Make Corporate Wellness A Priority in 2015

Losing weight or living a healthier lifestyle is at the top of many New Year resolution lists for the year. Companies who choose to invest in their employees’ health by implementing a corporate wellness program demonstrate a vested interest in the overall well-being of employees. Incorporating a wellness program for your company helps eliminate stress, increases productivity and brings awareness to all involved.

According to Harvard Business Review, With an aging workforce and under recent federal health care legislation, companies can use the development of wellness programs to cut health care costs. Some companies, such as Johnson and Johnson, have already taken advantage of this incentive. Within the past decade, J&J has saved $250 million on health care costs.corporate_wellness_zoom

Did you know that creating your company’s wellness program can be as simple as implementing 3 ideas? Mastery presents a few ways to kick-start your free employee wellness program:

  1. Take An Assessment - Getting routine checkups can be a delightful or painful experience for some. Make it a motivating task for all of your employees by creating incentives for those who get their check-ups within a certain time period. Promoting preventive care helps your employees become more cautious of their health. This can also be completed by providing on site opportunities for blood pressure checks, blood screenings/drives, etc.
  2. Everyone Loves a Good Challenge – Create a water or workout challenge. There are several apps that will allow your employees to count their water intake or steps taken throughout the day. Separate your employees into two teams! Everyone loves a good friendly rivalry. The team with the most steps or drank the most water in oz. wins!
  3. Consider A Walking Meeting - Everyone enjoys a little sunshine or time away from the office. Consider hosting a meeting on the go. On-The-Go Meetings, according to an article in Talent Development are usually five to seven minutes, improve health by promoting movement, stimulate creativity and can become great brainstorming sessions.images-013

Making corporate wellness part of your team’s office culture also increases productivity within the workplace. Help your team fulfill their New Year resolutions by incorporating a corporate wellness program.  Read about how Mastery implements corporate wellness within our office culture and additional steps to developing your corporate wellness program by reading our previous blog, Get Your Team Physically Fit at Work.

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3 ways to succeed at work in 2015

Some simple changes can help you position yourself for success at work in the coming months.

Make 2015 a year of professional success!

The beginning of a new year is always a popular time to wipe the slate clean and try to form better habits. But rather than vowing, yet again, to lose 10 pounds, why not try to kick-start your career in 2015? Here are some ways to succeed at work over the next 12 months:

Ask for feedback:

Don’t just wait for your annual performance review to find out what you could be doing differently. Leadership development coach Todd Dewett tells Fast Company that the most successful workers tend to find one or two honest colleagues who are willing to offer them regular, consistent and constructive feedback about how they could improve their professional performance.

“Ask them what one thing you can do to become a better version of yourself at work over the next year,” he suggests. “You can make it even easier on them by not asking them to answer immediately. If they are willing to help, tell them to think about it and drop by later when they have a minute to share their ideas.”

Keep learning:

If you want to position yourself for professional success, it’s important to start viewing life as a classroom, taking an active approach to learning. You don’t have to take on the stress and expense of going back to school. Instead, invest a little time and money into an online learning course like the ones we offer at Mastery Technologies. You can improve your skills and build your knowledge base from the comfort of your own home.

Learn to manage stress:

Learning to manage your stress more effectively will almost certainly improve your professional performance, your personal relationships and your physical health. Whether you take an online course on stress management or simply hit the gym more often, try to make 2015 your least stressful year yet!

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How To Avoid Bad Communication in 2015

While many are gathering their new years resolutions, many employees are placing “improving their communication skills” at the top of the list. Poor communication can be a hindrance in the workplace as well as potential business partnerships.

From paying more attention in conversations by taking notes to watching your tone or approach when speaking, all of these skills can help you take your communications skills to the next level. Developing and executing an effective communication plan can assist you in having your best year yet.comms

It is estimated 14% of each workweek is wasted as a result of poor communication. In fact, miscommunication can cost an organization 25% to 40% of its annual budget. Now, we can see why employees are placing improving their communications skills on the top of their resolution list for 2015.

Mastery wants to call your attention to three effects of bad communication that can be avoided:

  1. Decrease in Productivity – Everyone desires to be productive in their positions. High productivity drives any business. When bad communication seeps in, employees can easily lose focus and get distracted.
  2. Low Morale – Not understanding a task or a breach in communication can also lower an employee’s morale. To increase an employee’s morale, companies can provide a work-comm6working environment that fosters growth and communication, which in return increases the employee’s confidence.
  3. Mistakes - As we learned earlier, poor communication skills can breed costly mistakes. Encourage your employees to ask questions to prevent misunderstandings.

