasks are assigned to the team, some conflicts may appear again. If the conflict has been managed well in the past, these conflicts will be less intense and managed smoothly given the team building efforts that have strengthened relationships along with the growing understanding that team members have about one another

    Norms of behaviors for highly effective teams include:

    • Respect the points of view for each member (even if it differs from their own)
    • Challenge the idea rather than the person
    • Think positive and work towards the desired outcome
    • Speak openly and share information
    • Admit mistakes and consider these experiences a learning opportunity
    • Be constructive in giving and receiving feedback
    • Remain committed to your agreed upon roles and responsibilities and to the team’s purpose, mission, core values, goals and objectives

    Particularly important at the Norming stage is a principle common to the culture of high performing organizations – alignment. Alignment reflects the understanding that the “organization is a system of interrelated and interconnected work processes and that all activities need to aligned with the established direction” (Source: Organizational Excellence Framework, 2010). The leadership team establishes the strategic direction for the organization and reflects the direction in corporate statements (e.g. vision, mission, core values) and plans that have goals and objectives. Every effort should be made to cascade these statements and plans throughout the organizations so that all undertakings serve a common aim and resources are used wisely.

    Stage 4: Performing
    Teams that reach the Performing stage are mature – work processes, roles and responsibilities, team rules and the communication agreement have been well established and tested. The focus of the team at this stage is on managing performance, evaluating performance and achieving the team goals. Although conflicts may still arise, these conflicts continue to be managed well given the relationships that have been developed and strengthened over time and the norms of behaviors that have been established.

    At this stage, the Effort Grid (Figure 2) illustrates how the effort and talent of each team member will contribute to the strength of the overall team. To realize and maintain high team performance, it is recommended that team leaders:

    • Focus on members that demonstrate good talent and good effort (Golden Eagles). Related behavior includes listening, providing constructive feedback, assigning new tasks and challenges, inspiring, encouraging and so on. In other words, recognizing these members for the value they bring to the organization
    • Invest in training team members that demonstrate poor talent and good effort (Effort Eagles). Improve the talent of this group by training and coaching. Emphasize coaching as a better way to realize desired outcomes over coaxing (persuasion or intimidation) as coaching positively reinforces the team member’s effort to improve performance
    • Spend minimal time on team members with good talent and poor effort (Talent Traps) as motivation is difficult to train. Hopefully by witnessing the positive reinforcement available to those making a good effort, these team members will be encouraged to follow suit
    • Do not spend time on team members with poor talent and poor effort (Miracle Traps). Instead encourage these people to find employment elsewhere. Otherwise such team members will provide a drag on the organization and negatively influence other team members

    For the team leader, using the foregoing approach will clearly reinforce the talent and effort that are desired and required from team member and that will be rewarded.

    A practice common to high performing organizations is to share leadership with employees (Source: Practice 2.12, Organizational Excellence Framework, 2010). This practice helps team members learn about the leadership role (e.g. chair a meeting), enables them to have a new experience (e.g. lead an improvement initiative) and builds their commitment as they accept responsibility and accountability and feel a sense of ownership over the task at hand. This practice is beneficial for the organization too as it helps to develop the leadership skills of and showcases different leadership styles to team members.

    Stage 5: Adjourning
    In the Adjourning stage most of the team goals have been achieved and the focus at this stage is a gentle wrap-up. For the benefit of a learning organization, the Adjourning stage focuses on knowledge transfer for the current and future teams that will perform a similar function. Knowledge transfer should include documenting and sharing the:

    • Team’s purpose, mission, core values, long-term goals and short-term objectives
    • Work processes
    • Roles and responsibilities for the team members
    • Team rules
    • Communication agreement
    • Lessons Learnt
    • Surveys or studies reporting results or outcomes, including benchmarking of best practices

    Tuckman presented a powerful model that every team leader should be familiar with prior to leading a team. Leaders of highly effective teams should plan ahead and prepare for each stage of the Tuckman Team Model. In doing so, team leaders who understand the typical stages of team development will be agile and able to respond efficiently and effectively to most scenarios that arise during the life cycle of a team project. This preparation will help the team to perform well and to achieve its mission, goals and objectives at the desired level of quality, at a lower cost and within the set timeframe.

