Create A Culture of Health and Wellness

Most employees are working between 1040 and 2080 hours a year in an office setting, depending on if they are working part-time or full-time. That is a lot of time sitting being that there are 8760 hour in a year. That is 11.8% to 23.7% of the time. WOW! Almost 25% of a year sitting! This not taking into consideration overtime or project work those employees may do.


We wonder why American workers find it difficult to find time to squeeze in trips to the gym. With health-related expenses costing companies millions of dollars a year, employers should be doing everything in their power to keep their employees fit and healthy.


Let’s look to see what could be done to improve employee health overall:


Here are 4 simple ideas of things employers can do to keep their health care costs down.


  1. Decide what kind of culture your firm and employees want to have.

This can be done through collaboration of departments and make a fun spirit amongst peers.  Provide the space for healthy living.

    1. Investigate what you are promoting. What does your organization supply in your vending machines? Do you put our fruit or donuts for team meetings?
    2. Make sure your leaders are on board. When the management of a company promotes healthy living, it is easier for everyone else to jump on board.
    3. Make health easy. Encourage others by putting in a gym or walking path and praise employees for their healthy choices through words of affirmation.
  1. Find a buddy amongst the ranks.
    1. Put together fun workplace initiatives such as a walking or running group.
    2. Drum up a team weight maintenance or fat loss program during the holidays.
    3. Sign up a team for a recreation league and accept all players who want to be healthy.
    4. Invite local health and wellness professionals to host workshops and cooking demos.
  2. Get buy in.
    1. Ask your teams what they want to accomplish in living a healthy lifestyle through surveys or opinion boxes.
    2. Help them identify the hurdles that may come up and set up a collaborative time to help them over the hurdles
    3. Don’t push the unmotivated employee to change if they don’t want to. Work with the willing.
  3. Give free information.
    1. Set up a company intranet page that showcases healthy living articles, workouts, social media pages, ideas, success stories and even a chat area for others to collaborate on and off business hours.
  4. Make it worth their while.
    1. Employees will do a lot for a little recognition and praise.
    2. If you so feel inclined,make a contest with some layers of prizes or incentives they can win for doing what you want them to…being healthy.


You’ll have buy in, if everyone that supports your company initiative wants to truly live a healthy lifestyle. So be all in and get well and stay well. You are worth it.


Warmest regards,



Attending A Conference? 7 Steps for Success

Are you, or your employees, planning to attend a business conference during the busy “conference season”?

7 steps before attending your next conference

Conferences serve a valuable role in our professional development and education. They provide opportunities for networking with other professionals in our industry and profession. And let’s face it, conferences often allow us to visit fun places (like Las Vegas!) or hear celebrity speakers (like Rob Lowe!)

Our time at conferences is valuable. So the best way to justify our time away from the office and the expense of attending, is by making a plan. Here are 7 ways to prepare for a conference, so you are sure to accomplish your goals.

  1. Identify your goals. First things first, know why you’re going. What are you trying to accomplish? What does your manager want you to accomplish? Maybe your goal is to gather information that will help you to implement a new program. Or you could be doing research about a new process or trend that’s happening in your industry. Your goal should drive what you do during the conference.
  1. Plan your educational sessions. Andrea Descoteaux, an assistant vice president of marketing promotions and development, suggests identifying sessions that align with your goals and enhance your development. “Select sessions with written descriptions and online reviews that peak your interest and benefit your growth. Also, consider leaving a couple of time slots open in case you get a recommendation from your peer group or other conference attendees.”
  1. Download the conference app. In an effort to reduce paper, many conferences are moving toward event apps. These apps usually have all of the speaker handouts, which is one reason to download them. You can review handouts of sessions you didn’t have time to attend. Also, the apps are becoming more sophisticated, with contests and interactive games to encourage participant networking.
  1. Network. Speaking of networking, find out if your conference has a “meet to eat” opportunity. It’s a great way to meet other attendees, especially when you’re attending a conference alone. Another networking opportunity is to look for vendor parties. It’s an opportunity to meet solution providers as well as attendees.
  1. Visit the expo hall. Here’s a little secret: in many cases, exhibitors and sponsors often underwrite huge portions of the conference. You can show your appreciation by spending time in the expo hall. But exposition halls can be overwhelming! Descoteaux recommends having a game plan of what you want to know from vendors. “When talking with exhibitors, start with an open ended question. Always ask, “What makes you different from the rest of the vendors in the hall?”
  1. Don’t let the food ruin your trip. Let’s face the reality that conferences are not a place for 5-star meals (unless of course, you’re going to a food conference.) We have to temper our expectations. That doesn’t mean we can’t find a local treasure. It also doesn’t mean that conferences won’t accommodate special diets. Make sure meeting organizers know your needs so they can plan in advance.
  1. Plan something fun! While conferences are a lot of work, it is possible to carve out some time for fun and relaxation. Make time to exercise during the event. See if the conference is offering morning yoga or a fun run for charity. See what events are taking place in the city – museums, parks, etc. are all ways to enjoy the conference location.

Conferences are an important part of our professional development. They educate us, open our minds to new thoughts and experiences. But they can be expensive and time-consuming. Having a plan will allow you to make the most of the time you’re away from the office.







Small Business Guide to Creative Employee Benefits

When it comes to employee benefits, health insurance, retirement accounts and sick days, they are often standard at larger companies. To set your small business apart, you’ve got to think more creatively. Here are 10 great ideas I hope you can benefit from:


  1. Free food: Try keeping the break room stocked with free snacks, soda, and bottled water. You could even do something more significant, like providing a catered lunch on a weekly basis. The productivity is higher each day/week because they don’t have to leave for lunch.
  2. Four-day workweek: A three-day weekend once in awhile could make your employees not only happier but also more productive. A four-day workweek allows more time for employees to restore, if you will, their energy levels.
  3. Unlimited vacation: This policy speaks mostly about your company’s values. It sends a really clear message to employees that you care about them, that you want them to spend time with their families and that you want them have a high quality of life. When people feel cared for by their company or employer, they are much more likely to do great work.
  4. Professional development: Employees want to work for companies that help them advance their careers. Paying for classes, certifications and conferences is a major draw. Another idea, however, is establishing a mentoring program between employees.
  5. Personal development: Employees place a high value on work-life balance. Consider offering personal development benefits. One way to do so is by paying for the services of a life coach. Another is by offering lunch-and-learn events. You can have your bank come in, for instance, and help people learn how to get a mortgage, when the right time is to refinance or how to use their savings account.
  6. Massage therapy: Sometimes the greatest opportunities are the simplest things, like paying a massage therapist to come for two hours on Friday afternoons to give chair massages. This helps your employees relax and relieve stress.  
  7. Flexible working: Giving employees the option to work from home shows that you care about work-life balance. So does letting them come in late or leave early when they need to.
  8. Gym memberships: Fitness and keeping healthy is very important.  If you don’t have the space for weights and a treadmill, consider gifting employees a gym membership or negotiating discounted memberships at a nearby facility.
  9. Community service: Companies that offer time off for employees to volunteer or participate in community service projects earn points with their community and their workforce.
  10. Voluntary benefits: Employers who can’t afford to pay for dental insurance, life insurance or disability insurance can still offer them. You could give your employees—through payroll deductions—the option of accumulating a block of hours for an attorney to help them with the assembly of their will or the closing of a house.


Highest Regards,