Archives for workplace wellness

Toxic Positivity – Answer The Call To Conscious Leadership

Last week, our Answer the Call to Conscious Leadership event was dedicated to discussing Toxic Positivity. Ever since the height of the pandemic when so many of my clients, colleagues, and friends were expected to be superhuman in unprecedented times, I have been looking forward to covering this topic. In addition, as a coach, I am immersed in many communities of practitioners who range from spiritual to pragmatic and was very bothered by some of the advice practitioners were spewing that bordered on shaming people for being afraid, uncertain, emotional, sad, angry – the full gamut.

Our guest panelist, Dr. Laura Dowling, brought with her the latest data, stressing the critical costs of toxic positivity. We also covered:

  • How does toxic positivity harm individuals? Companies?
  • What does toxic positivity look like? How do we recognize it?
  • Can someone have good intentions and still be guilty of toxic positivity? Is it as simple as this?
  • What will happen to companies that fail to provide psychological safety?
  • With parents integrating work and home, how can they model healthful processing of emotion?
  • How can people in the service, hospitality, and entertainment industries maintain customer experience and their mental health?
  • What are some tools individuals can use to process negative emotions?
  • How can leaders create a culture where negative emotions are allowed to be expressed, yet don’t become morale killers?

Join the C3 community now to access the replay and share your experiences. What has the pandemic taught you about toxic positivity?

Nat King Cole – Smile

I don’t own anything, all rights go to their respective ownerslyrics:Smile though your heart is achingSmile even though it’s breakingWhen there are clouds in…

Karen Huller is the creator of the Corporate Consciousness Ripple Blueprint and author of Laser-sharp Career Focus: Pinpoint your Purpose and Passion in 30 Days. She founded Epic Careering, a leadership and career development firm specializing in executive branding and conscious culture, in 2006. 

While the bulk of her 20 years of professional experience has been within the recruiting and employment industry, her publications, presentations, and coaching also draw from experience in personal development, performance, broadcasting, marketing, and sales. Her solutions incorporate breakthroughs in neuroscience, human performance optimization, bioenergetics, and psychology to help leaders accelerate rapport, expand influence, and elevate engagement and productivity while also looking out for the sustainability of the business and the planet.

Mrs. Huller was one of the first LinkedIn trainers and is known widely for her ability to identify and develop new trends. She is a Certified Professional Résumé Writer, Certified Career Transition Consultant, and Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist with a Bachelor of Art in Communication Studies and Theater from Ursinus College and a minor in Creative Writing. Her blog was recognized as a top 100 career blog worldwide by Feedspot. 

She was an Adjunct Professor in Cabrini University’s Communications Department and an Adjunct Professor of Career Management and Professional Development at Drexel University’s LeBow College of Business. As an instructor for the Young Entrepreneurs Academy, she has helped two of her students win the 2018 National Competition to be named America’s Next Top Young Entrepreneurs, to win the 2019 People’s Choice Award, and to land in the top 8 during the (virtual) 2020 National Competition.

She is board secretary for the Upper Merion Community Center and just finished serving as Vice President of the Gulph Elementary PTC, for which she received recognition as a Public Education Partner and Promoter from the Upper Merion Area Education Association. She lives in King of Prussia with her husband, two daughters, and many pets, furry, feathered, and scaly.

Energy Leadership – Answer The Call To Conscious Leadership

Though we missed Lawrence Henderson as co-host during this month’s Answer the Call to Conscious Leadership event, I would like to extend my sincerest appreciation to Phillip Williams for accepting our invitation to be his fill-in. We had a very informative and insightful event, learning so much about Energy Leadership, its applications, its tools, its framework, the related disciplines, as well as how we can apply Energy Leadership in our everyday lives and our coaching practices.

Energy Leadership is a methodology and certification offered by iPEC, and we are in the process of bringing in some iPEC representatives to answer any further questions about their programs after Kimberlie Gridley, our guest panelist and multi-certified coach, consultant, and environmental advocate, sung the praises of the iPEC organization and its programs.

Join C3 to watch the full replay!  You won’t want to miss it.

We discussed:

  • What is energy leadership?
  • What are the 7 levels of energy?
  • Of all the levels, which creates the most resistance to conscious change?
  • What are the 2 types of energy?
  • What are the influencers of energy?
  • What are the disciplines of energy leadership?
  • What applications does energy leadership have to Human Resources?
  • How does energy leadership relate to environmental advocacy?
  • What are some common meeting mistakes that fail to set an engaged and productive energetic tone?
  • What is the distinction between energy leadership and the Energy Leadership Index (ELI) assessment?
  • How is the ELI assessment distinct from the other assessments used in leadership and talent management?
  • How does the ELI help you recognize how much stress is impacting how are you reacting and responding so that you can recover your energy faster?
  • What are the aspects integrated within iPEC’s energy leadership coaching methodology?
  • How does taking stock of what gives you energy help to better utilize the concepts of energy leadership?
  • How does energy self-awareness help you gain and exercise more confidence in your role as a leader?
  • How can it help you have more transformative conversations?
  • How can self-awareness of energy impact hard conversations, including negotiations?
  • What are the five choices that you can make related to leadership dynamics within core energy dynamics?
  • Do trust and energy leadership intersect?
  • After becoming aware of the need for a shift in consciousness in every aspect of your way of life, where do you start?