    About the Author:
    Dr. Omer Tigani is a quality management and organizational excellence consultant and expert with more than 18 years of experience blended with academic and professional qualifications in the field from Canada, United States, United Kingdom, Belgium and Switzerland.
    Utilizing various quality approaches (ISO standards, excellence models) and quality tools (six sigma), he has led organizations to design and establish robust management systems and to build organizational capabilities that enable the achievement of continually improving and sustainable performance.
    Dr. Omer has presented at conferences in the United States, Qatar and Sudan and has published peer-reviewed articles in international magazines with ASQ (Quality Progress, Journal for Quality and Participation). He is a licensed professional with Organizational Excellence Specialists and located in Canada.
    LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/dr-omer-tigani-86125b1b/

  3. The Key to Maximizing Productivity When Working from Home May Be All in Your Space

    August 30, 2019 by BPIR.com Limited

    Article contributed by Emily McCrary-Ruiz-Esparza

    As of 2016, nearly half of American workers reported that they spent at least some time working from home, and by 2017, 5.2% (roughly eight million) worked from home full-time, a number that continues to increase.

    Affording workers the flexibility to do their jobs outside of the traditional office setting has been linked to employee productivity and retention, and Gallup’s 2017 State of the American Workplace Report found that flexible scheduling and remote-working opportunities are increasingly playing a role in workers’ choice of employer. The ability to work from home and create schedules around personal responsibility has also been identified as a way to help close the gender pay gap and prevent women and primary caregivers from incurring the motherhood penalty, and this practice also makes it possible for employees to take care of aging family members.

    We asked three business and management experts how this growing segment of workers can maximize productivity when working from home, and the answer was unanimous: you must create the space.

    Reserve and preserve a mental space
    The duties of domestic life will always call, and it’s difficult to ignore this when a sink full of dishes is staring you in the face or a child is knocking on your office door. Allowing household demands to creep into your mental space during your working day creates an attention rift.

    “Not having a proper workspace at home can seriously affect your productivity, and constantly being distracted by personal issues can undermine your ability to focus on your work,” says attention management expert Maura Thomas. For those without children in the home, this may be easily accomplished by establishing daily routine, dressing for work, making a physical space only for work, and drawing a line in time between work and personal obligations.

    Jamie Gruman, professor and senior research fellow at the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada, recommends creating this mental space by keeping two separate calendars: “one for work and one for non-work activities. This way you won’t be distracted by items like ‘get ingredient for chicken soup’ while scanning your agenda for the next item on your work to-do list.”

    For those who work from home to care for children, creating a mental space for productivity requires additional effort. While those with school-aged kids can make the most of school hours, those will younger children will have to weigh the cost of paying for childcare or tag-teaming with a partner or family member as a means of creating this mental (and physical) space. Even if childcare is not available to you, this mental space can be created, with creativity: maximize productivity during nap times or after children go to bed or, for those with children of a more autonomous age, by creating for them a movie hour (or two).

    Reserve and preserve a physical space
    The ability to devote attention to work at home is also dependent on physical space. Thomas argues that the most important question to ask about the home office is, is it really a workspace?

    “Do you have an appropriate amount of space for the tools of your work, such as ample room to comfortably hold your computer and peripherals, some space to write and do work that isn’t computer-based, plus storage space for other tools and accessories, like pens, stapler, paper clips, phone, calculator, reference material, unopened mail, glass of water, outlets, and USB ports, etc.? If you routinely “work” squeezed into a corner of your couch, the end of the dining room table, or squeezed onto some flat surface in a corner of your bedroom, then you are seriously impacting your productivity.”

    “We asked three business and management experts how this growing segment of workers can maximize productivity when working from home, and the answer was unanimous: you must create the space.”

    Thomas points out that many of today’s workers are “knowledge workers” (this is increasingly true of the work-from-home segment), which means that the tools for productivity are information and communication.

