Next Wellness Program Trend: Brain Training

Next Wellness Program Trend: Brain Training

Workplace-sponsored wellness programs have long zeroed in on healthy eating, smoking cessation and physical exercise. However, organizations are beginning to recognize the importance of brain health, too. An increasing number are now incorporating what is known as “brain fitness” and “brain training” into their benefits packages as an employment perk. A burgeoning industry that combines neuroscience research with technology, brain training uses online games, videos and interactive tools to assess and promote better memory and concentration while lowering stress levels. Proponents say these brain fitness approaches can help employees become more engaged in their work and increase productivity, too. A survey by SharpBrains, an independent market research firm and innovation think tank which helps businesses and individuals navigate the emerging brain fitness and applied neuroscience fields, estimates that the size of the world­wide brain health and fitness software market was $295,000,000 by 2009. Interest in the technology is growing steadily with the …

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How to Ask for a Raise

You work hard, you know you do a great job and you deserve a raise. But have you ever asked for one? The odds are you haven’t, according to a study from Payscale, a provider of compensation data and software. Over 30,000 employees participated in the Payscale survey and  57% had never asked for a raise. True, 38% had a great reason not to request a boost to their salary – they received raises before they could ask. However, a lot of the workers (28%) simply felt too uncomfortable to ask for more money and almost 20% were concerned they might seem too pushy. If you are trying to get up your nerve to finally have a talk with your boss about why your salary should be increased, take heart. There are specific strategies to help you nail that raise. Do Your Homework Before a Meeting to Discuss a Raise …

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What You Need to Know About Disability Insurance

What You Need to Know About Disability Insurance

If you work, you should have at least a passing knowledge of disability insurance, no matter what kind of job you have. Disability insurance is not just for people who are employed in dangerous lines of work, such as construction or transportation; anyone can get stuck spending time out of work for an injury or illness, regardless of whether it’s related to the job. Many employees are confused about disability insurance, however, because there are several different ways to ensure you get some form of income if you are unable to work. 4 Types of Disability Insurance Coverage Here are the different types of coverage you may be eligible for to protect you in the event that one day you’re unable to work because of injury, mental or physical illness, or, in some cases, pregnancy. 1. Social Security While there is no federal disability insurance, Social Security may cover you …

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Maintaining Employee Morale During Tough Times

Maintaining Employee Morale During Tough Times

Let’s face it, even in the best of times the economy can always add a layer of stress to life. Gas prices, higher food costs, layoffs – can all weigh heavily on your employees. According to the American Institute of Stress, occupational fears are the leading source of strain for Americans. So what can you do as an HR professional to help alleviate your employee’s anxiety without adding cost to your already reduced budget? Here are some inexpensive suggestions employers can use to help morale when times are tough: Be honest and inform employees on the economic status of the company. If business is good, discuss new projects and contracts. If business is not so good, focus on the integrity of the company and its management. Let employees know you care.  By providing information to staff about how to stretch a dollar, or where to find gas cheapest, you’re letting them know …

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Why and How to Avoid Politics at Work

Why and How to Avoid Politics at Work

It can be tempting to discuss politics at work. After all, whether it’s a looming national election or a local one, you have a perfect right to strongly endorse a candidate and to discuss who won a debate. But don’t do it at work! That’s the advice of business etiquette expert and communications consultant Barbara Pachter, whose client list includes Microsoft, Pfizer, Chrysler, Cisco and ConEdison. “The problem is that people often have strong opinions when it comes to politics. And in today’s super-charged political climate, it’s easy to say something that might insult or enrage your boss, a customer or a co-worker,” she explains. “Political discussions can quickly and easily escalate into arguments, sometimes heated ones.” Pachter, who’s the author of numerous books, including The Power of Positive Confrontation, says the following questions are “hot buttons” you should avoid: “Who are you going to vote for?” Never ask this …

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