Recommended reading and resources:

Join the C3 Community today to watch the replay and connect with other conscious leaders.

Karen Huller is the creator of the Corporate Consciousness Ripple Blueprint and author of Laser-sharp Career Focus: Pinpoint your Purpose and Passion in 30 Days. She founded Epic Careering, a leadership and career development firm specializing in executive branding and conscious culture, in 2006. 

While the bulk of her 20 years of professional experience has been within the recruiting and employment industry, her publications, presentations, and coaching also draw from experience in personal development, performance, broadcasting, marketing, and sales. Her solutions incorporate breakthroughs in neuroscience, human performance optimization, bioenergetics, and psychology to help leaders accelerate rapport, expand influence, and elevate engagement and productivity while also looking out for the sustainability of the business and the planet.

Mrs. Huller was one of the first LinkedIn trainers and is known widely for her ability to identify and develop new trends. She is a Certified Professional Résumé Writer, Certified Career Transition Consultant, and Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist with a Bachelor of Art in Communication Studies and Theater from Ursinus College and a minor in Creative Writing. Her blog was recognized as a top 100 career blog worldwide by Feedspot. 

She was an Adjunct Professor in Cabrini University’s Communications Department and an Adjunct Professor of Career Management and Professional Development at Drexel University’s LeBow College of Business. As an instructor for the Young Entrepreneurs Academy, she has helped two of her students win the 2018 National Competition to be named America’s Next Top Young Entrepreneurs, to win the 2019 People’s Choice Award, and to land in the top 8 during the (virtual) 2020 National Competition.

She is board secretary for the Upper Merion Community Center and just finished serving as Vice President of the Gulph Elementary PTC, for which she received recognition as a Public Education Partner and Promoter from the Upper Merion Area Education Association. She lives in King of Prussia with her husband, two daughters, and many pets, furry, feathered, and scaly.

Improving Access to Resources and Opportunity – Answer The Call To Conscious Leadership

I’m going to recommend something I haven’t before – even if you attended live, I recommend that you watch the replay of this month’s Answer the Call to Conscious Leadership – Improving Access to Resources and Opportunity. The replay, as usual, is posted in our C3 Community on LinkedIn, so if you’re not there, request membership today.

About 20 minutes into the event, and 15 major insights later, I realized what an opportunity it was to be able to listen with greater presence to what was shared. Some points were just begging to be reinforced with another listen, while other major insights were so surrounded by other major insights that I missed them during the live event.

C3 members and this month’s panelists, Dominique “D” Ross, Personal and Professional Development champion and Sharon Clinton, Deputy Executive Director and change-maker for the City of Philadelphia, shared critical perspectives on how to improve access to resources and opportunity whether you are a leader in charge of assessing and executing greater access for your teams and communities or whether you are an individual with access challenges and obstacles of your own.

Here is what we discussed:
  • Why is a change is necessary for today’s time?
  • What is the distinction between equality and equity?
  • What are the three major components to improving your own access to opportunity?
  • If you don’t have a mentor, where can you find one?
  • What is the danger of adults projecting their baggage (limits) onto youth?
  • What’s wrong with conventional ideas about providing equity today?
  • Do you give people something additional to overcome the barriers, or do you remove the barriers?
  • What does it take to understand the meaning of access to opportunity?
  • How does the Horatio Alger DEI exercise teach people about equity and privilege?
  • How do we gain an understanding of how far an individual has to go to achieve equitable opportunity and at what time?
  • How can you determine how to maximize ROI on the investment in providing equitable opportunity?
  • How can you manage the multitude of valid experiences and do something productive with the collective brain dump of ideas while still giving people an equitable contribution?
  • How do you decide what kind of effort are you trying to make and what will be sustainable based on capacity?
  • How do you bucket the ideas and what model is best to evaluate the ideas?
  • What is the best tool to assess your teams to provide equitable opportunity?
  • What is the best mindset when you face challenges and obstacles in elevating your own access to opportunity?
  • What are the personal and systemic challenges our panelists had to overcome to achieve their level of career achievement?
  • How can you synthesize the plethora of advice you may receive in your quest to elevate our opportunity?
  • How can you use what you know about yourself to overcome challenges that pose a threat to your success?
  • In the midst of all of the moving pieces necessary to create a more equitable world, where do you start?
  • After starting, what was the next step our panelists gave themselves permission to take?
  • When you have to pivot and start from scratch, you may be losing, but what are you gaining?
  • How can you get to a point of mastery in elevating your own opportunity?

