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Women’s Health: Why Employers Should Care

May 14 2018 / by Mari Ryan posted in Personal health, Worksite Wellness, Wellbeing, Community, Culture, Worksite Culture, worksite wellbeing, workplace wellbeing, workplace maternity policies, workplace family friendly policies, workplace paternity policies, workplace culture, Massachusetts health, behavioral science, medical billing codes, wellness, leadership skills, workplace loyalty, leadership, benefits, employee benefits, women at work, wellbeing for women, women, paid family leave, working women

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As we celebrate Mother’s Day in the US, it’s also a good time to think about women’s health. Today women make up 47% of the US workforce. That amounts to 74.6 million women in the civilian workforce. There is good news and bad news with regard to women’s health. Women are more likely to seek medical care than men, yet women’s health care is more costly. 

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Step Away From The Desk and Connect

April 23 2018 / by Mari Ryan posted in Personal health, Worksite Wellness, Wellbeing, Community, Culture, Worksite Culture, worksite wellbeing, workplace wellbeing, workplace culture, wellness, employee wellness, food, lunch, office lunch, lunch break, healthy meetings, food policy, food at work, employee wellness goals, communication, employee camaraderie, connection at work, social connections, friendships at work, wellness program, gallup

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Have you ever eaten lunch at your desk? If you are like many people, this may be a daily occurrence. Perhaps you feel pressured to keep working, or you want to work through lunch so that you can head out early to beat the traffic.

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Do your leaders understand the business imperative of wellbeing?

April 09 2018 / by Mari Ryan posted in Personal health, Worksite Wellness, Wellbeing, Community, Culture, Worksite Culture, worksite wellbeing, workplace wellbeing, workplace culture, gratitude at work, appreciation at work, happiness at work, workplace volunteer programs, improving employee productivity, Massachusetts health, wellness, employee loyalty, leadership skills, employee experience, employee happiness, leadership, company leadership, ceo, cfo, c suite leadership, leading wellbeing, employee wellness, worksite well-being, office lunch, lunch break, employee wellness goals, work productivity loss, creative leadership, millennials, mindfulness, productivity, money, assistance, benefits, eap, employee benefits, managers, middle management, health program, healthy workplace, employee performance, social connections, friendships at work, wellness strategy, wellness program, strategy, wellness technology, talent management, gallup

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I’d like you to think back to your first job. Your first corporate job. What was that job like? I was a clerk, coding premium payments at a life insurance company in Hartford, Connecticut. It wasn’t a very intellectually challenging or stimulating job, but I quickly learned there was something that was really special about this place that I was working. 

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Why are your employees so stressed?

April 02 2018 / by Mari Ryan posted in Personal health, Worksite Wellness, Wellbeing, Culture, Worksite Culture, worksite wellbeing, happiness at work, Massachusetts health, behavioral science, wellness, environment, employee loyalty, leadership skills, employee experience, cultural competence, employee happiness, measuring wellbeing, leadership, company leadership, ceo, cfo, employee wellness, employee wellness goals, millennials, money, benefits, employee benefits, hr, employee engagement, behavior change, middle managers, intrinsic motivation, social connections, wellness strategy, wellness program, workplace stress, job security, work stress, chronic stress, financial stress, caregiver, stress, bullying

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It seems everyone I speak with these days is talking about his or her stress. In 2011, stress was described as the “21st century equivalent of the Black Death” For context on this, the Black Death was one of the most devastating pandemics in human history. It resulted in as many as 200 million deaths in Eurasia and Europe from 1347 to 1351. In 2016, the World Health Organization described stress as the “Health Epidemic of the 21st Century” and is estimated to cost American businesses up to $500 billion a year.

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Is Employee Financial Wellbeing Your Business?

March 12 2018 / by Mari Ryan posted in Personal health, Worksite Wellness, Wellbeing, Community, Culture, Worksite Culture, worksite wellbeing, workplace wellbeing, happiness at work, Massachusetts health, behavioral science, employee loyalty, leadership skills, company leadership, ceo, cfo, c suite leadership, leading wellbeing, employee wellness, money, financial wellbeing

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When you think about financial wellbeing. What comes to mind? Does it mean having money in savings, paying your bills on time, having an investment or retirement plan? Are you one of those people who wait until April 14th to think about tax filing? Financial wellbeing really means different things to different people. Your employees are likely all at different places in terms of the approach they take to managing money.