In addition to pointing out these effects, Mastery wants to help your employees reach their full potential and become more effective communicators in 2015 with these courses:

For a complete list of Mastery courses, visit www.mastery.com

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Mastery Technologies Enters 2015 As One of the Nation’s Best and Brightest Companies to Work For™

101BB_logo_NationalEmbracing an award-winning year, Novi-based Training Content Network, Mastery Technologies closed 2014 off with being given the honor of being named one of the Nation’s Best and Brightest Companies to Work™ as sponsored by Corp! Magazine, Baudville and NABR.

Mastery Technologies was recognized as one of “Metropolitan Detroit’s 101 Best and Brightest Companies to Work For™” by  Michigan Business and Professional Association(MBPA) in late September of 2014. The company was honored for their impressive value and business results, providing not only exceptional business but producing richer lives and building stronger communities through their daily efforts.  A complete list of the nationally recognized companies can be found by visiting: http://www.101bestandbrightest.com/winners/2014/national

Mastery Technologies was also awarded the 2014 DiSciTech Award in the digital category by  Corp! Magazine for its mobile-­friendly Video On Demand (VOD3) platform. Committed to producing excellence within the e­learning industry, Mastery provides employers with the tools necessary to provide employees with on-the-go, video-based training. Mastery’s VOD3 standardized platform provides continuity in user experience from one course to the next. VOD3 courses play on all devices and browsers, giving users the ultimate flexibility in when and where they can access training assignments.

For a complete list of Mastery courses or additional information visit www.mastery.com.

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New Year, New Attitude!

The start of the New Year is the time to set resolutions for where you would like to see yourself grow professionally in the coming year. It’s stated that 75% of employees are unhappy about their current job or employment status. With workplace resolutions, employees have an opportunity take matters into their own hands. According to statistics, over 60% of New Year’s resolutions fail.

In order for an employee to meet their New Year’s resolution, it’s important to have a positive attitude toward their current work situation. This year, will your employees be within the 40% that succeed and find happiness and joy within the workplace?

Author and mental health coach, Deborah Day says “The more you take responsibility for your attitudes, the more you can adjust yourself in a forward thinking manner.”

shutterstock_62795851Walking into 2015 with a positive attitude can catapult your productivity within the new year, which will be profitable for your company’s bottom line. Mastery wants to provide you and your employees with three career attitude boosters to help your entire team reach their professional resolutions for 2015.

  1. Be Enthusiastic – Enthusiasm is contagious. Being enthusiastic about your work comes from first making a mental decision to do so. You control your energy concerning your position and work presented to you.
  2. Re-kindle the fire - Practice past victories. Remind yourself of what excited you regarding your position when you first started. In 2015, strive to go above and beyond when it comes to your position. Research new methods or trends within your field. Make it a point every single day to stay on top of your game.
  3. Just dance! - Music is proven to be an attitude booster. When working on a project, turn on your favorite tune to keep focused and to eliminate distractions. When someone’s favorite tune comes on, they find themselves in a great mood. Get your dance on!

Mastery offers a list of courses to help your employees stay productive within the new year. For a complete list of courses, visit www.mastery.com.

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Master Being Detail Oriented in 2015

Paying attention while working in a fast-paced or slow environment is a fundamental factor to an employee’s overall professional growth. From the employee to the company, when one overlooks details, it unfortunately becomes a costly mistake for all those involved.

According to a study completed by Gloria Mark from the University of California, Irvine, it takes approximately 23 mins for a worker to get back on task after being distracted. Gallup research shows 13% of employees around the world are actively engaged at work, andfile_86_107 more than twice that number are so disengaged they spread their negativity toward others.

The age-old sayings, “The devil is in the details” and “failing to plan is planning to fail” ring true. In 2015, Mastery wants to help you become more attentive to details by providing you with these 5 tools to ensure a year of successful project management:

  • Where’s your to-do list?Create a detailed outline to help you stay focused on each task at hand. Visually seeing your list helps you develop a guide and  provides you with an outline in order to eliminate frequent interruptions and distractions.
  • Eliminate distractions - Do you keep your cell phone or iPad/tablet on you? Reduce the time you use your cell phone while completing tasks or frequently checking your e-mail or text messages by keeping your cell phone further than arm’s reach away. Easily distracted by the noises around you? That’s nothing a pair of headphones can’t handle. Headphones help eliminate the outside noise and a little music might even keep you focused and driven.
  • Schedules, Schedule, ScheduleDevelop a set amount of time for each task. This helps you stay focused.Attention-to-detail-503x277
  • Communicate  –  Taking notes or asking questions helps you remain productive, detail-oriented and attentive to each task at hand.
  • Rest, Rest and More Rest - Take care of yourself. Get the proper amount of rest and exercise. Maintain a healthy diet. With these three things, an individual will remain sharp and on top of their game.

Walk into 2015 with the confidence that will produce an outstanding year of productivity for you and your company. For a complete selection of training courses offered visit www.mastery.com

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New OSHA reporting requirements go into effect on New Year’s Day

OSHA hopes to encourage safer workplace practices with its new reporting rules.