    “If you have to stop what you’re working on because you can’t find what you need quickly, you will have interrupted your flow. Even simple things, like not being able to find a pencil when you need one, can cause enough of a distraction to have an impact on your productivity.”

    Having a room in your home reserved only for work is ideal, but for workers with little space to spare, this can present an obstacle. “Someday I would love to have a designated office, but since I live in a small apartment, my desk lives in the main living area,” Seattle-based blogger Chelsea Lankford told House Method in an interview last year. “However, I only let myself sit at my desk when I’m working. I do get a little stir-crazy at times, but that’s when I pick up my work and head to a cafe or walk down the street to Lake Union when I need a break.”

    Business consultant and contributor to Entrepreneur Phil La Duke says that the I don’t have enough room argument doesn’t really work—you make room. “When I first started working from home, I was renting a small duplex. I put my desk in my bedroom and literally made a cube out of a room divider. My office took up very little space and the room divider made it seem more like an office from the inside, but didn’t look like an office from the outside.”

    Stick to a schedule
    Much like reserving a physical space, those who work from home should reserve a space in time for their work. Marking regular work hours (even if those are not the traditional nine to five), practicing time blocking, mastering to-do lists and scheduling, and breaking for lunch create the temporal space for productivity in the home office.

    Thomas advises: “Try to be realistic—you’re not going to complete your work and then do 10 other personal tasks on the same day. Also, tame your task list. Do you have to check two different email accounts, the Post-It notes on your computer, your calendar, and your voicemail to figure out what you need to do? Get your to-dos all in one place. Your brain doesn’t know what to do with ill-defined tasks until you turn them into smaller, actionable steps that are very specific. Use verbs when entering items on your task list so you’ll know exactly what you have to do to take appropriate action.”

    The obstacle of isolation
    Despite the number of Americans who are moving their workplace into the home, and the benefits around productivity and career advancement it affords, this is a relatively new business practice. Last year Huffington Post reported that there may still be psychological ramifications for some who opt for this arrangement: the pressure to “appear” busy at all times, to make oneself available for more hours outside of the workday (if not all the time), and even a sense of guilt over the ability to work from home, especially if colleagues do not do the same.

    Understanding that these pressures may be self-imposed and mastering productivity at home may make it easier to take ownership of the arrangement.

    Remember that your boss has their own job to do, so it’s unlikely that they will spend their working hours tracking your movements, so if they’ve afforded you this flexibility, they should deliver without penalty. And while I can’t solve for the reality of the motherhood penalty here, I will make the argument that feeling in control of your productivity at home leads to confidence in work product, which may help mitigate the emotional labor of caretakers who work from home.

    Additionally, “I would tell people who feel pressure to look busy that they are probably far more productive than when they are in an office with coworkers and they need make time for coffee breaks, meals, etc.,” La Duke argues. The pressure [to be available at all times] can be enormous, but it is largely self-imposed,” says La Duke of his own work-from-home arrangement, but encourages workers to examine exactly where that pressure is coming from.

    More tips for maximizing productivity when working from home

    Use your office only for work
    La Duke recommends keeping work spaces work spaces to establish that mental distance. “Your home office is your workplace that just so happens to be located in your home. Don’t blur the lines by making it a place where you pay bills, watch sports, or do anything but work.”

    Establish a dress code
    “Follow the same dress code as you would if you were going into an office. Not only does this put you in work mode, but when you change clothes when you get off work, you get the transition you between work and home that your commute would normally provide,” La Duke says.

    Don’t neglect ergonomics
    When creating your physical space, make it one where you can comfortably and sustainably spend a full work day. Don’t skimp on the right desk chair, and if you use a standing desk, get a mat to protect your back and legs.

    Block out noise
    There have been studies that show certain types of ambient noise can boost creativity. Free tools like Noisli and Coffitivity are great for creating your own mix of white noise, or for blocking out a noisy household.

  4. Why You Should Add “Learnability Quotient” to Talent Assessments

    August 15, 2019 by BPIR.com Limited
    In the past, professional success was measured by how high you rose in an organization. Today, the metrics have changed.

