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    Entries in work (231)

    Friday
    Mar232018

    Job Titles of the Future: Director of Mental Health and Wellness

    While there definitely has been increased focus on wellness and wellbeing in the workplace in the last 10 or so years, most of that focus has been on the physical dimension of wellness - with programs and tools designed to help employees get more physically active, to quit smoking, to get a handle on better ways to manage long-term and (often) preventable health risks. But less attention (it seems to me anyway), has been paid to other aspects of wellness/wellbeing - and in particular, mental health. And mental health, and how employee mental health impacts people and the organization is a huge deal. I mean huge.

    How huge?

    According to some data from the Depression Center from the University of Michigan:

    Depressive illnesses, including major depression and bipolar disorder, are highly prevalent in the United States, affecting nearly one in five adults at some point in their life. These conditions are also among the top five causes of disability globally, and depression ranks as the #1 contributor to disability in the U.S. and Canada. An estimated 6.7% of adults in the U.S. had at least one major depressive episode in the past year. Depression is one of the most costly health conditions for American employers. The annual cost of depression in the U.S. is estimated at $210.5 billion, with approximately 45% attributable to direct costs, 5% to suicide-related costs, and 50% to workplace costs. A majority of these workplace costs are due to lost productivity in the workplace from both absenteeism (missed days of work) and "presenteeism" (reduced productivity at work). Presenteeism represents nearly 75% of workplace costs and 37% of the overall economic burden of depression.

    And that is just one set of data points from one source on the significant impact the mental health challenges and depression in particular makes on organizations, not to mention the personal and family impact depression has on people, families, and communities.

    So it makes sense that organizations are and should be addressing mental health and depression as just as important a dimension of employee wellness with as much focus as they have with physical wellness. And at least one organization, maybe one you wouldn't think would 'have' to worry about the mental health of its workforce is doing just that.

    The organization is the National Basketball Association, (don't worry, this is not turning into a 'sports' post). From a recent piece on the NBA.com site:

    Kevin Love and DeMar DeRozan -- two All-Stars -- who became the latest NBA players to detail their public battles with mental wellness. Love wrote a first-person account last week in The Players’ Tribune of the panic attack he suffered earlier this season. DeRozan spoke last month of the depression he’s dealing with during what may be his most successful NBA season.

    Their disclosures came as the NBA and the National Basketball Players Association are close to naming a Director of Mental Health and Wellness, who will run an independent mental wellness program that is being jointly funded by the league and union.

    It might seem surprising that NBA players - generally young, wealthy, successful, admired, and in great physical health would be affected by mental health issues, panic attacks, and depression. But the fact that we can have that kind of a reaction - 'Gee, what do these guys have to be depressed about?', reminds us that it is too easy to fail to take mental health issues seriously, or to want to treat them as not real issues for employees because we can't 'see' them.

    And I am pretty sure that is going to change, or it will have to change, as these issues become more common in the US and by extension, in the workplace. The National Institute of Health’s National Institute of Mental Health estimates that, in 2016, more than 44 million Americans suffered from some form of mental illness, ranging from mild to moderate to severe, and impacting more than 18 percent of all U.S. adults.

    As an NBA fan, I like that the league is doing more to actively recognize, address, support and mostly not to hide from the mental health challenges that players are facing - even if we think these don't or shouldn't exist, the accounts of Love, DeRozan, and others show us the problems are real. And with the data showing that mental health issues and illnesses growing at a consistent rate, it makes sense for organizations to think about today's Job Title of the Future - Director of Mental Health and Wellness. Maybe you should too.

    Have a great weekend!

    Wednesday
    Mar212018

    Introducing the Human Friendly Workplace Podcast

    I'm super excited to share with you the debut episode of the newest podcast on the HR Happy Hour Podcast Network - The Human Friendly Workplace Podcast hosted by employee engagement and workplace culture expert Jason Lauritsen

    On the Human Friendly Workplace Podcast, Jason will speak with HR and business leaders who are actively engaged with making their workplaces better - and more human.

    For Jason's debut episode, he talks with Graham Moody, People and Culture Manager at ansarada, an Australian company that has seen rapid growth, and has had to make sure their unique culture could scale.

    Here are the details for the show - and many thanks and a welcome to Jason - we are thrilled to have you be a part of the HR Happy Hour family.

