Strategic HR Solutions

Strategic Solutions January 9, 2007
A Newsletter from the Close Group

Eliminating Stress in the Workplace

in this issue
  • Ask Amanda
  • Managers Minute
  • Upcoming Courses
  • Strategic Thinking
  • Strategic Compensation
  • Marketing Your Business

  • Managers Minute

    By understanding more about what makes people stressed at work, organizations are much better placed to manage its causes. One of the things you can do to reduce employee stress is keep an open line of communication to avoid misunderstanding and know what people are thinking about your decisions.

    Upcoming Courses

    Mondays: HR Management SPHR/PHR prep course in Seattle
    Tuesdays: Strategic Communication Seattle
    Wednesdays: Strategic Business Partner Seattle
    Thursdays: Aligning HR Infrastructures Seattle
    Fridays: HR Management SPHR/PHR prep course in Bellevue

    Pay By Credit Card...

    Strategic Thinking

    Strategic Thinking: For the Health of It

    Having worked for government agencies, privately-held corporations, non-profits and dot-coms for over 15 years, Nadra Angerman is a seasoned marketing professional and she is passionate about helping companies grow. As her career progressed she began to notice a pattern among every employer: business was growing, employees were leaving.

    Businesses have high expectations. Across industries, 90% of all new hires don't make it past their 90-day probationary period. Furthermore, there is an especially high rate of turnover among those working in the marketing profession. Performance aside, most marketing managers last only 11 months before leaving.

    Last year Angerman began to feel first hand the burnout she had seen in others. She had no free-time outside of work and felt undervalued by her managers. Determined not to lose the passion for her career she began to look inward and asked the Close Group to help develop her own strategic plan.

    “After a series of exercises with the Close Group, it became clear that flexibility and recognition where two factors I valued in the workforce," said Angerman. "The more hours I worked in attempt to receive the recognition I deserved, the less time I had to do the things that were really important to me, like being more involved in my daughter's extra curricular activities or participating in team sports myself." Something Angerman had enjoyed before becoming a workaholic.

    Angerman's previous employer did not offer a wellness program in the benefits package, something that may have changed her opinion of the company. "Since launching my marketing company, I've discovered that it is possible to have it all -- a rewarding career and personal time for activities with family and friends."

    In January, Angerman resolved to invest more of her newly found personal time to health and wellness activities. She joined a recreational sports league and she also created an arrangement with the owner of a local gym so her clients could receive a group rate under her gym membership plan.

    Aside from the financial burden that accompanies high turnover rates, unemployment and job seeking, there's a major cost that often goes unnoticed. Employees who enjoy their job, but constantly seek approval from their managers tend to over-work and adhere to unhealthy lifestyles that can often be related to job stress: long commutes, lack of physical activity, poor diet and alcohol or nicotine abuse.

    The chances that an over-worked and under-valued employee will form unhealthy habits is well documented by the nation's health statistics; however, corporate wellness programs can help employees alleviate and sometimes reverse the triggers of burnout, boosting morale and improving performance.

    • Employers with high-risk employees pay higher premiums.
    • Lack of productivity resulting from sick days is costly.

    Many of today's managers are challenged with having to do more with less -- keeping employees happy on a shoe string budget. One of the questions many professionals face is whether or not their organization can afford to invest in the wellbeing of their employees. The rising costs of health insurance, as well as the associated decreases in productivity, make a strong argument.

    "If I ever decide to look for a marketing position within a large organization, I'll look for one with a corporate wellness program," Angerman stated. "Right now I'm happy devoting my time and energies to growing the businesses of my clients."

    Strategic Compensation

    There is a clear business case for strategic compensation. Well managed rethinking of performance management, rewards and benefits leads to better business results, stronger capability, higher staff retention levels, heightened motivation and employee satisfaction. The success stories of organizations leading the field in strategic compensation prove that how employees are motivated, rewarded, recognized, fulfilled and challenged to perform better is a key differentiator between excellence and plain mediocrity.

    Marketing Your Business

    Today's case study featured Nadra Angerman, a client and friend of mine, and the marketing genius behind my monthly newsletters. For more information about Nadra's marketing services, visit her website:

    Ask Amanda

    Hello! I'm Amanda Close, president of the Close Group. I've made it my personal mission to partner with professionals in order to offer strategic solutions for business organizations and individuals.

    Got an HR question?
    Just Ask Amanda....
    Stress Factors

    Not Enough Time

    Unhealthy Lifestyle

    Over Committing

    Conflicts at Office/Home

    Acceptance Issues

    Lack of Down Time

    Non-Work-Related Issues

    Lack of Humor

    Situational Stress

    Major Life Changes

    Special Offer

    Receive a complimentary Communication Works! profile assessment and a one-on-one coaching session when you refer two people to any Close Group course

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