I’m going to go ahead and answer that last one without you having to watch the replay, though I still encourage you to: Gain mastery by using the C3 Community as a place to practice! Take your ideas, find a co-creator in the group, and take Sharon’s advice and get STARTED!  How’s today?

Book recommendations:

The time to get into the C3 Community is now. There will be no better chance to be a panelist and a potential speaker for our 2021 C3 Telesummit than now while we are still relatively small.

THE SENSATIONS – ”LET ME IN” (1962)

“Let Me In” is the name of a 1962 song with music and lyrics by Yvonne Baker, recorded by Baker and The Sensations, which went to #4 on the U.S. Billboard Ho…

Karen Huller is the creator of the Corporate Consciousness Ripple Blueprint and author of Laser-sharp Career Focus: Pinpoint your Purpose and Passion in 30 Days. She founded Epic Careering, a leadership and career development firm specializing in executive branding and conscious culture, in 2006. 

While the bulk of her 20 years of professional experience has been within the recruiting and employment industry, her publications, presentations, and coaching also draw from experience in personal development, performance, broadcasting, marketing, and sales. Her solutions incorporate breakthroughs in neuroscience, human performance optimization, bioenergetics, and psychology to help leaders accelerate rapport, expand influence, and elevate engagement and productivity while also looking out for the sustainability of the business and the planet.

Mrs. Huller was one of the first LinkedIn trainers and is known widely for her ability to identify and develop new trends. She is a Certified Professional Résumé Writer, Certified Career Transition Consultant, and Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist with a Bachelor of Art in Communication Studies and Theater from Ursinus College and a minor in Creative Writing. Her blog was recognized as a top 100 career blog worldwide by Feedspot. 

She was an Adjunct Professor in Cabrini University’s Communications Department and an Adjunct Professor of Career Management and Professional Development at Drexel University’s LeBow College of Business. As an instructor for the Young Entrepreneurs Academy, she has helped two of her students win the 2018 National Competition to be named America’s Next Top Young Entrepreneurs, to win the 2019 People’s Choice Award, and to land in the top 8 during the (virtual) 2020 National Competition.

She is board secretary for the Upper Merion Community Center and just finished serving as Vice President of the Gulph Elementary PTC, for which she received recognition as a Public Education Partner and Promoter from the Upper Merion Area Education Association. She lives in King of Prussia with her husband, two daughters, and many pets, furry, feathered, and scaly.

Leading With Vulnerability – Answer The Call To Conscious Leadership

Vulnerability in leadership proved to be a very fruitful topic, and I thank our C3 community for selecting it as our March Answer the Call to Conscious Leader event topic. Senior Human Resources Leader, Vince Blando, and The Believe Coach, Nick Dillon, offered us invaluable insight from their personal experience as leaders who model vulnerability. If you didn’t make it live, catch the replay by joining the C3 community.

Here are the questions we answered in our hour-long discussion:

  • How can you create other leaders who model vulnerability?
  • How can you be a true vulnerable leader?
  • Can you really be open to every opportunity without being open and vulnerable yourself?
  • What does being vulnerable really require of leaders?
  • What does vulnerability feel like when you don’t possess those qualities?
  • How did our panelists develop those qualities?
  • Why do you have to be willing to be vulnerable?
  • What happens when a leader holds back?
  • Are people born leaders?
  • When does being vulnerable serve a leader well and when doesn’t it?
  • What is it that you express to people that makes vulnerability an effective leadership tool?
  • What is something we all need up-skilling in?
  • How can a leader who admits being vulnerable inspire a team member to elevate performance?
  • How does lacking vulnerability backfire?
  • What is the major gap that keeps leaders from being effectively vulnerable?
  • What do leaders need to do to welcome vulnerability?
  • What is it about being a vulnerable leader that enables your team to show up as their best selves?
  • What is the only way to be effective as a leader these days?
  • What are perceptions of vulnerability that are now very outdated and need to go?
  • What happens when you are a vulnerable performer working for a leader who does not model vulnerability?
  • What happens if you grow weary of being available to your team members?
  • Is it appropriate to show your team members that you feel their pain or should you detach?
  • How has compartmentalizing pain and trauma been working?
  • How have our panelists navigated modeling and normalizing vulnerability in the workplace?
  • Why is now the time for us to go from aspirational to executable in being whole at work?
  • How do we gain traction in the movement to normalize vulnerability and empathy?
  • What are the consequences of not enabling empathy in the workplace?
  • What are the hard business reasons companies need to go in this direction?
  • What is the only true way to attain 360˚ leadership and be effective?
  • Do people leave jobs or leaders?
  • What happens when people practice the new brand of leadership in traditional business environments?
  • Where can a leader start introducing vulnerability in traditional business environments?
  • Where do EAPs fall short and how does a leader fill that gap?
  • How has the lack of financial stability spurred a greater need for vulnerability in leadership?
  • When your past has mistakes, what is the mindset to move forward from that as a vulnerable leader?
  • What does the military teach around leadership and does it conflict or align with being a vulnerable leader?
  • What is a major mistake that leaders make after having success in leadership that inhibits vulnerability?
  • What is “contextual empathy”?
  • What does a leader have to do to maintain psychological safety to continually nurture vulnerability?
  • What are the landmines associated with being a vulnerable leader?