    With the pace of change in today’s workplace, our ability to learn new information and skills is more important than ever before. So how can organizations assess and develop this capability in their teams, and how can employees ensure their skills remain relevant?

    Today, the metrics have changed (Fulfilling Careers Instead Of Filling Jobs). Success is determined by an individual’s ability to adapt to change and their willingness to own the progression of their career. This requires learnability. What is learnability?. Learnability is the desire and ability to grow and adapt to new circumstances and challenges throughout one’s work life. It is “not about what people know, it is more about how quickly people can learn,” says Jonas Prising, CEO, ManpowerGroup.

    Why is learnability important? Learnability is becoming a key determinant of success in the world of work. The World Economic Forum predicts that “on average, by 2020, more than a third of the desired core skill sets of most occupations will be comprised of skills that are not yet considered crucial to the job today.” Individuals need to pursue continuous skills development in order to remain attractive to employers. Organizations need to provide their workforce with meaningful ways to learn different skills and adapt to new processes and technologies.

    For both individuals and organizations, therefore, understanding learnability is critical. How a person learns is called their “Learnability Quotient™, or LQ (Learnability In The Human Age). When individuals understand their own preferences around skills acquisition, they can tailor their learning, development, and career journey accordingly. For example, what type of organization and environment might you thrive in based on your own Learnability Quotient?

    Organizations that appreciate the importance of learnability are better able to make decisions on how to motivate and develop their workforce. To what extent are employees willing and motivated to learn, i.e. what is their skill mobility? How does development need to be tailored at an organizational level? How can learnability be rewarded so critical skills are adopted by the workforce and the organization is prepared to adapt to future changes?

    How can you assess learnability? Increasingly, business success and sustainability will be built on learnability. Organizations will need to be “learnable” to grow and evolve, while individuals with high learnability will be focused on developing flexible skills to meet the changing workforce or market requirements. Assessments can play a critical role in helping organizations adapt to this new reality and make smarter decisions on selecting employees based not only on role requirements but also on their LQ profile.

    ManpowerGroup has partnered with Hogan Assessment to develop a web-based visual assessment to identify an individual’s LQ. This simple tool can provide deep insight into one’s motivation and learning type. To take the short quiz and begin to understand your own Learnability Quotient today, Click Here

    This article has been provided by Stacey Force, Vice President of Global Marketing, ManpowerGroup, United States

  5. The Kaleidoscope of employee morale and workplace wellness

    May 10, 2019 by BPIR.com Limited

    Article contributed by Dr. Almas Tazein, BPIR.com Limited


    Can we compare Einstein with Beethoven with Shakespeare? Likewise, one cannot undermine the significance of employees, irrespective of the chain of command. They are expected to create everyday miracles, survive the bullets in times of crisis with stoicism, or at least, sustain the positive status quo.

    And we wish to give back. Employee engagement / reward / recognition / appreciation – whatever we term it – it’s not about, but beyond the apathic sales incentives, official celebrations, or a fleeting ‘thank you’ over an email (for salvaging an impending operational-financial catastrophe). Maslow’s hierarchy confirms that all of us function at different levels of need at various stages of our professional lives. Our motivations are chalk and cheese – intra, and interpersonally.

    Furthermore, Texas Quick, an expert witness at trials of companies who were accused of overworking their employees, states that "when people get worked beyond their capacity, companies pay the price." Most experts feel that the chief responsibility for reducing stress should be the management. “Work-life balance ranks as the second most important workplace attribute behind compensation, according to research conducted by the Corporate Executive Board among more than 50,000 global workers”. (Dayton Daily News).

    So how do we plan to support our employees and make them feel cherished?

    How – With empirical case studies and global trends in how organisations contribute to their employees’ psychological health, physical wellness and social camaraderie at work and outside of it, here is a pragmatic guide with the 10 most relevant Best Practice Reports that BPIR.com has published in the employee morale and wellness domain.

    Who – From struggling organisations and its dispirited personnel, to eclectic leaders with their effervescent employees, this article will benefit and inspire one and all.

