Posts Tagged ‘productive’

How to Bounce Back After Vacation in 4 Steps

Thursday, July 16th, 2015

returning to work_vacationThe summer solstice has officially come and gone, and with the onset of soaring temperatures and gas prices comes a welcome reprieve for much of the nation’s workforce —vacation. For many employees, the draw of warm weather and carefree nature of the summer months makes it an ideal time to step away from their office computers and “unplug” for a little while.

With many employees getting ready to head to the leisure spots of their choosing, it can be easy to get caught up in the excitement of stealing away from the office for a vacation. While there’s nothing wrong with taking some “me” time, it’s important to come back to work refreshed and ready to get back into the swing of things.

While a return to work following a week of blissful relaxation can be jarring, following these four tips may help make the transition from vacation back into work much easier to master.

  1. Plan ahead

Before whisking off to some tropical island, make sure you have your ducks in order at work. Communicate to your coworkers that you’ll be away so they won’t be caught off guard when you’re unavailable. In addition, try to see larger and more  difficult projects to completion before the vacation. This will not only give you a sense of accomplishment before you leave, but will also allow you a smoother reentry into the office upon your return. With the larger tasks behind you, you’re then able to take on the smaller tasks  — missed phone calls or emails that accumulated in your absence —and ease back into your normal work pace.

  1. Keep your out of office message on the first day back

You know that charming message you left on your voicemail letting inquiring minds know that for the next week you would be relaxing on a beach in the Bahamas? Leave it on your first day back. By leaving it on, you’re allowing yourself time to sift through those missed emails and sort out what projects to tackle next. Your coworkers will see you back in the office and know you’re available to help, but letting clients know may drag you into new projects and expectations too quickly. You’ll be doing yourself a favor by giving yourself undivided time to catch up on the work you missed.

  1. Get plenty of sleep

Our sleep schedules tend to get all out of whack when we go on vacation. While an erratic sleep schedule works just fine on vacation, it just won’t cut it once when we find ourselves waking up to a piercing early morning. For your first few nights back, try to get to sleep at least an hour earlier than usual to ensure you are well-rested when the alarm clock goes off.

  1. Share memories of your vacation with others

It’s only natural to want to share memories of your blissful time away. It’s likely among the precious few times of the year when you’re able to relax completely. Sharing memories of your travels will remind you of your time away and can elevate your mood, putting you in a positive mindset to take on the tasks of the day. In addition, engaging with your coworkers through your stories can build a better sense of community and translate into a more dynamic and collaborative work environment.

For additional information on ensuring your team stays productive this summer, please call a member of our Advice & Resolution team at 919-878-9222 or 336-668-7746.

Photo Source: Ra’anan Niss.

Positively Contagious

Thursday, November 8th, 2012

The following is from Jon Gordon’s newsletter, Soup: A Recipe to Nourish Your Team and Culture. Jon Gordon is a business expert whose principles have been put to the test by NFL, NBA and college teams, Fortune 500 companies, school districts, non-profits and hospitals

The Swine Flu is not the only thing you catch at work. Turns out you are just as likely to catch someone’s bad mood and negative attitude. Yes, the latest research demonstrates what we’ve all known to be true, emotions are contagious. Researchers call them emotional contagions and they impact our work environments, productivity, teamwork, service and performance in significant and profound ways.

As we know all too well, one negative employee can pollute an entire team and create a toxic work environment. One negative leader can make work miserable for his/her team. An employee in a bad mood can scare away countless customers. Complaining can act like a cancer and spread throughout the entire organization and eventually destroy your vision and goals. And pervasive negative attitudes can sabotage the morale and performance of teams with great talent and potential.

That’s the bad news… but there’s also good news.

Positive emotions are just as contagious as negative emotions. One positive leader can rally a group of willing people to accomplish amazing things. One Chief Energy Officer who sits at the welcome desk can positively infect every person who walks in your business/school/workplace. One positive team member can slowly but surely improve the mood and moral of her team. And pervasive positive attitudes and emotions at work can fuel the morale and performance of your organization.

Emotional contagions are the reason I say that everyone in the organization contributes to the culture of it. You are not just a creation of your culture but rather you are creating it every day through your thoughts, beliefs and actions. What you think matters. How you feel matters. And the energy you share with others, whether it’s positive or negative, really matters.

You can be a germ and attack your organization’s immune system or you can act like a dose of Vitamin C and strengthen it.

So the next time you head into work with a bad mood you might want to stop before you walk in the door and consider what your boss would say if you had the Swine Flu. She would tell you to stay home until you are healthy and not contagious. And in that moment, as you stand at the door you have choice: You can go home so you don’t infect anyone with your bad mood, or you can choose to get healthy right there, change your attitude, and decide to be positively contagious.