Recommended reading: Brené Brown, The Power of Vulnerability: Teachings on Authenticity, Connection and Courage.

Once in the C3 Community, make sure you engage – like, comment, further the conversation, invite panelists and other members to connect.

Potential future ATCCL topics this conversation spurred:

  • Increasing access to resources and exposure to opportunity
  • Contextual empathy

Are you an expert in any of these topics? Introduce yourself inside of the C3 community and maybe you’ll be a panelist!

Here are other upcoming opportunities to share the stage with your C3 co-hosts:

Are you on Clubhouse?

Every other Tuesday at 1:15 p.m. EST, including this week, March 9th, Lawrence and I will be going live on Clubhouse to further discuss topics related to conscious leadership and find out what content the conscious leadership community most demands.

>> Follow us both on Clubhouse – Karen: @ripplemaker and Lawrence: @bossllab

On Twitter?

I have returned to do Twitter chats. Join me Wednesday, March 10th at 11 AM EST to engage in Q&A around Conscious Leadership by following me @EpicCareering and the hashtag #ConsciousLeaderChat.

See you there!

The Human League – Human

Vote for your favourite 80s hit of all time: https://lnk.to/80BestHitsListen to more from The Human League: http://TheHumanLeague.lnk.to/EssentialsStream a p…

Karen Huller is the creator of the Corporate Consciousness Ripple Blueprint and author of Laser-sharp Career Focus: Pinpoint your Purpose and Passion in 30 Days. She founded Epic Careering, a leadership and career development firm specializing in executive branding and conscious culture, in 2006. 

While the bulk of her 20 years of professional experience has been within the recruiting and employment industry, her publications, presentations, and coaching also draw from experience in personal development, performance, broadcasting, marketing, and sales. Her solutions incorporate breakthroughs in neuroscience, human performance optimization, bioenergetics, and psychology to help leaders accelerate rapport, expand influence, and elevate engagement and productivity while also looking out for the sustainability of the business and the planet.

Mrs. Huller was one of the first LinkedIn trainers and is known widely for her ability to identify and develop new trends. She is a Certified Professional Résumé Writer, Certified Career Transition Consultant, and Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist with a Bachelor of Art in Communication Studies and Theater from Ursinus College and a minor in Creative Writing. Her blog was recognized as a top 100 career blog worldwide by Feedspot. 

She was an Adjunct Professor in Cabrini University’s Communications Department and an Adjunct Professor of Career Management and Professional Development at Drexel University’s LeBow College of Business. As an instructor for the Young Entrepreneurs Academy, she has helped two of her students win the 2018 National Competition to be named America’s Next Top Young Entrepreneurs, to win the 2019 People’s Choice Award, and to land in the top 8 during the (virtual) 2020 National Competition.

She is board secretary for the Upper Merion Community Center and just finished serving as Vice President of the Gulph Elementary PTC, for which she received recognition as a Public Education Partner and Promoter from the Upper Merion Area Education Association. She lives in King of Prussia with her husband, two daughters, and many pets, furry, feathered, and scaly.

What You Need To Do To Prepare for a Down Economy

​​Most professionals in my generation and above have already survived a few down economies. In fact, my struggle in a down economy and the lessons I learned that eventually got me back on my feet are what compelled me to eventually shift from recruiter to coach.

There are still a lot of unknowns about our current global situation. So, it’s in this time of uncertainty that I’d like to shed some light on how to thrive through it all. Below are my recommended tips for navigating this new territory.

Evaluate: Do you need to pivot?

You’ll likely notice that some sectors will be heavily hit, but others may be prospering and growing. So, should you redesign your career path around this?

I advise everyone to have a purpose-driven, passion-fueled long-term plan. It is the best way to optimize your overall career trajectory in terms of growth, fulfillment, and income. It’s also the best example you can provide to your kids.

I also recommend fully dedicating yourself to your plan. Learn and apply the best practices of proactive transitioning (taught by me at Epic Careering and Cabrini University) for at least 3 months before devising and following a backup plan.

At this time, there will be fewer and fewer people able to afford even three months in transition. You may need to adapt after two months of a dedicated transition, especially if what you learn from people in the field (not from job boards) is that hiring has stopped, or will slow down for a season. In the short-term, you may be able to easily translate your strengths, qualities, and past achievements into value for a stable industry.