    Index of Best Practice Reports – Includes new and old (but still relevant ) reports
    1 Employee Happiness
    2 Employee Recognition
    3 Workplace Wellness
    4 Employee Motivation 2 & 1
    5 Building a Healthy Society and Workforce: Awareness and Prevention of Diabetes
    6 Employee Development
    7 Emotional Intelligence
    8 Work and Life Balance
    9 Mental Toughness
    10 Occupational Safety

    1. Employee Happiness

    Happiness at work is a mindset, which enables employees to maximize their performance and achieve their potential. An important part of this happiness is the emotional commitment or engagement that employees develop towards a company, its values, and its mission.

    Case Study: How the Head of an organisation implemented a Martini Culture, resulting in a reduction in voluntary turnover from 17% in 2013 to 6% in 2014, and a significant reduction in stress levels, and greater control over their work-life balance.

    2. Employee Recognition

    Despite the unquestioned benefits of employee recognition, organisations frequently execute their policies or programmes quite badly. In this light, many professional companies have now jumped on the bandwagon and offer employee recognition programmes and services. Employee recognition award.

    US $46 billion! That’s how much the employee recognition industry is worth annually. That is about two per cent of the total payroll for individual companies. Does recognition mean money? Read here for the Value and ROI in Employee Recognition.


    3. Workplace Wellness

    Workplace wellness programmes are designed to help employees pursue a healthy lifestyle and reduce health risks, enabling to improve their physical, mental and social well-being. Because, ultimately, good health is the best investment plan for doing great business.


    Measure and Evaluate – N.B.: this is a representative portion of the full self-assessment, which may be found in the member’s area at www.bpir.com


    4. Employee Motivation 2

    Low employee morale leads to lower productivity, substandard work, and high staff turnover, all of which contribute to revenue losses. Writing in Aftermarket Business magazine, Tim Sramcik outlines the five misconceptions associated with improving low employee morale.


    Example Cases – Philips Electronics, Deloitte LLP, Southwest Airlines, USA.

    Employee Motivation 1

    According to a research conducted by Greg Smith (2002), President of Chart Your Course International,

    Main causes of employee dissatisfaction at work / Factors that de-motivated staff were:

    Lack of appreciation 33%
    Too much paperwork 27%
    Problems with supervisors 23%
    Poor pay and benefits 22%
    Lack of training 20%
    Lack of opportunity 20%
    Fairness 18%
    Problems with coworkers 16%
    Commute 15%
    Boring job 9%

    The factors that workers thought were the most effective actions a firm could take to improve retention were:

    Train managers better 32%
    Listen more 28%
    Try something new 24%
    Pay more 23%
    Select managers better 22%
    Set the example 22%
    Hire better people 18%
    Improve benefits 13%

    Learn some key actions to implement strategies, and ensure and enhance motivation within your organisation. It is not an option, but a need to measure and evaluate your motivation strategies in order to establish how aligned individual objectives are to that of the organisation, and how motivated and committed employees say they are. Read how First Tennessee National Corporation initiated Work-life programmes to bring positive organisational results, and other novel case studies.


    5. Building a Healthy Society and Workforce: Awareness and Prevention of Diabetes

    International Diabetes Federation reports that someone dies from diabetes every six seconds. Extensive research by the World Health Organisation estimates NCD mortality and morbidity of 56.9 million global deaths in 2016, 40.5 million, or 71%, were due to noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) i.e., cardiovascular diseases, cancers, diabetes and chronic lung diseases. The socioeconomic impacts of NCDs threaten progress towards the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which includes a target of reducing premature deaths from NCDs by one-third by 2030.

    This special issue focuses on some of the incredible efforts in the field of preventive health management and wellness initiatives to combat diabetes by governments, not-for-profit, private, and corporate organisations.

    The Blueprint for Change Programme by Novo Nordisk is a series of excellent case studies across more than 10 countries. Read how the World Health Organisation is effectively strategizing to salvage the threatening effect of this non-communicable disease.

    Explore novel social awareness campaigns for diabetes, and exemplary measures by health regulating bodies and government authorities in UK, USA, UAE, Canada, Australia, Belgium, India, Qatar, Europe, Saudi Arabia, Cayman Islands, Eastern Mediterranean Region, Hong Kong, along with the Global Report on diabetes.

