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May 2012 Archives

In the often terrible world of talent-search television, So You Think You Can Dance stands out for actually showcasing some real talent. In addition to a stunning performance from Hampton Williams, the Season 9 premier included a horror film/cartoon/video game inspired audition that led judge Lil' C to repeatedly proclaim, "I love my job!"

Passion and inspiration can go a long way in promoting and supporting meaningful work and outstanding performance. Watch Lil' C's reaction and then hop over to our quick poll and tell us what you love about your job.

You can check out the entire performance that moved Lil' C here.

Every job has its ups and downs. This year, to take the pulse of the workforce and hear a little more about people’s experiences at work, we went out and talked with six people from very different professions. Part 1 of the Psychologically Healthy Workplace Program's video series "Six Degrees of Bringing Home the Bacon" follows Ellie, a dog walker.

What's your average stress level on the job? What motivates you to do your best work? What are the most rewarding and challenging aspects of your job? Stay tuned as we continue the series each month, with new videos that feature a neurosurgeon, a florist, a television news reporter, a Pilates instructor and an entrepreneur.

If you missed the introduction to our series, you can check it out here.

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Last week, we announced some featured sessions for the Psychologically Healthy Workplace Program’s 2012 Work & Well-Being Conference. We've added more outstanding programs to the line-up, including sessions on workplace wellness, employee engagement, what neuroscience has to say about leadership, and how employers can promote healthy behaviors that enhance job performance.

Take a peek at the session descriptions, below, then click the button to hop over to our registration page and grab your seat at the conference. See you there!

Work & Well-Being 2012

June 28, 2012 • Chicago, IL • The Westin O’Hare

Presented by the American Psychological Association's Psychologically Healthy Workplace Program

Eventbrite - Work & Well-Being 2012

Featured Sessions

Identifying the Triggers and Barriers to Engaging Employees in their Health Benefits and Wellness Programs

Cheryl Larson, Midwest Business Group on Health

To assist employers in their efforts to improve the health of employees and families, the Midwest Business Group on Health released a series of recommendations to better structure the design, communication and delivery of benefits, wellness incentives and health management activities. Based on the findings of a five-year project focused on understanding employer and employee perspectives on health care and health benefits, this research provides key recommendations for supporting employee engagement and health improvement efforts. This session will also highlight employer priorities for 2013 and beyond and provide guidance on how employers can support a culture of health that promotes well-being and performance.

Leadership and Workplace Wellness: Emerging Insights from Neuroscience

John J. Randolph, PhD, ABPP, executive coach, consultant and board-certified clinical neuropsychologist

While the study of the brain has informed many aspects of society, only recently has neuroscience been applied to the workplace. This session will describe how cutting-edge social and affective neuroscience is reshaping how we think about leadership, workplace wellness and productivity. Topics will include the link between the brain and social and emotional behavior, the importance of emotional intelligence in becoming a successful leader, and how to optimize brain functioning and wellness in the workplace.

Leveraging Organizational Identity to Drive Employee Engagement

Bey-Ling Sha, PhD, APR, San Diego State University

Organizational identity can be a powerful tool for companies trying to engage their employees and other stakeholders. This session distinguishes between the action and communication components of strategic public relations, emphasizing the importance of “doing,” not just “saying.” This connection between “what is done” and “what is said” is critical to the coherent avowal of organizational identity, which in turn is necessary for employee identification and engagement. This session will help participants link organizational identity to the company’s mission and leverage the concept to promote employee engagement.

No Longer a Five O’Clock World: The Importance of Recovery Activities for Employee Health and Productivity

Larissa K. Barber, PhD, Northern Illinois University

With the changing nature of work and prevalence of technology linking employees to work at all hours, the notion of leaving work behind at 5:00 p.m. is becoming outdated. Moreover, this shift may lead to employees struggling to take sufficient time for rest and recovery. Recovery activities such as sleep and leisure have a vital role in re-energizing employees for optimal productivity and improving their physical and psychological health. This program will focus on the various types of work recovery activities and processes, how to select effective strategies, and individual and organizational interventions that facilitate recovery and performance.

Continuing Education Credit

Psychologists can earn up to 8 CE credits for the conference. The APA Practice Organization (APAPO) is approved by the American Psychological Association (APA) to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. APAPO maintains responsibility for this program and its content.

Sponsors and Cooperating Organizations

Special thanks to the following organizations for their support:

Midwest Business Group on Health
Health Enhancement Research Organization
International Association for Worksite Health Promotion
Illinois Psychological Association

Register now for our 2012 Work & Well-Being Conference: June 28th in Chicago.

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With the Psychologically Healthy Workplace Program’s 2012 Work & Well-Being Conference just under two months away, we’re putting the final touches in place for an outstanding learning experience.

Organizations are looking for ways to position themselves for success in the changing world of work and we want to make sure that attendees come away with practical, concrete tips for helping their employees and organizations thrive.