I recommend choosing a strong sector that offers you an opportunity to make a meaningful contribution, such as:

  • Biotech/Pharma/Labs and the companies that support them
  • Hospitals/Healthcare are most certainly in need of clinicians, telehealth professionals, and janitorial staff
  • Health/Wellness
  • Scientists of all kinds
  • US manufacturing
  • Supply Chain/Logistics
  • Farming/Agriculture/Consumer Goods
  • Food/Grocery Delivery
  • Online Entertainment/Video Game Industry
  • Online Education/Coaching/Remote Learning
  • App Development/Remote Tech such as developers and online support
  • E-Commerce

Then there are the industries that will be hurt in the short-term, but will rebound:

  • Hospitality/Travel
  • Service-based industries that require in-person support
  • Retail – Many will not feel confident buying luxury items, high-tech consumer items, name brand clothing, jewelry, and other non-essentials while there is the uncertainty of how long life will be disrupted.
  • Housing
    • While this isn’t a market correction that will impact housing directly, the housing market has been prime for correction for awhile with pricing majorly inflated, inventory low, and demand high. The Federal Reserve, as you probably know, dropped interest rates to nearly 0%, which would normally spur growth in this area. Foreclosures are stalled in the meantime, which is not going to add to the inventory driving prices down. New construction is stalled during critical months, which will put home completion behind. All signs point to the housing market picking up mostly where it left off once things return to normal.

Finally, we have the industries that will be majorly disrupted and in need of overhaul before rebounding can even be predicted:

  • Higher Education
  • Health Insurance

If you are less than 80% certain that your current or planned career direction provides you with your best chance at financial security, schedule a consultation with a job market expert at Epic Careering.

Fine-Tune Your Brand

Keeping your résumé updated is, of course, a basic recommendation from any career coach or résumé writer. It’s the equivalent of taking your car for regular oil changes and inspections. If you want a high-performance résumé, a strong brand is still your best tool in positioning yourself competitively in a competitive market. Working with a branding expert, such as Epic Careering, will help you identify and articulate the unique value you offer above and beyond your, or any other candidate’s, qualifications. When copy, such as your résumé, LinkedIn profile, cover letters, and networking messaging, is crafted to build a subconscious sense of urgency and establish you as a hot, in-demand candidate, you can still garner competing offers, even as the volume of opportunities shrink.

Reconnect

If you’ve neglected networking, it’s catch up time! The good news is that as humans, we naturally crave connection (even introverts crave connection). Some people are still settling into a new rhythm and may not be able to commit to a time to talk when you reach out to them. They may be challenged by having the ability to structure their workday since previously, structure was provided by their leadership. In this case, practice patient persistence and empathize with the disruption we are all dealing with. As usual, don’t take lack of response personally.

“Some will, some won’t, so what?! Next!”

Many others are craving connection now more than ever. Many people are focused on the future and still have to continue with their company’s hiring. “Work with the willing,” as Cy Wakeman says. It may take you a higher volume of outreach than before, but you can still multiply your momentum by having productive conversations that convert into multiple introductions and opportunities, especially with a compelling, powerful call-to-action within your message.

Focus on Wellness of Mind, Body, and Spirit

Even during “normal” circumstances, nothing impacts your results in life more than how well you are feeling. Do whatever you can to adjust your lifestyle and schedule to incorporate alternative methods of achieving a calm mind, strong heart, clear lungs, and a positive outlook.

Even though we need connection, some of us are already emotionally fragile and need more uplifting versus more gloom and doom. Be careful not to impose your anxiety (which is justified, just not helpful) onto others. So, if you are feeling anxious before a scheduled call or outreach e-mail, take some time to exercise to get endorphins flowing or meditate to achieve a calm state of mind.

Incorporate time in your schedule to be alone and engage in activities that raise your vibration while limiting activities that induce stress. Be aware of any inclination to pick up your phone or device to check for constant updates. Recognize if looking for updates becomes a compulsion that isn’t serving your state of mind. You can find a helpful mini-hypnosis session on overcoming social media addiction, as well as some other helpful videos on this Facebook page.

Islands In the Stream

Provided to YouTube by Sony Music Entertainment Islands In the Stream · Dolly Parton · Kenny Rogers Greatest Hits ℗ 1983 Sony Music Entertainment Released on…

Karen Huller, author of Laser-sharp Career Focus: Pinpoint your Purpose and Passion in 30 Days (bit.ly/GetFocusIn30), is founder of Epic Careering, a 13-year-old leadership and career development firm specializing in executive branding and conscious culture, as well as JoMo Rising, LLC, a workflow gamification company that turns work into productive play. 

While the bulk of her 20 years of professional experience has been within the recruiting and employment industry, her publications, presentations, and coaching also draw from experience in personal development, performance, broadcasting, marketing, and sales. 

Karen was one of the first LinkedIn trainers and is known widely for her ability to identify and develop new trends in hiring and careering. She is a Certified Professional Résumé Writer, Certified Career Transition Consultant, and Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist with a Bachelor of Art in Communication Studies and Theater from Ursinus College and a minor in Creative Writing. Her blog was recognized as a top 100 career blog worldwide by Feedspot. 