    Hence, cost-effective strategies for dealing with diabetes and ongoing research are crucial  to the long-term effects on society and future generations.

    6. Employee Development

    Employee Development is a strategic investment typically provided through internships, job rotation, coaching, mentoring, training courses, and peer group assistance within the work place.
    Doing a fair share of the work: A UK survey concerning employee development which was carried out by "Investors in People" revealed that in all sizes of organisation half of employees reported working directly with someone who failed to do their fair share of work.

    Almost 4/10 managers – complained about colleagues not pulling their weight.
    40% of employees reported that their employer did not take any action to address this issue.
    Staff cited that working longer hours and feeling undervalued were amongst the most damaging issues they coped with, and that this in turn led to decisions to begin looking for a new job.

    7. Emotional Intelligence

    We have been led to believe that our IQ is the best measure of human potential. In the past 10 years, however, researchers have found that this isn’t necessarily the case and that a person’s emotional intelligence quotient (EQ) in actuality, is a greater predictor of success in life and work.

    EQ can have more explicit applications in the following domains: Communication between and among staff members; Conflict resolution; Customer service; Hiring; placement and staff turnover; Training and development; The development of a corporate culture or climate; Productivity; Leadership development.

    Unlike IQ, EQ can be developed and worked upon, having a significant impact on financial performance. Success stories: Recruitment costs in the US Air Force (USAF) were cut by a minimum of $3M annually due to its practice of choosing recruiters based on EQ-I criteria.


    8. Work and Life Balance

    It is now accepted that family preoccupations can cause stress, absenteeism from work, adversely affect staff performance and productivity, and lead to resignations. It is a worldwide problem that employers can ill afford to ignore.

    Vancouver based Martha Frase-Blunt (2001) identifies that many employees, in their concern for their work, only take a ‘busman’s holiday’ – doing on their days off, or in vacation time, what they would do at work. Frase-Blunt cites studies that show workers take mobile phones, laptop computers, and beepers home over the weekends and on holidays. Calling into work to check progress, and accessing voicemail and e-mail were also shown to be common practices.

    Jill Casner-Lotto of the Work in America Institute believes that "while today’s communications devices are a boon to flexibility, freedom and enhanced sharing of information, they also undermine the work/life balance". The Society for Human Resource Management’s HR Content Expert, Nancy Lockwood (2003), also cites a recent study that "reveals that employees are often pre-occupied with work when not working, and when in the company of family and loved ones experience an inability to be meaningfully engaged in non-work spheres".

    The question is – What are businesses supposed to do about it?


    9. Mental Toughness

    All companies want to be successful. But this would be a far-fetched idea if lackadaisical associates run the show, or associates have to communicate with their overtly sensitive colleagues. The situation may even demoralize a well-meaning team. Hence, employers aspire to hire pliable candidates, and leaders need to foster mettle in them by inspiring them to be relentless, i.e., lead by example.

    10.  Occupational Safety

    Occupational safety and health (OSH) – It is legally incumbent that employers have a common law duty to take judicious care of the health and safety of their employees. Based on the ergonomic survey and research data, safety cultures can be improved by optimizing safety-related communication throughout an organisation
    Some 2000 offices in the United States were assessed for the impact of ergonomic conditions, training, and equipment used by office workers. A sample of 299 employee evaluations reported measurable gains in productivity as a result of improved ergonomics, with an average increase of 34 minutes per day. At $30 per hour this represented $4,250 per year, per employee. Costs associated with performing the evaluations—along with the average hardware improvement costs—per employee amounted to $600. Therefore, net savings, without allowing for any injury or illness avoidance costs, was calculated at $3,650 per employee per year (i.e. $4,250 – $600), and the return on investment period was 2.3 months. Considerable savings were also recorded in illness and injury reductions, with a decrease of 28 per cent in cases.

    Successful safety programmes have to capture the hearts and minds of the people involved in them, where employees are motivated to take ownership of occupational safety, thereby plummeting the accident rates.

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