    The Human Friendly Workplace 1 - Creating a Human Friendly Workplace

    Host: Jason Lauritsen

    Guest: Graham Moody, People and Culture Manager at ansarada

    Listen to the show HERE

    How can understanding employees’ personal values help create a stronger and more self-aware workplace? What does it mean to reevaluate and decide to change your company values, and how can you make sure employees connect with the new values?

    “We believe that values drive behavior and that behavior drives results.” - Graham Moody

    In today’s conversation Jason interviews Graham Moody with ansarada. Ansarada is headquartered in Sydney and has grown rapidly in the last 18 months, reaching nearly 200 employees while simultaneously pivoting its business model. Having strong company and personal values has always been deeply important at ansarada, and the recent changes posed a new challenge to the company culture.

    In the discussion, Moody will discuss how the company preserved the company’s culture during the rapid growth and a business focus shift. Listeners today will also learn why you should create a culture of servant-based leadership and also hear the one piece of advice he would give to managers on creating a human-friendly workplace culture.

    Listen to the show on the show page HERE, on your favorite podcast app, or by using the widget player below:

    Today’s episode is being powered by Small Improvements.

    Small Improvements is a feedback platform that helps employees grow and succeed. From Performance Check-Ins, Goals and 360s, it combines both ongoing and structured feedback to facilitate meaningful development.

    Subscribe to all the HR Happy Hour Podcast Network shows wherever you get your podcasts - just search for 'HR Happy Hour'

    Tuesday
    Mar062018

    REVISITED: Podcast - The Benefits of Hiring Disabled Candidates

    Quick reminder and a re-visiting of an HR Happy Hour Show that we did towards the end of 2017 on an issue that continues to be in the news and is more and more important in a tight labor market - programs and processes that make employment opportunities more accessible to disabled candidates.

    Here's just a bit from a long piece that ran the other day on USA Today - Willing and able: Disabled workers prove their value in a tight labor market

    With the low 4.1% unemployment rate making it tougher for employers to hire and retain workers, more are bringing on Americans with disabilities who had long struggled to find jobs. Many firms are modifying traditional interviews that filter out candidates with less-refined social skills and transferring some job duties to other staffers to accommodate the strengths of people with disabilities.

    "There’s a growing cadre of companies that look at people with disabilities as an untapped talent pool,” says Carol Glazer, CEO of the National Organization on Disability. “When people spend their entire lives solving problems in a world that wasn’t built for them, that’s an attribute that can be translated into high productivity in the workforce.”

    The piece, (and you should really read the entire thing), highlights some examples from employers such as CVS, Microsoft, and PwC and how they have adapted job roles and functions, recruiting and screening processes, and manager education in order to make more employment opportunities available to disabled workers.

    Additionally, I want to re-share and point you to a HR Happy Hour Show we did on this topicin December 2017. Our guest was Dan Peltz, Founder and Director of Shift NJ - an organization that helps candidates of all ability levels to connect with employers and find meaningful work. 

    Shift New Jersey was created to empower individuals. Dan and the team individuals of all ability levels maximize their potential through employment, skills training, counseling, and case management. They assist adults in preparing for college, employment, and independent living by helping them develop the vision, mindset, action steps, skills, and experience necessary to become successful.

    On the show, Dan described how Shift NJ works with candidates and employers to find employment opportunities, help build skills and capabilities of candidates that may have some challenges in finding positions, and how they support both the individuals and the organizations to make these programs and placements work for everyone.

    Additionally, Dan shared examples of how large employers like Amazon are working with agencies like Shift NJ to place more candidates into open roles, and how they are proactively seeking to expand their candidate pools.

    Finally, Dan shared how HR leaders in any location can get started with these programs and how they benefit the organization and community overall.

    You can listen to the show on the show page HERE, or by using the widget player below:

    This was an interesting and important show - hope you can take some time to listen if you missed it the first time. Learn more at the Shift NJ site .

    Have a great day!

    Tuesday
    Feb272018

    More from the 'Robots are making people obsolete' front lines

    I was fully prepared to write up a 'There's no way a robot could have done what I did this weekend' piece after having spent most of it painting some rooms in the house, building some furniture, and hanging about a million pictures and posters on the wall. The work was too imprecise, too unstructured, and required too much moving about in tight, crowded spaces for any robot (based on my current understanding of mainstream robotics capability), too manage.