She is an Adjunct Professor in Cabrini University’s Communications Department and previously was an Adjunct Professor of Career Management and Professional Development at Drexel University’s LeBow College of Business  She is also an Instructor for the Young Entrepreneurs Academy where some of her students won the 2018 national competition, were named America’s Next Top Young Entrepreneurs, and won the 2019 People’s Choice Award. 

New Questions for Workplaces in 2020

We saw some tough headlines in the last 10 years force companies to do some deep evaluation of their culture and policies. A few companies emerged as trailblazers, applying breakthroughs in research, technology, and science. They spotted trends before the rest, and started their own trends for the rest to follow (or not).

All the things that we can measure have exploded. We are now drowning in so much data that the next big feat looks to be figuring out what is actually meaningful and consequential to sustainable growth.

As much shade and slack that millennials are thrown from the other workforce generations, they certainly drove many changes. We’ve seen a transition to mobile-focused marketing and an intuitive user experience, along with greater focus on employee rewards.

Now that we’re wrapping up this decade and a new generation is entering the workforce, what do we see on the horizon that will prove influential in the evolution of careering, hiring, and leadership?

Without knowing who will become president, it’s hard to predict what will happen with healthcare, student debt, and consumer debt. Certainly, if healthcare becomes universal, many companies will be forced to completely reinvent how they plan on attracting and retaining employees who were working mostly for benefits. In my 20 years working with job seekers and job changers, I have known many who, if it weren’t for the need for medical benefits, would have opted for self-employment.

Employee benefits

Here are some statistics that can help show just how influential benefits have been in recruitment and retention strategies:

  • 49% of the US workforce currently receives healthcare benefits from their employer.
  • 78% of workers would likely remain with their employer because of the benefits it offers, up from 72% in 2016. (WTW)
  • More than 50% of employees said they have left jobs after hearing the siren calls of better benefits elsewhere. (Randstad)
  • 55% of employees would be somewhat likely to accept a job with lower compensation but a more robust benefits package. (Aflac)
  • 56% of U.S. adults with employer-sponsored health benefits said that whether or not they like their health coverage is a key factor in deciding to stay at their current job. (SHRM)
  • 46% said health insurance was either the deciding factor or a positive influence in choosing their current job. (SHRM)

Keep in mind there are many companies with employees dedicated to helping employers manage health care plan enrollment and administration. Will companies let these employees go or retrain them for other roles within the company?

Employee wellness

A Limeade study found that when employees feel their employer cares about their well-being, there is a significant boost in engagement, retention, workplace reviews, and “extra mile” efforts while hostility is reduced by ten times. Larger companies offer more benefits than any other size companies, and yet they have the lowest engagement. So, we can surmise that offering good healthcare benefits is not enough to make employees feel cared for and/or that offering employer-sponsored healthcare does not correlate to engagement at all, though it does correlate to candidate attraction and retention.

Wellness programs have become wildly popular as well. However, as more companies implemented costly wellness programs, most struggled with adoption and recouping the investment. (We’ve covered why in a 2-part article this year.)

We saw some influential leaders emerge as authors, as well, shedding light on issues like gender gaps in pay and opportunity, sexual harassment, workplace bullying, cyber security, engagement, and physical security.

  • Shawn Achor taught us that being happy at work DOES indeed lead to better engagement.
  • Studies on meditation at work increased exponentially, with new benefits emerging all the time. Companies like Google, Aetna and higher learning institutions like Brown, NYU and Harvard are weaving mindfulness and meditation into core cultural and education initiatives.
  • Ariana Huffington highlighted the need for creative minds to rest.
  • Travis Bradberry has been educating Fortune 500 companies on the implications of Emotional Intelligence.
  • Cy Wakeman has smartly asserted and demonstrated that engagement efforts without accountability breed entitlement.
  • Sheryl Sandberg encouraged women to lean in, own their seat at the table and find a sponsor, not another mentor.

With the rise of school and workplace shootings, we remain to see whether gun control becomes a major area of change or not. Mental health is another key issue. While people are shining a light on how mental illness has become an epidemic, sufferers are crying out to end the stigma.

Just a couple weeks ago Philadelphia Eagles offensive linemen Brandon Brooks left the field in the first quarter due to a debilitating anxiety attack that caused extreme nausea. He stated he was not ashamed nor embarrassed about the event. In the last decade, more and more celebrities came clean about their struggles with anxiety and depression. Others lost their battles before we even knew they were suffering. It’s clear no one is impervious to mental illness. The conversation about how to best treat and support those suffering is just starting, let alone how to address it in the workplace.

Being “woke” is going out of vogue as spiritual elitists fail to be influential in inspiring change. Authenticity, accessibility, and being vulnerable are proving to be much more effective.

Keeping all of this in mind, there are new questions we should be asking in the workplace.

