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Employee Matters Bulletin
How to Build Better Relationships With Co-Workers
Closer relationships among co-workers boost collaboration, teamwork, morale, productivity, job satisfaction, and wellness. As you observe Relationship Wellness Month in February, encourage better work relationships with these suggestions.
Do a Good Job
Employees who consistently do a poor job force their co-workers to do more work. Resentment grows, and your company may miss deadlines and lose customers.
Give employees a clear job description and set expectations for performance. Then celebrate employees who do a good job and meet their goals.
While it’s tempting for employees with similar interests to congregate together and avoid others who are different, greater acceptance improves relationships and personal well-being.
For this reason, provide opportunities for diverse employees to work together and find common ground. Plan team-building activities, too, as you celebrate and accept differences.
Share Less Personal Information
Your employees are human and will bring personal problems to work. However, distracted employees can make mistakes or cause accidents. Sharing too much information also causes discomfort and conflict between co-workers.
Remind employees to be professional at work. Also, promote the mental health benefits of your employer-sponsored health insurance or provide counseling services for employees.
Juicy tidbits of information about co-workers may seem entertaining, but gossip breaks down morale and can cause projects to suffer. It also reduces trust and respect.
Spread awareness about the dangers of gossip. You can also remind employees to change the subject or walk away from such conversations.
Disagreements and conflicts are normal, but these situations create tension and inhibit collaboration.
Create a straightforward conflict resolution process, and maintain an open door policy. With these conflict resolution strategies, co-workers address issues, resolve challenges and restore relationships.
Meeting a deadline or managing a big project can strain busy employees and increase stress.
Promote helpfulness and collaboration as you ease strain, stress and pressure. Everyone on the team can and should work together to get the job done right and on time.
Sometimes, bad things happen. Employees may make mistakes, struggle to adapt to change or feel unappreciated. Negative and bad moods are contagious, though, and affect everyone.
Instead of allowing negativity, implement a complaint procedure. Then lead by example as you promote positivity.
In the midst of busy workdays, your employees may not have time to socialize and truly get to know their co-workers.
Schedule an outing, activity or another fun event at least once a month. Give employees time to unwind, relax and get to know each other better.
To observe Relationship Wellness Month, look for ways to improve rapport at work. These tips help you build better relationships among co-workers and increase employee and company success.
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Understand Military Family Leave For Employees
The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) provides eligible employees with unpaid leave. Military families also qualify, so understand your leave options if you’re the spouse, parent, child, or next of kin to someone who serves on active duty in the Armed Forces, including National Guard and Reserves.
The military family leave provision of the FMLA allows for two types of leave.
1. Qualifying Exigency Leave
Receive up to 12 weeks of annual leave. You can use that leave to handle qualifying exigencies related to your spouse, parent or child’s active duty or call to active duty. Keep in mind that you only get 12 weeks of FMLA per year, so you can’t take 12 weeks of military family leave and an additional 12 weeks for other concerns.
Qualifying exigencies include:
Short-notice deployment of up to seven days.
Military events, ceremonies, family assistance programs, and other related activities.
Child care and school activities for your family member’s child.
Financial and legal arrangements, such as making a will or arranging bank account transfers.
Counseling for yourself, your military family member or your family member’s child.
Rest and Recuperation of up to 15 days with your family member.
Post-deployment activities, including ceremonies, briefings or a family member’s funeral.
Parental care to arrange for urgent short-term care or other care for your parent.
2. Military Caregiver Leave
Receive up to 26 weeks of annual leave to care for an injured or ill spouse, child, parent, or next of kin. You may take this leave all at once or intermittently and use up to 12 of these weeks for other FMLA purposes besides caring for your military loved one.
With this leave, you’re limited to a “per injury, per service member” leave, which means your next leave must be to care for a different injury or a different loved one.
Qualifying injuries of illnesses for this leave meet several qualifications.
Occur during active duty.
Render your loved one medically unfit for duty.
Aggravate a previous injury or illness.
Involve medical treatment, recuperation or therapy.
Follow Normal FMLA Rules
When taking military family leave, remember that normal FMLA rules apply. For example:
Request your leave all at once or intermittently over the year.
Give your employer advance notice if possible.
Take accrued paid leave during your military family leave.
Provide documentation of your family member’s active duty or Rest and Recuperation leave orders.
