Last year, I ran a series of blog posts about stress. I appreciate the opportunity to share with readers the “demand control” model of stress, which is embraced by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, but in the US has fallen on deaf ears. Too often, employers’ only solution to employee stress is to provide simplistic behavioral programs. While these programs have value, they overstate the role of individual control over stress, and they substantially understate — in fact, ignore — the fact that the workplace itself is at the root of most employee stress.
“More than two-thirds of American smokers say they want to quit but only a fraction actually do,” reports today’s Wall Street Journal. This paints a dreary picture of a smoker’s chances of successfully quitting tobacco. But it’s a picture that is not entirely accurate.
Of course, quitting tobacco (not just cigarettes, but chew and snuff) is one of the hardest things you can do. But let’s not overlook the fact that most people in the US who have ever smoked…have quit! ”Only a fraction actually do?” Sure. The fraction is one half.
The WSJ reported their article based on the newly released MMWR from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which included a summary of tobacco prevalences and quit data for 2001 – 2010. The third sentence of the report reads, Continue reading
[We've been discussing "giving employees what they want." Click here for the previous posts.]
Sometimes, what employees want conflicts with what other employees want.
In the late 90′s, I worked for a small consulting company in northern California. We had eight or nine employees working in a beautifully refurbished old house, and we all took pride in being nontraditional.
At some point, the Vice President of Operations (half the employees were VPs) decided she wanted to bring her dog to work, so she adopted a dogs-at-work policy. And she started bringing her coonhound, Dirgo, to the office almost daily. Our vice president of Client Services adopted a nervous 11-month-old boxer, named Bedelia, and this energetic pup also became a standard presence at our workplace.
At the time, pets-at-work was considered the ultimate employee benefit at all the cool northern California companies. And you certainly can make a case that pets-at-work promotes wellness and work/life balance. Continue reading
When I dashed off my video response to Carol Harnett’s “Give Employees What They Want” video blog, I vacillated quite a bit. Of course, I want to give employees the wellness programs they want. But I also want to give them evidence-based wellness programs, which stand the best chance of helping employees improve their health.
Let’s use, as an example, hydration programs. (If you can’t get your mind around the fact that dehydration is not a common health risk among employees in the US, I’ll offer up a more readily acceptable example in a future post.)
Promoting hydration isn’t important, but it’s not harmful, either. So why not just give employees what they want Continue reading