In 2020 and beyond, companies should be able to answer these questions:

How do you address mental health in your workplace?

Are clear protocols in place for employees experiencing hardships?

Are there HR policies in place to protect employees who wish to get help for mental illness?

What is the company policy for determining if an employee needs urgent or professional care for mental illness?

What does the company do to support mental wellness?

How aware are employees of these outlets?

What might stop employees from taking advantage of mental health resources?

What misconceptions do they have?

Here is what I hope to see happening in 2020:

Mindfulness everywhere! It’s not only important for sustainable corporate and individual success, it’s imperative to people and the planet, that we develop self-awareness, emotional intelligence and consciousness at a faster pace than technology evolves.

My Epic Careering Personal Branding tools get funded, built, and adopted on a worldwide scale to put the power of career management back in the hands of the workers. This enables more people to have résumé and LinkedIn content that helps them be identified by employer’s AI as having the potential to succeed in their open and upcoming roles. It also easily communicates the cultural viability of a candidate.

Though I’d prefer people be self-aware and empowered to pursue professional opportunities that align with their innate strengths, joy, and best chance at thriving, employers have to play their part, too. Employers need to be more proactive in helping talent grow up, or even out, from a skills standpoint, a maturity standpoint, and a consciousness standpoint. Leaders must be better coaches. Give people more of a chance to be forthright about their aspirations. Don’t try to retain employees that are better off somewhere else, or who have demonstrated an unwillingness to be coachable and accountable. A person’s best chance at making a meaningful contribution and being fulfilled by it is being in the right job at the right company, as Jim Collins shares in Good to Great.

While technology will surely continue to be tried and applied, and the automated branding journey and content builders will certainly bridge the gap between high-quality talent and the companies who need them, job seekers everywhere are crying out for more HUMAN involvement. Certain applications for technology are not allowing exceptions to rules to get the attention of people who can interpret unconventional strengths as major potential. Let’s let humans do what humans do best – connect with each other and perceive potential.

Personally, I’d like to see one-sided video interviews die. I don’t trust facial recognition AI, nor people, to be free from bias. We’re just not there yet. Two-way (or more) video conferences are a great way to have both candidate and employer feel each other out without the cost and time of travel.

I hope that industries in need of disruption are not sustained just because they employ a lot of people and make a lot of money. Someone needs to step in and make sure that when a faster, better way of healing people, feeding people, housing people, shopping, etc. comes along, there are affordable and accessible programs available to retrain people to get even better jobs.

I hope internet connectivity reaches all corners of the planet and new, profitable opportunities are available to poor and oppressed countries, or even parts of our country.

I hope as more heroes emerge with human limits and behavior, we stop vilifying each other for our weaknesses and mistakes. Certainly, serious offenders will need consequences, but we can’t set the bar so high for leaders that they need to be perfect. This only leads to cover-ups and corruption. I hope we value accountability, honesty, and forgiveness more than we value perfection so more worthy leaders can emerge.

If healthcare was universal, it would no longer be a major driving decision of where a person works. This would absolutely force companies who want to compete for talent to pay closer attention to offering what actually engages people: opportunities for learning, growth and expansion. Plus, a salary that not only pays the bills, but funds a desirable lifestyle now and as we age.

What are your hopes for 2020?

https://youtu.be/THnabGK7mPs

Karen Huller, author of Laser-sharp Career Focus: Pinpoint your Purpose and Passion in 30 Days (bit.ly/GetFocusIn30), is founder of Epic Careering, a 13-year-old leadership and career development firm specializing in executive branding and conscious culture, as well as JoMo Rising, LLC, a workflow gamification company that turns work into productive play. 

While the bulk of her 20 years of professional experience has been within the recruiting and employment industry, her publications, presentations, and coaching also draw from experience in personal development, performance, broadcasting, marketing, and sales. 

Karen was one of the first LinkedIn trainers and is known widely for her ability to identify and develop new trends in hiring and careering. She is a Certified Professional Résumé Writer, Certified Career Transition Consultant, and Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist with a Bachelor of Art in Communication Studies and Theater from Ursinus College and a minor in Creative Writing. Her blog was recognized as a top 100 career blog worldwide by Feedspot. 

She is an Adjunct Professor in Cabrini University’s Communications Department and previously was an Adjunct Professor of Career Management and Professional Development at Drexel University’s LeBow College of Business  She is also an Instructor for the Young Entrepreneurs Academy where some of her students won the 2018 national competition, were named America’s Next Top Young Entrepreneurs, and won the 2019 People’s Choice Award. 

Are You Getting the Optimal ROI on Your Wellness Plan? Checklist For You (Part 2)

This is part 2 of a 2-part article on Wellness Program ROI. Read Part 1

Segmenting Health Factors

Many wellness programs segment health into only physical health, which defies modern science. The mind-body connection has been proven since 1985. Also, since the turn of the millennium neuroscientists have identified multiple parts of the brain that are activated during a spiritual experience, and since then the relationship between spirituality and our mental, emotional, and physical health has been further explored, tested, and understood. One 2001 study supported that “religious involvement and spirituality are associated with better health outcomes, including greater longevity, coping skills, and health-related quality of life (even during terminal illness) and less anxiety, depression, and suicide.”