We’ve assembled a collection of top experts to discuss timely, relevant topics that are designed to help you enhance performance and well-being in the workplace. Representatives from some of our award-winning companies will also share real-world examples of how they have created healthy, high-performing organizations, including successes, challenges and lessons learned in the process.

Here are some highlights from the program.

Work & Well-Being 2012

June 28, 2012 • Chicago, IL • The Westin O’Hare

Presented by the American Psychological Association's Psychologically Healthy Workplace Program

Eventbrite - Work & Well-Being 2012

Featured Sessions

In Search Of… Organizational Excellence

Matthew J. Grawitch, PhD, Saint Louis University
David W. Ballard, PsyD, MBA, American Psychological Association

The concept of workplace wellness is firmly established, yet in many organizations, it remains the “Wild West,” with employers touting incentives, engagement, metrics, gamification and other buzzwords as the silver bullet that will save them from skyrocketing health care costs and lead them to peak performance. This session will focus on the latest trends and new horizons in work and well-being, with a focus on developing and implementing sustainable business practices and taking a strategic approach to enhancing employee and organizational outcomes.

From Incivility to Bullying: Addressing and Preventing Counterproductive Workplace Behaviors

Michael P. Leiter, PhD, Acadia University
David Yamada, JD, Suffolk University Law School

An increasing focus over the previous decade on workplace civility has expanded opportunities to understand and improve workplace health. The first part of this session will review initiatives designed to improve workgroup climate, such as the Veterans Health Administration’s CREW (Civility, Respect, & Engagement at Work) program, and how organizations can promote a positive work environment. 

The second part of this session will examine how preventive and responsive measures toward workplace bullying fit into contemporary American employment relations practices and policies. It will consider, among other things, institutional cultures, potential liability exposure, and the relationship of workplace bullying to addressing other forms of aggression and mistreatment at work.

The session will conclude with a facilitated question and answer period and a discussion of strategies for addressing problematic workplace behaviors and how employers can create a healthy organizational culture.

Employer Experiences: Lessons from Award-Winning Organizations

Any type of organization, large or small, for-profit or not-for-profit, can create a workplace that fosters employee well-being while enhancing organizational performance. This session will use case examples from award-winning organizations to demonstrate the application of psychologically healthy workplace principles in real-world settings. Special attention will be given to the importance of custom tailoring workplace practices to meet the unique needs of an organization and its workforce, employee and organizational outcomes, practical considerations for employers and practitioners and lessons learned.

...and more!

Continuing Education Credit

Psychologists can earn up to 8 CE credits for the conference. The APA Practice Organization (APAPO) is approved by the American Psychological Association (APA) to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. APAPO maintains responsibility for this program and its content.

Sponsors and Cooperating Organizations

Special thanks to the following organizations for their support:

Midwest Business Group on Health
Health Enhancement Research Organization
International Association for Worksite Health Promotion
Illinois Psychological Association

Working together, psychology and business can create healthy organizational cultures that support employee well-being and organizational performance. Registration is now open for our 2012 Work & Well-Being Conference: June 28th in Chicago. I hope you’ll be able to join us.

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With all the recent stories of downsizing and cutbacks because of the still-sluggish economy, consider my surprise when I learned about Netflix’s new vacation policy! Reviewing the number of days of vacation employees were actually taking (which was less, on average, than they were receiving), Netflix management has decided to do away with vacation altogether.

But, it’s not what you may think. The company has decreed that salaried employees will be allowed to take vacation days (paid time off) whenever they want. No longer do employees need to worry about how many days they have accrued. No longer do they need to worry about saving days up for family vacations. When employees need a break, they can simply take the day off.

But isn’t the company afraid employees would abuse such a privilege? According to Netflix, “We should focus on what people get done, not how many hours or days worked. Just as we don't have a nine to five workday policy, we don't need a vacation policy.”

What a novel idea! The company recognized that employees were working on weekends and in the evenings, and senior leaders decided that forcing employees to manage a certain number of official days off (which, for many workers, still entails checking email and completing work-related tasks) was just plain silly.

And I wholeheartedly agree! At first, I thought that perhaps some employees would abuse the system, and I’m sure there will be a small number who do. However, these employees are likely the ones who are not performing up to expectations anyway. These are likely the employees who do the bare minimum to get by, and under this system, employees are still expected to achieve results. If you don’t achieve results, don’t plan to be around very long.

As such, Netflix has created – at least on paper – a work environment that not only tolerates flexibility, but also embraces it. We’ll have to wait and see if it’s effective in the long run, but I, for one, hope that it is. Adding more high-profile success stories (like what Best Buy achieved with its ROWE intervention) will only add more evidence that greater flexibility in the workplace creates a win-win scenario for workers and the organization. And it also saves money, because now the human resources department doesn’t have to worry about tracking vacation days for workers. Instead, the hours and money spent on that process can be applied elsewhere.

Photo Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/merfam / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

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About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from May 2012 listed from newest to oldest.

April 2012 is the previous archive.

June 2012 is the next archive.

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