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  • Esther Orioli 6:36 am on February 26, 2014 Permalink | Reply  

    How harmful are workplace bullies? 

    An important part of being a professional leader is managing employee behavior. What started out as isolated bad habits can spread throughout your staff, damaging moral, undermining productivity and hurting profits. It's critical to notice early warning signs of potentially destructive habits, and to reverse them as quickly as possible. 

    One particularly insidious one is bullying. While you might assume that this sort of behavior got left behind on the playground with swing sets and dodgeball, it can still crop up even in professional environments. Some 37 percent of Americans report being the target of it, according to the Workplace Bullying Institute, and it can be a major source of employee stress, headaches, irritability and depression. 

    And the effects of bullying often extend beyond the direct victims. Bullying can create an overall tension and stress in the workplace, as fellow coworkers sit on pins and needles anticipating the next bullying incident. How can your workforce focus and remain productive with bullying as a constant distraction?

    If you suspect that bullying is a problem at your company, it's a good time to evaluate the stress levels and emotional intelligence competencies of your people. With Essi's 21 Day Club technology platform, every employee gets a comprehensive, business-proven stress, resiliency or emotional intelligence assessment and an interactive, reusable habit creation system that helps them make positive, sustainable behavior change, directly related to their StressMap, Resiliency Map or EQ Map scores. Through its engaging, employee-centric website portal, users can measure, build new skills and measure again to track their success while getting support and learning along the way.

    If bullying or other negative behaviors pop up in your organization, take action.

    Target the source and help your employees manage their stressors before it impacts day-to-day performance, well being and the overall bottom line.

  • Esther Orioli 7:54 am on February 20, 2014 Permalink | Reply  

    Survey of 5,000 workers find stress as number one risk 

    Workplace stress affects productivity.

    Research supporting this hypothesis continues to pile up: employee stress is a serious problem that any corporate health and wellness program would be well served to take seriously. 

    This latest study comes courtesy of Towers Watson, a global professional services company specializing in risk and financial management. The firm questioned more than 5,000 workers on what they thought were the most serious workplace risks, defined as any issue that could compromise the efficiency and profitability of an organization. 

    The most common answer? Employee stress. 

    The primary drivers of this issue were actually different for managers than they were for employees. While the former cited difficulty in achieving work/life balance and inadequate staffing as their primary stressors, the latter ranked staffing issues first followed by low or insufficient pay. 

    Whatever the cause, the result is clear: a less productive work environment with a weaker bottom line. Helen Darling, president of the National Business Group on Health, highlighted the importance of having a comprehensive program to deal with this problem. 

    "Employers need to understand their employees' stress drivers, assess their health and productivity programs in light of the findings and leverage what employees are already doing to cope with stress," says Darling. 

    In other words, they need to cultivate resiliency. There isn't any magic solution to immediately reduce the presence of stress, but employers can help employees better cope with and be motivated by it. As human capital stress and resiliency experts, Essi Systems knows first-hand what can happen to a business's performance when stress isn't addressed. That's why we've been dedicated to the study and treatment of stress in the workplace for more than 30 years. Essi's 21 Day Club technology platform, featuring Resiliency Map, provides employees with a business-proven, engaging system to assess their resiliency and build new coping skills to manage stress and improve health and performance.

  • Esther Orioli 8:55 am on February 12, 2014 Permalink | Reply  

    Business leaders highlight worker health as a priority 

    Leaders at the recent World Economic Forum emphasized the importance of worker wellness.

    Worker health has long been a concern for business leaders, but perhaps never quite to this extent. At this year's World Economic Forum, topics related to workplace wellness took center stage, as representatives around the world highlighted the need for comprehensive programs specifically dedicated to solving related issues. 

    Klaus Schwab, the founder and executive chairman of the Forum, emphasized this point in his opening address. 

    "In today's environment of economic uncertainty, individuals, institutions and countries are striving for greater adaptability and resilience against setbacks while continuing towards improving competitiveness in an ever-changing world," wrote Schwab. "In this context, organizations, in their role as employers, have an even greater responsibility to nurture employee resilience."

    One of the driving impetuses behind these initiatives is the alarm surrounding employee stress. Per the World Health Organization (WHO), there are 350 million sufferers of stress-related depression worldwide, making it a leading contributor to problems like disability, heart disease and cancer. These sorts of problems negatively impact both the sufferer and the company for which she or he works. 

    The WHO emphasizes that creating a healthy, positive environment for employees isn't just about removing possible causes of stress, it's about promoting healthy conditions. That's your job as an executive. While a certain amount of stress is unavoidable in the workplace, the problem reaches crises levels when workers feel like they are unsupported and don't have the tools to cope with the demands that are made of them.

    As human capital stress and resiliency experts, Essi Systems knows how damaging stress can be to employees and the bottom line. That's why we've been dedicated to the study and treatment of stress in the workplace for more than 30 years. Essi's 21 Day Club technology platform, featuring Resiliency Map, provides employees with a business-proven, engaging system to assess their resiliency and build new coping skills to manage stress and improve health and performance.

