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Healing Your Workplace

Powerful Prescriptions to Prevent Hardening of the Attitudes Among Your Employees

We live in a 24/7 stressful society, filled with uncertainty in the job market, the economy, competition, etc. A large percentage of employees admit to being unhappy with and psychologically disengaged from their jobs. Recent research shows that among the least happy and least engaged employees, the annual per-person cost of lost productivity due to sick days is more than $28,000, versus only $840 among the happiest and most engaged employees. Furthermore, job stress alone is estimated to cost U.S. industry at least $300 billion a year in absenteeism, diminished productivity, employee turnover and direct medical, legal and insurance fees.

Below are five powerful prescriptions for enhancing employee morale and job performance and minimizing job stress.

Rx #1. Provide your employees with empowering goal setting strategies.

People are 11 times more likely to reach a goal when they write it down, as opposed to simply thinking about the goal. Have regular meetings with your work team, where in addition to encouraging them to discuss their areas of discontentment, join with them in writing down short and longterm goals that are specific and action-oriented. For example, “For this month, we will have four meetings where we will design and implement our new plan for developing a psychologically healthy workplace. Your goal is to bring an idea with you to each meeting.”

Next, ask your people to visualize themselves feeling wonderful once they have accomplished that goal. Ask them to imagine it as if they have already accomplished the goal.

Finally, perhaps most importantly, have them write down ways in which they can sabotage themselves so that they will not accomplish those goals. Encourage them to be honest with themselves about the kinds of selftalk or self-defeating behaviors that they have unfortunately engaged in before, which contribute to not accomplishing their goals.

Rx #2 Provide your employees with a sense of control over their jobs.

Psychological studies of jobs are filled with examples of how important it is to give employees a genuine “say” in how to conduct their jobs. Not only does the perception that management truly cares about their feelings have a powerful impact on their morale and degree of job engagement, but giving workers some control over their own work-hour schedule (such as “flex time”) and how to approach their work tasks, dramatically reduces job burnout, absenteeism and turnover.

Have frequent meetings with your employees directed at genuinely listening to their issues and allow them to suggest resolutions. Finally, encourage workers to determine their own specific strengths and put them to use on their jobs. When this is done, employees are six times as likely to be engaged in their jobs and more than three times as likely to report excellent quality of life at their workplace.

Other examples of providing employees involvement in their work are:

  • Self-managed work teams
  • Employee committees or task forces
  • Continuous improvement teams
  • Team centered hiring process, where employees select their peers
  • Participative decision making projects.

Rx #3 Provide growth and development programs for your employees, such as brownbag learning programs.

Most employees desire the opportunity to gain new skills and knowledge, so they don’t feel stagnant in their jobs. Information provided by outside experts, which will help them on their jobs and in their lives can serve these needs. Providing lunchtime seminars and workshops on such topics as stress mastery, anger mastery, enhanced wellness, communications skills, as well as cross-training them with other job skills enhances organizational effectiveness and improves work quality.

Providing free college credit courses after work in your company is a wonderful benefit to provide employees.

Rx #4 Provide a variety of planned and spontaneous recognition events for your employees.

It’s a no-brainer for companies to provide world class service for their customers and clients, but they often forget that their most important assets-their employees-need the same. Why not make your employees feel as valued as your customers? By acknowledging their efforts-not just their productivity-- you can increase employee satisfaction, morale, and self-esteem.

Examples of providing recognition

  • Give unpredictable rewards, such as movie tickets, gift certificates, etc. for a job well done
  • Create a volunteer committee from across different departments to plan special events to show appreciation for your employees. Provide free, healthy lunch options for employees (this also benefits by having them stay in the building to discuss work related issues during every lunchtime.) List the births, birthdays and other news of interest about employees in the monthly newsletter. Have the CEO or President send out personalized cards to the families listed in the newsletter each month
  • Encourage work team friendly competition off the job, such as bowling leagues, etc. and post pictures and results around the work sites.

Rx #5 Provide a warm, accepting and fun workplace atmosphere, jest for the health of it!

If you want your employees to look forward to Monday mornings, provide an atmosphere that includes fun, teamwork and camaraderie.

Acknowledging employee needs and allowing talent and creativity to flourish will keep employees motivated and happy. Examples of providing an accepting workplace:

  • Have a “Whine and Geeze” area where employees can go to melt away stress. Inject funny quotes and cartoons into company memos. Have positive parties funded by negative people (every time a colleague is overheard making a negative comment, he/she puts 50 cents into a kitty.)
  • Have monthly theme contests where goofy prizes are awarded. Have a surprise treat day once a month, such as having the manager serve the employees bags of popcorn, or ice cream bars, etc.

If you begin to employ these five potent strategies into your workplace today, you will see amazing results quickly!

About the Author: Dr. Jack Singer is a licensed Industrial/ Organizational & Clinical/Sport Psychologist, professional speaker, management coach and trainer. Dr. Jack trains everyone from CEO’s and HR professionals to elite athletes throughout the world. He is a frequent guest on CNN, MSNBC, FOX SPORTS and countless sports talk radio talk shows across the U.S. and Canada.

Diversey + Standard Textile = Proteus Solutions

STURTEVANT, Wis. & CINCINNATI, Ohio — Diversey, Inc., a global provider of commercial cleaning, sanitation and hygiene solutions and Standard Textile Co., Inc.,an international leader in the design, development, manufacturing and distribution of textiles, decorative products and work apparel, announced the formation of a joint venture to bring innovative, costeffective and sustainable laundry cleaning solutions for the lodging and healthcare industries. 

Read more: Diversey + Standard Textile = Proteus Solutions

Laundry Plus Gains Productivity

BRADENTON, Fla. – The customers of Laundry Plus, an industrial laundry for area resorts and hotels, were used to the laundry’s customized 24-hour turnaround service.

Read more: Laundry Plus Gains Productivity

The Emerald - In A Hay Stack

SAN DIEGO, Calif. — When San Diego entrepreneurs Tom Gildred and Bob Payne saw a need for an alternative to existing commercial laundry options, they decided to create their own laundry—Emerald Textiles.

Read more: The Emerald - In A Hay Stack

AHA Introduces Sustainability Roadmap For Hospitals

CHICAGO, Ill. — Three personal membership groups (PMGs) of the American Hospital Association (AHA) have teamed up to provide their members and others in the health care community access to information and tools that can help reduce the environmental footprint of health care facilities. 

Read more: AHA Introduces Sustainability Roadmap For Hospitals

Quick Rinse - News From Around The World

Emerald Textiles Chosen As Linen Services Provider For Eisenhower Medical Center

SAN DIEGO, Ca. — Emerald Textiles™, a Southern California commercial healthcare laundry provider, announced its selection as exclusive vendor of linen rentals and services for Eisenhower Medical Center. Emerald Textiles operates a technologically-advanced commercial laundry facility that saves the county of San Diego more than 700,000 therms of natural gas and expects to save 40,000,000 gallons of water annually.

“We are pleased with the quality and cleanliness that Emerald is providing and proud to work with a provider who is focused on sustainability and the environment,” said Dana Francis, director of environmental services for Eisenhower Medical Center. “Since Emerald began managing our linen services, we have happier employees and patients.”

Emerald recently received the SDG&E Savings by Design Award, in recognition for its advanced design and extreme energy efficiency. Savings by Design is an award created by the California Public Utilities Commission and San Diego Gas & Electric