Understand the basics of military family leave if you have a loved one on active duty. This benefit gives you time to support your loved one or receive the support you need. For more details on this important benefit, talk to your Human Resources department.
Scurich Insurance Services
How To Reduce Stress-Related Heart Disease At Wor
Stress at work affects your performance, morale and health. Take steps to reduce stress-related heart disease at work and protect yourself now and into the future.
The Connection Between Stress and Heart Diseas
Numerous studies show that work stress contributes to heart disease in several ways.
Stress causes artery inflammation.
Stress prompts plaque deposits to break loose in your arteries and could cause a heart attack.
Stress contributes to overeating, binge drinking, smoking, and other coping behaviors that increase heart disease risk.
Stress affects sleep, which increases your risk for heart disease.
Stress increases the production of disease-promoting white blood cells.
How to Reduce Stress
Because stress can be so dangerous to your heart and health, consider implementing these stress-reduction tips at work.
Before you can reduce stress, identify what causes it. Then you can create an effective strategy to address and reduce the specific stressors you face.
Prioritize your To-Do List
Often, a busy workload can cause stress, so make a daily list of your responsibilities and tasks. Then prioritize the jobs that are most important. Because you have limited energy, try to complete high-energy tasks when you’re most alert.
Protect your time, energy and emotions with healthy boundaries. Examples include leaving on time at the end of every day or saying no to projects you cannot realistically complete.
Always budget extra time for each task. With margin, you can stop rushing through your day and will have time to relax when you need to.
A positive outlook can relieve stress and promote calmness. Make a conscious effort to look for the good in all situations and remain grateful.
By focusing on your breathing, you can relax and redirect your thoughts away from stressors. Try this calming exercise - breathe in through your nose for one second, then exhale for four seconds.
Regular breaks away from your desk, obligations and phone give you time and space to regroup. A quick walk, a glass of water or meditation is usually all you need to unwind and return to work focused and calm.
A balanced diet fuels your body and your brain. Reach for fruit, vegetables and whole grains, and limit sugar and processed foods during the workday.
Move often to relieve stress, relax your body and boost your mood. In addition to daily desk workouts, climb the stairs, stretch and schedule walking meetings.
Reducing stress at work is essential for your heart health. For more information about how you can protect your heart at work, take stress management classes offered by your employer or insurance provider and discuss solutions with your primary care physician.
Scurich Insurance Services
Tips To Calm Employee Fears When Onboarding A New CEO
As a human resources professional, you help your company prepare to onboard new employees. When that new employee is the CEO, you may receive questions from employees who worry about their job security or potential changes to the company culture.
Use these tips as you reassure your employees.
Make a Good First Impression
Many new CEOs take a few weeks or months to make personnel decisions. Encourage employees to make a good first impression and be available, participate willingly and learn as much as they can. Their efforts prove their readiness to embrace change and move forward for the sake of the company.
Study the CEO’s Working Style
The new boss may prefer direct confrontation, walking meetings or emails rather than phone calls. Employees should study the CEO or ask for details so they can properly support his or her working style.
Work as a Team
Employees may resist the overhauls a new CEO wants to make. However, employees should get on board and tell the new boss that they will embrace and cooperate with the new vision. This teamwork mentality can mean the difference between staying employed or getting sacked.
Offer to Help
Talking to a CEO may be intimidating, but employees will benefit from offering to assist their new boss. They can reach out with an email or voicemail and tell the boss that they’re willing to do whatever it takes to help him or her succeed in managing the company.
Prove Your Value
New CEOs are hired to improve efficiency, productivity and sales, and they will make changes as they do their job. Current employees must prove that they’re valuable members of the company. Instead of relying on past success or accolades, employees can secure their jobs by initiating a conversation about what the CEO expects of them and then exceeding those expectations.
Do Great Work
Every employee should show up for work each day ready to perform. Adjusting to new strategies may take time, but employees who show a willingness to work hard on each project, participate in discussions and follow through with objectives will stand out.
Nothing travels faster through the office grapevine than gossip. Encourage employees not to complain about new policies or strategy changes. Social media posts, interoffice emails and even private conversations could be leaked and become grounds for dismissal.
Forget the Past
Under the previous leadership, an employee may have felt mistreated, unheard or frustrated. Times have changed, and employees need to forget past grievances, embrace the future and cooperate with the new leadership.
When your company welcomes a new CEO, calm your employees’ fears with these tips. They help everyone welcome the new boss and support the company's success.
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