Kelly Turner, Ph.D. studied over 200+ radical remissions of all kinds worldwide and she found that there were 75 different efforts used in varying combinations and frequencies. They all had 9 in common, only 2 of which are physical. 7 are mental, emotional, and spiritual.

While programs may promote fitness, they fail to address other areas of behavior that will ultimately sabotage fitness, such as financial, emotional, or mental health.  Wellness programs that are purely or mostly focused on fitness and nutrition can often overlook what truly influences behavior patterns – beliefs. Many understand that employees often need to be educated on the health impacts of good and bad behavioral patterns, but continue in lack of self-awareness of the belief systems that influence choices on a daily basis.  Coaching and mindfulness are the best ways to support people in behavioral change and growth. If your wellness program neglects mindfulness, your ROI is taking a huge hit.

Companies have very compelling reasons not to ignore social health and community building as part of their wellness programs. The chances that an employee will turn down a competing offer goes up with each work friend. Many companies are still operating on trial and error, or just defaulting to whatever form of socialization the founder, executives, or person charged with culture prefer. However, people have very different socialization preferences, and options without obligation are the key to helping employees come together as friends. Offer intramural sports and book clubs or movie screening clubs. Offer a board game night as well as a video game night. Offer a happy hour and a yoga hour.

In order to achieve long-term, sustainable change, a person’s whole health picture has to be addressed and the underlying beliefs that drive behavior and motivation. To find out more about integrating mindfulness training (MT) and emotional intelligence training (EQ), get our report, How Mindfulness Training Quickly Transforms Organizations, here.

Tracking the Wrong Metrics

If companies are only evaluating one monetary measurement to determine a program’s success, such as participation, participant physical markers, such as weight and blood pressure or how many cigarettes smoked, and health care costs. However, when a wellness program is working, there are many other trickle-down impacts on the top and bottom line.

  • Presenteeism – Employees who come to work too sick, stressed, or burnt out are not productive
  • Absenteeism – Stress contributes to acute and chronic illnesses, necessitates additional doctors visits, and often justifies more “mental health” days
  • Engagement – Healthier, happier employees are more engaged and productive employees
  • Retention – See above how tending to social health improves retention
  • Lower cost of talent acquisition and higher quality of talent – a trickle-down impact of improved culture and wellness-friendly policies
  • Increased valuation and potential long-term stock price increases with improved P&L

Using the Wrong Incentives

A recent Kaiser Permanente survey indicates that workers are disenchanted with monetary incentives to participate or achieve certain levels of improvement in wellness plans. Gretchen Rubin, author and habit expert, promotes that incentives work better when they are related to the goal. For instance, if you reach your 20th-mile run, you get a new light-weight water bottle. At your 50th mile, you get a certificate for your local running company. Offering massages and cryogenic sessions as incentives can further enhance wellness.

There are a lot of moving parts to a robust and ROI-producing wellness program. While a lot of research supports that if implemented to incorporate what we know about optimal human performance and wellness, however, we are in need of additional case studies. We need companies truly committed to their workforce wellness, willing to make investments in science-backed programs.

If there is one thing that you can easily incorporate into your wellness program that will make the most impact on ROI and wellness, it is mindfulness and meditation.  Download our full report, How Mindfulness Training Quickly Transforms Organizations, here.

Katrina & The Waves – Walking On Sunshine (Official Video)

Official video of Katrina & The Waves performing Walking On Sunshine from the album Walking On Sunshine.

Karen Huller, author of Laser-sharp Career Focus: Pinpoint your Purpose and Passion in 30 Days (bit.ly/GetFocusIn30), is founder of Epic Careering, a corporate consulting and career management firm specializing in executive branding and conscious culture, as well as JoMo Rising, LLC, a workflow gamification company that turns work into productive play. 

While the bulk of her 20 years of professional experience has been within the recruiting and employment industry, her publications, presentations, and coaching also draw from experience in personal development, performance, broadcasting, marketing, and sales. 

Karen was one of the first LinkedIn trainers and is known widely for her ability to identify and develop new trends in hiring and careering. She is a Certified Professional Résumé Writer, Certified Career Transition Consultant, and Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist with a Bachelor of Art in Communication Studies and Theater from Ursinus College and a minor in Creative Writing. Her blog was recognized as a top 100 career blog worldwide by Feedspot. 

She is an Adjunct Professor in Cabrini University’s Communications Department and previously was an Adjunct Professor of Career Management and Professional Development at Drexel University’s LeBow College of Business  She is also an Instructor for the Young Entrepreneurs Academy where her students won the 2018 national competition and were named America’s Next Top Young Entrepreneurs.