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LifeWorks is a not for profit organisation that provides family, couple and individual
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Welcome to the Summer 2015 edition of the LifeWorks in the Workplace Relationships Matter, in this editon we cover: 

MAINTAINING THAT HOLIDAY FEELING FOR LONGER: Rebecca Henshall shares some quick tips to maintain that refreshed holiday feeling as we kick off the new year.

SOCIAL MEDIA AND THE WORKPLACE: Leah Walls looks at how Social Media is adding to the increasingly tenous separation between work and after hours conduct.

EAP INFOGRAPHIC:  Know the facts about why 90% of fortune 500 companies have an employee assistance program in place.

WEBINAR - MANAGING MENTAL HEALTH IN THE WORKPLACE: In a LifeWorks first, Senior Consultant Rebecca Henshall will be delivering a webinar on mental health awareness in the workplace.

LifeWorks in the workplace for all your consulting, training, eLearning and EAP needs..

Call 1300 543 396 and ask for Jane Smith


Picture of Rebecca Henshall

By Rebecca Henshall - Senior Consultant

   

10 Tips for maintaining that holiday feeling for longer

So we are back at work... the new year has begun and all those good intentions... well, um...it's already so busy! There has been lots of buzz and research in positive psychology in the past 20 years and it has something to tell us about how to maintain our resilience and flourish into 2015. Here are some quick tips to maintain that refreshed holiday feeling as we kick off the new year...

  1. Gratitude – every so often during your day or at the end of the day think of a few things you are grateful for. E.g. I managed to get that parking space when I was running late, I got to walk the dog around the block, my newborn slept in for an extra 10 minutes. Remember it can often be the small things that count.
  2. Savour a memory – reflect on, or even better, share with someone a positive memory from an experience in your life – it could be recent or from long in your past. Share what makes it so memorable and what kinds of good feelings it gives you. E.g. feeling loved, compassion, awe, excitement.
  3. Think strengths – take a moment to think about some of the qualities you bring into your role that make it yours. We all have skills and knowledge but what about the qualities we bring to the roles we play. My mum brings creativity into everything she does – her prized garden or a simple meal. What qualities do you bring? Kindness, teamwork, honesty, critical thought, wisdom.
  4. Do activities where you forget time – when we were kids this seemed to happen naturally. As adults we may have to hone our strengths, find activities that bring uspleasure, that we would do just for enjoyment: painting, craft, singing, jogging, the list is endless.
  5. Volunteer or show kindness towards someone – if you are feeling sorry for yourself and a bit miserable about ‘your lot’ the quickest way to turn this around is to help someone. It may not be easy if you are also lacking motivation but guaranteed to work and quickly help you appreciate that you can be useful and have something valuable to offer.
  6. Meditate – for years I said “yep I’m going to start mediating this year” and I’d go to classes and walk away feeling deflated because I couldn’t “do it”. An hour feels like a lifetime when you’re supposed to be meditating and can’t do it!  Then I decided to take the pressure off and do it my way. I started doing 20 second meditations focusing on my breathing. Now I’m an expert on 1 minute meditations and doing this a few times a day helps me in countless ways.
  7. Stop and breathe and smell the roses – ever feel so rushed you don’t know how you are going to fit everything into the next hour let alone the rest of the day? Believe it or not, this is the best time to pause and notice something around you that catches your eye and enjoy it for a moment. E.g. a child laughing, a dog chasing a stick, the shape of a building, a piece of artwork in your office you’ve never noticed, the cuppa in front of you.
  8. Do something new or spontaneous – This can sometimes sound like a “chore”, another thing to somehow fit into the day. It can be a big thing like doing a course, joining a club, volunteering in a campaign, or it could be a once off such as, listening to a ted talk on a topic you know nothing about, tuning into a radio station or talk back show you never listen to, driving a new way to work, going to see a play, rodeo, concert, or folk festival.
  9. Be kind – the more stressed we are the less empathy we show towards other people. We are all trying to do our best with what we have and some days we manage this better than others. Trusting in the good intent of others, forgiving when we feel wronged and showing compassion helps us all have an easier day.   
  10. Sleep, exercise, drink water, eat healthy food – obvious and maybe even boring to some of you but this matters so much. It’s the foundation of who we are. How we nourish and take care of ourselves shows up every day in how we interact with the world.

And if you and your team need an extra boost to get through the year, contact LifeWorks and we can tailor a resilience focussed training program for you.

