(Written by Julie Sharp, FEI Account Manager)
The concept of work-life balance is an idea that stretches back to the 1800s, when the need to limit work hours was recognized by the federal government. In the 1980s, “work-life balance” became an official term to describe the ideal balance between work and leisure life to which employees aspired. Workplaces put policies like maternity leave, telecommuting and employee assistance programs into place to support their employees’ quality of life.
(Written by Gary Skaleski, FEI EAP Counselor)
The issue of increasing hostility and violence has grown over the years, noting the rise of mass and individual attacks across the nation. In the workplace, hostility must be addressed quickly to avoid any escalation of anger towards co-workers. Managers are often on the alert and sensitive to signs of hostility among employees, however, it’s important for them to understand how hostility develops so that they are able to determine the best approach to defuse a potential situation.
(Written by Randall Kratz, FEI Senior Account Manager)
Every day, managers are challenged to motivate, train, problem-solve, correct and evaluate. They are also challenged by conflict, stress, organizational change and employee productivity issues. Some of these productivity concerns can be resolved through training, coaching or process improvements. There may be times, however, when an employee’s work performance is affected by a personal problem. For example, approximately one in five Americans report being treated for depression at some point in their lifetime. In 2013, Gallup reported that depression was linked to higher rates of absenteeism, costing employers an estimated $23 billion in lost productivity each year.
(Written by Freya Cooper, FEI Account Manager)
“B-Player” employees usually are not sought after by top recruiting firms, hiring managers, or CEOs. In fact, some managers lose respect for B-Players because they can appear less motivated than other employees. Because of this perception they are often under-valued. B-Players are not exactly high performing “A-Players,” nor do they want to be. B-Players serve as equipoise to the high-performing A-Players who are often visionaries in a company. However, B-Players are skillful, solid and can be crucial in the supporting roles they play.
(Written by Nancy Vogt, FEI Account Manager)
The Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is such a valuable benefit that it can be hard for employers to understand why employees don’t make full use of it. Organizations that have an EAP provider may already know it has great value as a coaching resource, a career-rescue tool and as a literal lifesaver for employees who are under severe personal and professional stress. So why don’t employees utilize it?
(Written by Amara Lang, FEI Work-Life Specialist)
According to the Administration on Aging (AOA), in 2010 those aged 65 or older hovered around 40 million, and this population is expected to double by 2030. Caring for an older relative is a concern many employees struggle with, especially during work. This concern sparks questions and fears for caregivers for both the short and long term.
(Written by Holly Wasechek, FEI Employee Assistance Representative)
In this day and age, we are constantly being bombarded with demands in both our work and personal lives. Sooner or later, these demands will take a toll on us, and ultimately, our companies. High-stress environments can lead to burnout and high turn-over for stressed workers, costing business more in the long run if they are not addressed properly. According to the American Institute of Stress, job stress due to increased absenteeism, employee turnover, diminished productivity and medical expenses costs U.S. businesses more than $300 billion annually.
(Written by Sumaya Kroger, FEI EAP Counselor)
The workplace can be seen as a complex environment consisting of people from all walks of life with different personalities. No workplace is perfect and managers will most likely have to deal with a challenging employee at some point. Just like approaching an issue with a spouse, child, or other family member, it is important to remember some key points in how to address someone whose behavior is disrupting the workplace.
(Written by Jon Buchler, FEI EAP Counselor)
To understand how to best manage during times of corporate change, consider the following scenario:
Company ABC, which manufactures and sells auto parts to distributors and chain stores, is purchased by Company XYZ, a former competitor in the marketplace. There are four inside sales groups of eight sales persons each at Company ABC at the time of the purchase. Each sales group has a manager. Tom manages Sales Group 1 and Sally manages Sales Group 2. Both have a long history as managers for Company ABC and most of their sales associates are “veterans.”
(Written by Jon Buchler, FEI EAP Counselor)
If you spend enough years in the workforce, then you will almost certainly live through a change of ownership of a company. Change of ownership usually means that changes in workforce organization and deployment follow. Even when a change of ownership clearly represents a step forward for the company, the transitional period following a corporate takeover or merger brings anxiety into the workplace.