I’ll be sharing more information on how to maintain a positive, engaged and productive staff at CAI’s 2013 HR Management Conference. Join me at the McKimmon Center in Raleigh on March 7 and 8.

 Jon Gordon

14 Ways to Help Your Employees Improve Their Health and Work Performance

Thursday, September 13th, 2012

Employers, you can help your employees be more productive and engaged workers. Including activities and programs that improve the mental and physical health of your staff members will help them enhance their work performance. Your employees will experience many benefits by maintaining good health. Stress is reduced, focusing is easier, fatigue is minimized and job satisfaction is increased when workers adopt a more healthy way of life.

There are several ways you can help your employees shape up. Helping them switch some of their routines could also help you reduce the cost of your company health care plan. However, for maximum impact make sure the focus of your health initiative is helping your employees get healthier rather than helping your organization save money.

Below are 14 ways to help your employees improve their physical and mental health:

  • Provide them with a stipend that they can use for fitness activities, such as gym memberships or yoga classes
  • Replace high calorie snacks and sugary drinks at your office with more nutritious options
  • Encourage your employees to take short breaks between long periods of work to help them regain focus and avoid burn out
  • Create a quiet space with comfortable chairs for employees to take their breaks
  • Make walking maps of the company neighborhood available for employees to use before work, during lunch or at the end of the day
  • Offer a free, healthy lunch option to employees once a month
  • Plan onsite group fitness activities during lunch or after work hours, and allow your staff members to choose if they’d like to participate
  • Personalize items for your employees that will motivate them to pursue fitness activities
      • For example, you can order water bottles and pedometers personalized with the company logo or names of staff members to encourage weekly walking
  • Have a massage therapist come onsite to provide employees with inexpensive massages
      • Massages can be paid for by your company or by your employees
  • Provide information on achieving a healthier lifestyle in your company newsletter and on bulletin boards
  • Plan a company picnic that includes fitness activities, such as softball or tug of war
      • Invite employees’ families to participate as well
  • Tell your employees to take and enjoy their lunch breaks—preferably out of their office or workspace
  • Keep plenty of water in different workspaces for your employees to maintain  hydration and  concentration throughout the day
  • Work with your benefits provider to offer onsite flu shots for your employees and their families

Please contact a member of CAI’s Advice and Counsel Team at 919-878-9222 or 336-668-7746 if you are interested in receiving more strategies to improve workplace performance.

Photo Source: Port of San Diego

4 Tips to Beat Summeritis and Keep Your Employees Productive

Thursday, June 21st, 2012

Summeritis is a common term heard among high school and college students when the warm weather season is quickly approaching. Symptoms of this seasonal disease include excessive daydreaming about trips to the beach or pool, a decreased ability in retaining information, sluggish performance and producing poor quality work. Yesterday marked the first day of summer, and you may have noticed some symptoms of summeritis floating around your workplace. While summer months tend to be slower for companies because of vacations from your staffers and clients, maintaining high productivity is still achievable. Prevent the symptoms of Summeritis in your staff by utilizing these four tips:

Plan for Vacation

With school out and an increase in nice weather, summer months are the ideal time for employees to go on vacation. Research shows that Americans are notorious for not using all of their vacation. While a strong work ethic is admirable, taking a vacation allows you to rest, recharge and come back to the office full of energy to be productive. Make sure you and your employees plan a solid vacation with family or friends.

Utilize Flexibility

Many companies are offering their workers flexibility during the hottest time of year. Some companies allow their staff to leave early on Fridays to enjoy the weather and spend quality time with people who aren’t their coworkers. Like the effects of a summer vacation, employees return to the office on Monday feeling refreshed and ready to perform again. If this set up isn’t feasible for your company, try a variation. Have employees come in earlier or work through their lunch break to leave the office sooner.

Delegate When Needed

Don’t let important tasks go unfinished because fewer people are around the office. Before an employee leaves for vacation, meet up with her to go over tasks that she is currently working on and ask her if she needs assistance while she’s away. Using strong teamwork during the summer months ensures that deliverables are met.

Have Some Fun

Keeping your workers productive during this time of year is important, but don’t ignore the fact that this is one of the most fun times of the year. Celebrate the season and all of the accomplishments your team has made throughout the first half of the year with an office party or celebratory lunch. Recognizing their efforts and letting them have some workplace fun will keep their morale high and performance stellar.

For more tips to keep you and your employees productive during the summertime, please call a member of CAI’s Advice and Counsel Team at 919-878-9222 or 336-668-7746.

Photo Source: turbulentflow