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Workplace Wellbeing Evaluation

February 15 2018 / by Mari Ryan posted in Personal health, Worksite Wellness, Wellbeing, worksite wellbeing, workplace wellbeing, Massachusetts health, wellness, benefits, employee benefits, hr, evaluation, health program

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In my experience in managing workplace wellbeing initiatives and consulting to clients with existing programs, I often see that evaluating wellbeing initiatives is often overlooked.

 

Why you might ask, is it often overlooked? Many organizations just don’t take the time to make a plan for it or evaluation is added as an afterthought.

 

When we talk about an evaluation plan, we are referring to a systematic way that you are going to measure the results of your initiative. So why do you want to evaluate? The easiest answer is because you want to know if your worksite wellness initiative is working. Or even better, because you want to know if the initiative is efficient, effective, and has impact.

 

There are two approaches you can use to evaluating your programs: Process Measures and Outcome Measures.

 

Process measures examine the steps taken and activities required for implementation.

  • These measures include things such as participation, the response to activities and feelings that participants have about the program. Do employees like the way it is being delivered? Is the time of day convenient? Do they like the format? .

Outcome measures include changes to health risks, biometric measurements healthcare costs and productivity.

  • Examples include changes to individual health status indicators such as blood pressure, Body mass index, or they can be measured in terms of organizational data such as Short Term Disability. Absenteeism, changes in workplace policies, or medical costs.

 

Evaluation needs to be built in along the way as you are implementing your programs. This is very helpful to have information on what is working, what is not working, and what needs to be changed. Then you can make mid course corrections to ensure high participation rates and overall program success.

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Nourish or Nosh? Food at Work.

January 22 2018 / by Mari Ryan posted in Personal health, worksite wellbeing, workplace wellbeing, Massachusetts health, wellness, work environment, employee wellness, food, nutrition, lunch, office lunch, lunch break

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Food is essential for life. Food is comfort. Food is love. Food is social. Food is cultural. Food is many things to many people. At work, food comes in many shapes and forms. In a previous blog, we noted that food plays many roles at work and can be deeply embedded in the organization’s culture. It is used to recognize and reward employees (company breakfasts), foster socialization and interaction between employees (ice cream socials), provide convenient sources of energy (vending machine) or it can be a perk (free snacks).

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Is your workplace building making you sick?

August 28 2017 / by Mari Ryan posted in Personal health, Worksite Wellness, Worksite Culture

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From Distracted to Driven

January 04 2017 / by Mari Ryan posted in Personal health, Worksite Wellness, Wellbeing, Culture

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I feel like I am sliding into home plate as I settled into my chair. The meeting has already begun. I am rushing from my last meeting with barely time to take a bio break. I need a moment to switch gears, to get my thoughts prepared for the conversation for which I am physically present but not quite “in the room” yet.

Once I catch my breath, and I engage in the conversation, I notice that my mind is wandering. Random thoughts are running through my head. Did I remember to mail the mortgage payment? What time am I supposed to be at the event this evening? I feel the urge to reach for my cell phone. I’m finding I’m distracted by these thoughts and lose track of the conversation.

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Coping Mechanisms: When You’re Stressed What Works for You

June 25 2015 / by Laura Ingalls CHHC, CPT posted in Personal health

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As a worksite wellness health coach, part of my job is working one-on-one with tobacco users. Over the years, my clients and I have had a lot of good laughs together over the question, “Don’t you realize that smoking is bad for you?” Most of them have had this question posed to them hundreds of times by friends, family, and complete strangers. As they point out, “Of course I know smoking is bad for me. I would have to literally live under a rock to not know that smoking increases your risk for cancer, heart disease, diabetes, etc. Lack of knowledge is not why I am still smoking.”

When you ask them why they still smoke despite their

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