Why Employers Are Now Addressing Stress in the Workplace

Speaking to a group of employee benefit brokers from around Atlanta, Ron Bachman shared revealing statistics about the role of stress in the workplace including how 21.5% of all healthcare costs are stress-related. His emphasis on how stress dramatically clogs productivity was driven home later that same day as we learned Don Perry, Vice President of Public Relations for Atlanta-based Chick-fil-A, had died suddenly of an apparent heart attack.  Was Perry’s death a vivid illustration of what Bachman was addressing?

When Perry died he and Chick-fil-A had been in a public relations quandary in the wake of Dan Cathy voicing his support of the Biblical view of marriage. Vocal gay-rights advocates, along with a few politicians and businesses, railed the fast-food giant while many Christians and conservatives praised Cathy and the company for their traditional family values. While the Los Angeles Timesreported Perry had issued a statement writing “going forward, our intent is to leave the policy debate over same-sex marriage to the government and political arena,” he was, no doubt, engaged in determining how the company would respond to a very public debate.

I certainly cannot be definitive on the cause of Perry’s death. Was it a heart attack? If so, was it brought on or hastened by stress? Read more of this post

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The Most Overlooked Critical Piece of an Employee Wellness Plan

AfamilyEmployee wellness is catching on. Organizations are creating employee wellness teams and displaying wellness posters throughout the facilities for their employees. Some employers invite their employees outside for an additional 15 minutes at lunch for Friday Frisbee. Others hand out pedometers and offer “Lunch & Learns” for employees on healthy eating and how to read food labels.

Notice, however, the key word – Employee. If all of the focus is on the employee then our wellness programs may fall well short of the intended results. The most successful wellness initiatives target Read more of this post

The Five Most Dangerous Trends in Employee Wellness

The standing room only crowd evidenced the growing interest in employee wellness. Even the late afternoon time slot couldn’t keep docattendees at the 2012 SHRM National Conference in Atlanta, Georgia from cramming into the room to hear Brad Cooper, CEO of US Corporate Wellness speak on the topic of wellness.

The message was succinct and pointed as he highlighted The Five Most Dangerous Trends in Employee Wellness:

1.   Check the Box

In most of life, showing up is a good start, but not enough. Like the guy sitting on the exercise bike at the gym reading his magazine while leisurely pushing the pedals, effective employee wellness without strategic effort will have little impact. Lining up employees for a Health Risk Assessment (HRA), Lunch and Learns, or hanging wellness posters are good, but if they are simply Read more of this post