  • Esther Orioli 6:49 am on February 7, 2014 Permalink | Reply  

    3 takeaways from stress research in 2013 

    Gallup recently announced the results of its 2013 State of the American Workplace report, which found that stress continues to be a pervasive influence in the American workplace. Seven out of 10 respondents admitted to being either disengaged or miserable at work, and nearly two-thirds cited their jobs as a significant source of anxiety. Those figures are no coincidence: stressed out workers are less productive and less motivated. In fact, the more we research its effects, the more we learn just how ubiquitous stress can be. 

    1. Morale can drive profit

    A positive workplace culture can have a strong effect on not only how employees view the company, but also how they view each other. Healthy workers are more prolific and happier, and devoting active resources to fostering emotional IQ can pay strong dividends, by promoting teamwork and encouraging idea-sharing. When asked in a Pulse survey, more than three-fourths of respondents agreed that their jobs were positively affected by managers who took this into account.

    2. Stress can affect physical and mental health

    Not only have researchers linked stress to poorer cardiovascular health, they've also identified a correlation with depression, proving that it can have a negative impact on mind and body. This also suggests that programs that just target the secondary symptoms are shortsighted. To really enact long term positive change in your employee health and corporate culture, stress management has to be a priority. 

    3. Well-being is a worthwhile goal

    For too long, the business community presumed that emotional and physical well-being were irrelevant to performance, or, at best, secondary. Now, managers are starting to get a much keener understanding of the ways it's actually an axiomatic driver of productivity and profitability. According to CIPD, a UK Human Resources organization, in the last year alone, there was a 20 percent increase in the number of companies using stress reduction as its own performance metric. 

    Essi Systems understands the many ways that negative stress can manifest itself and undermine an otherwise high-performing organization. That's why we offer proven, business-tested human capital solutions specifically designed to help companies target employee stress and build workforce resiliency. Essi's 21 Day Club technology platform provides individual and organizational stress and resiliency assessments and continuous self-improvement tools so every employee can measure and manage individual stressors to build their energy, health and performance.

  • Esther Orioli 7:55 am on January 31, 2014 Permalink | Reply  

    Study: Americans acknowledge stress, yet struggle to reduce it 

    For most people, the problem of stress in the workplace is not getting any better. In a recent Stress in America survey, just 20 percent said that their stress levels had decreased in the past year. For the overwhelmingly majority, it had either stayed the same or increased.

    And it's not for lack of trying.

    Over the past half-decade, 60 percent of Americans have tried to reduce their stress. However, most of those people did not adequately do so, despite many acknowledging that their levels are higher than what they would consider healthy.

    Just 37 percent say that they are doing an excellent or very good job at managing stress. This, despite the fact that nearly two thirds believe that it affects their physical and/or mental health. This has lead to a variety of unhealthy side effects , such as poor sleep (42 percent), poor diet (36 percent) or skipped meals (27 percent). 

    Part of the problem is that the stress management techniques they use are ultimately not addressing the root causes of their stress. Thirteen percent admitted to using alcohol as a coping mechanism, and over one third reported that they watch more than two hours of television per day in order to help cope with stress. 

    At Essi Systems, stress and resiliency is our business. We're a human capital solutions company with a keen, research-based, business-tested understanding of the problems that stress can cause people and cost businesses. That's why we provide stress mastery and resiliency building solutions that are proven to help employees target their stressors and improve energy, health and performance.

  • Esther Orioli 12:29 pm on August 14, 2012 Permalink | Reply  

    How do YOU measure resiliency? 

    At a time in the world where everyone is having to COPE in a capital letter kind of way, resiliency has become the new buzz word for health and wellness and the prescription for getting through during tough times both at work and at home.

    As the creator of Resiliency Map®, a resiliency assessment used by major corporations worldwide to help their people, I am often asked how knowing your resiliency “score” really makes a difference in the day-to-day ways we handle pressures and persevere to live another day. Some leaders I have worked with think that when bad things happen we should just pick ourselves up and push on. They want their people to stop being cry babies and get the job done! If it were only that simple.

    Forcing ourselves to hang in there, again and again, without a break or some tool to manage during distressful times, leads to increasing the rate of wear and tear on the body, mind, emotions and spirit. After awhile, i.e. months or years, of keeping a stiff upper lip it is no wonder we’re a little bundle of ailments – back pain, headaches, anxiety, frustration, getting less done and using more effort to do it. That being said, how can accurately measuring your resiliency really help you have a better, easier life?

    Having a scientifically sound assessment gives you information. It shows your unique strengths and personal vulnerabilities. It tells you if you’re eating too much junk, getting stuck in old habits, or acting out through anger or passive aggression when things go wrong. It tells you if you’re not making your needs a priority so you can bolster yourself to be present and successful in the ways you want to be in your life. I have often said that “if you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it.” This has never been more true.

    Based on years of research and data studies, my definition of resiliency is this: The ability to come back after disappointments, failures or setbacks, to be adaptable and flexible, to renew your sense of vitality and reengineer yourself based on life experiences. These three prongs of resiliency give you everything you need to thrive, not just cope, in a world filled with chaos and uncertainty.

    How do YOU define resiliency?

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