Click here for a list of current training programs or contact us on 1300 543 396 or email Rebecca at rhenshall@lifeworks.com.au

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Picuture of Leah Walls

By Leah Walls - Senior Consultant

   

If you wouldn't say it at work, don't say it on Facebook!

On the ‘To Do’ lists of many organisations this year will be creating a social media policy.

The evolution of social media and its impact on the workplace have been blurring the lines between work and home and presenting new issues for employers to manage. An employer may be held vicariously liable for any employee conduct that breaches workplace law, regardless of whether this conduct occurs during work hours on the premises, after hours at the local wine bar or via a pc, tablet or mobile phone.

People and Culture Strategies director and workplace law specialist Kathryn Dent, made the link between questionable social media activity after hours and the impact on relationships in the workplace and damage to business directly, when she said, “The prevalence of workplace bullying can be facilitated by social media, and so I think we might see more bullying claims that are brought with regard to things said in the online world, as opposed to the actual physical workplace.”*

A recent Age article**, reported the facebook comments of a Jetstar employee, Emily Capewell, who blamed passengers who were affected by Jetstar's computer glitch which caused delays for Jetstar passengers. In her post on Sydney Morning Herald's Facebook page Ms Capewell wrote" You are all a bunch of whingers! Grow up and think about the people that are working today and have to deal with all you nuts freaking about delays!"

At the time of writing there didn’t appear to be any evidence of action taken against Ms Capewell, although the airline had been quick to distance itself from the comments.  A Jetstar spokesman was referenced in the article saying that the company was in the process of contacting Ms Capewell and that "These comments are inappropriate and don't reflect the views of Jetstar or our employees.”

Ms Capewell and any employee who thinks they are safe to vent their spleen on Facebook would do well to look to past Fair Work Australia decisions. In one such example, O’Keefe v William Muir’s Pty Ltd T/A Troy Williams The Good Guys, Mr O’Keefe was dismissed after he made offensive and threatening comments on his Facebook account, venting about his pay and targeting another of The Good Guys’ employees. Kathryn Dent’s comment underscores the point; “Courts are starting to catch up with technology, recognising that social media can be damaging and employers have a right to protect themselves,”.

As social media is unlikely to disappear any time soon, Organisations need to adapt their thinking, their policies and their education of employees, to recognise that the separation between work and after hours conduct is a tenuous one.

*quoted in Ben Abbott’s article his ‘HC Online’  article ‘Clamp down on employee social media activity after hours’, 17/12/14

**Jetstar employee labels passengers complaining of delays 'a bunch of whingers' December 20, 2014 (2) Miss Han, Scott Parker and Deborah Gough

For more information about LifeWorks Equal Opportunity Training, including after hours conduct and social media, call 1300 543 396 or email workplace@lifeworks.com.au.

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Pic of Jamie Anderson
By Jamie Anderson - EAP Manager and Senior Consultant

    Image of the infographic to download  

Know the facts about why 90% of Fortune 500 have an EAP

Do you struggle trying to convince your colleagues or management about the potential benefits and worth of an Employee Assistance Program? Do they think it's just about ticking a box on the HR checklist? Well 90% of the US Fortune 500 trust in an EAP to enhance employee wellbeing, lift productivity and bolster retention, providing a return on investment of 5 to 10 times the actual outlay.

Download our infographic for tabling at your next HR meeting, or call LifeWorks on 1300 543 396 for an introductory chat about how we can assist you through an EAP to proactively manage risk, save costs and build a healthier culture.

LifeWorks provides Employee Assistance Programs to a range of corporate, governement and community base oprganisations. EAP services also include critical incident response. For more information please contact Jamie Anderson on 8650 6200 or email janderson@lifeworks.com.au.

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Webinar: Tuesday 14 April, 11AM - 12PM

   

NEW: Webinar - Mental Health Awareness in the Workplace

Research suggests that one in ten people are living with mental health issues. This means that there is likely to be people in most workplaces that have some type of mental health issues. For anyone leading a team, it can be challenging when you don't have the information and skills needed to support your staff.

Senior Consultant Rebecca Henshall will deliver our first LifeWorks in the workplace webinar on mental health in the workplace.

Key learning outcomes of the webinar will include:

  • Understanding assumptions and stereotypes
  • Understanding the continuum of mental health
  • Increase understanding of the characteristics and options for two common mental health disorders – mood and anxiety
Find out more and register here >> 

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