    So after doing all that work over the weekend I felt pretty good about my ability to remain (reasonably) useful and relevant moving forward. I mean, between coming up with sort of interesting blogs, and general domestic tasks, (I am also very handy with a chainsaw), I had a hearty chuckle to myself, thinking about the doomsayers, (sometimes me too), fretting about the impending obsolescence of the human worker in the face of technological innovation.

    But these good feelings kind of dissapated a bit when I caught this piece on Fashionista (What, are you surprised I follow Fashionista?), on how some enterprising drones took the place of some fashion models at the recent Dolce & Gabbana show in Milan.

    Turns out drones can 'model' as well as (or better), than the human fashion models (at least in some instances). From the piece on Fashionista:

    It’s 2018, and as further proof that we’re already living in the future, what’s more fashionable than drones? Drones with handbags, according to Italian luxury fashion house Dolce & Gabanna, which sent a bunch of flying drones down its runway during the house’s fashion show in Milan on Sunday.

    Here's a look at the drone runway models as seen on Twitter: (if you can't see the video, click through)

    Make progress against the robots in one area, (painting a room in bad lighting and full of odd angles and corners), and lose it in another, (looking glamorous while showing off the latest in designer handbags).

    All this reminds us that the path to workplace automation, and the more widespread loss of jobs for people, is going to progress in spurts, in fits and stops, will surprise us in some ways and shock us in others, and is, probably, still inevitable.

    Have a great day. Let me know if you buy one of the D & G handbags.

    Wednesday
    Feb212018

    POWER MOVE: Who can get away with wearing sunglasses inside

    There are only two reasons to wear sunglasses inside (excluding for any medical/eye issues).

    Reason one (and this is by FAR the most common) - said inside sunglass wearer is a Grade A loser/jerk/poseur/idiot, and the sunglasses are screaming 'Look at me'

    Exhibit 1 - Lane Kiffin (back when he was still coaching at Alabama).

    As I mentioned - really jerky.

    Two (much less common but far more interesting) - the inside sunglass wearer is competing, with you, me, pretty much everybody around him or her, and doesn't want to give away any hint to what they may be thinking or feeling. The sunglasses in this case are saying something totally different - 'Don't look at me.'

    Exhibit 2 - Greg 'Fossil Man' Raymer - professional poker player most famous for winning the 2004 World Series of Poker Main Event (and a $5M prize)

    Pro poker players doing the sunglass inside thing at the table is pretty common now, but back in 2004, Raymer was kind of an innovator - and a savvy competitor. Hard to get a read on a person when they are hiding behind the shades.

    Exhibit 2A - And my new hero, one Anna Wintour, fashion industry icon, and in this picture seemingly disrespectful to Queen Elizabeth by not removing her trademark sunnies.

    But why does Wintour rock the shades? Hint - it isn't because she is trying to be too cool for the room. It is because she doesn't want you (or me or anyone else), to know what she is thinking, particularly as she sits in the front row of a fashion show, eyeing the latest designs.

    From a recent piece on Business Insider explaining Ms. Wintour's affinity for the shades: (edited a little)

    If anyone's actually watched Anna Wintour in front row fashion shows before, they'd know she always wears her blacked out sunglasses so that people and prying media cameras cannot read and reveal her true thoughts on the fashion items as they pass her on the catwalk. 

    And that's the reason the real ballers go with the sunglasses inside look. When everyone wants a piece of what you are thinking, and it is not in your best interests necessarily to let them know what you are thinking, then players like Raymer and Wintour put their guard up, and kind of dare you to call them out on it.

    But when you win as much as Raymer and Wintour have in their careers, most folks don't bother to call them out after all, and if they do, it really doesn't matter, because after all, who is doing most of the winning? And one thing we see in most winners - they are often willing to do things that the rest of us wouldn't consider 'proper'.

    So here's the move I want you to consider. That next 'big' project or staff or client meeting when things could get a little tense, when you do want or need to play your cards, (sorry Raymer), close to the vest, and to not reveal what you are really thinking or feeling - do you have the guts to walk in like Wintour, with a set of blacked out shades? How would Jerry from accounting react when he looked at you an all he got back was a stone face and a set of Ray-Bans?

    Could you pull it off?

    Wouldn't it be awesome if you did? 

    Have a great day!