OSHA hopes to encourage safer workplace practices with its new reporting rules.

Last September, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced the adoption of stricter rules for reporting workplace injuries. After months of talks with industry representatives, those new rules will officially go into effect on January 1, and will increase the need for companies in potentially hazardous businesses to step up their safety measures.

Until New Year’s Eve, companies are only required to report work-related fatalities and incidents that lead to the hospitalization of at least three employees. As of 2015, businesses will have eight hours to notify OSHA of any fatality, and 24 hours for any hospitalization, amputation or loss of an eye. The rules were adopted in response to the publication of the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ annual report, which showed that 4,405 workers were killed on the job in 2013 in the U.S.

“We can and must do more to keep America’s workers safe and healthy,” said Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez. “Workplace injuries and fatalities are absolutely preventable, and these new requirements will help OSHA focus its resources and hold employers accountable for preventing them.”

Assistant Secretary David Michaels, the head of OSHA, called hospitalizations “sentinel events” that indicate the need for improved safety. The agency will open an online portal in order to facilitate the reporting process, and will publish injury reports on its website in an effort to encourage safe practices by targeting companies’ public image.

The most effective way to achieve OSHA compliance is through workplace safety training. With adequate guidance, workers and supervisors alike can learn how to identify and neutralize potential safety hazards. Mastery Technologies offers an array of workplace safety courses to meet companies’ specific needs.

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A Smile Goes A Long Way – Start 2015 with a Smile!

images (1)Did you know that forcing yourself to smile can boost your mood? Or, that smiling is a universal sign of happiness?

Within the workplace, smiling can go a long way. As small as it can be, a smile can change your entire mood and set or improve the atmosphere for others. It’s safe to say that smiling is contagious in and outside the workplace. Smiling shows that one is happy, enjoys their job and wants to see others smile.

According to an article published by Sunwarrior, smiling can slow one’s heart rate, as well as relax the body. People who smile or laugh often are less likely to develop heart disease. Lowering your heart rate allows the heart to work without overworking. Stress within the workplace affects not only your mind but also your body. Studies have shown people smile 5 to 20 times a day, and 28% of the smiles that occur over 20 times per day happen while at work.

Smiling not only exudes confidence but also relieves stress. Something simple as a smile, whether talking on the phone or being with a customer face to face can benefit your business greatly. It is said smiling can increase productivity while performing tasks and can instill trust between a customer and a sales associate.Russian-Smile-11

Did you know smiling can boost your immune system? When you smile, your body is more relaxed, contributing toward a stronger immune system and better health.  So, why not smile?

Mastery wants to help keep your customers happy and your employees productive in the new year. Mastery’s “Smile! Customer Service” course expounds on the importance of supplying Sincerity, Motivation, Integrity, Laughter and Enthusiasm when providing customer service.

In 2015, remind your employees “The best thing to do with a smile is to give it away!”

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How understanding habits can improve safety, increase revenue

A company's institutional habits influence how workers communicate.

Understanding your company’s institutional habits can help you implement positive change.

In his best-selling book “The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business,” Charles Duhigg explores the ways that we form and break habits and how those habits influence outcomes. According to Duhigg, understanding habits can transform our lives and businesses for the better, while ignoring them can set us up for repeated failure. He says that each habit is a behavior loop involving three parts:

  • Cue: A trigger that catalyzes the habit loop. This might be a time of day, a sound or a feeling.
  • Routine: The habitual behavior itself.
  • Reward: The motivation for engaging in the habit, which may exert a stronger pull on behavior the more often a behavior is repeated.

Through employee training, you can eliminate, change and create habits to improve safety, profit and work environment. Duhigg provides the example of aluminum production company Alcoa, which when CEO Paul O’Neill took over as CEO, was struggling with internal political conflict and poor production performance.

“When he first got hired, everyone expected him to come in and say, ‘I’m going to concentrate on profits and efficiency and making people work harder.'” Duhigg tells NPR. “But instead what he said was, ‘My No. 1 priority is transforming worker safety habits within this company, so that we have zero injuries’ — which is a big deal in a company where all of your employees handle molten metals.”

O’Neill overhauled Alcoa within just one year — making it one of the safest work environments in the world, while also leading it to record profits. When he retired 13 years later, the company’s net income had increased five-fold. It all started with what Duhigg calls a “keystone habit,” or one that influences an organization’s larger culture. In this case, just by focusing on safety, Alcoa’s new CEO was able to implement radical change across the board.

Specifically, O’Neill insisted that any accident (the habit cue) trigger an immediate, critical and thorough incident review (the habit routine), with the promise that this would make Alcoa a safer place to work (the habit reward). He encouraged workers to call his home phone number if they reported a safety concern to their manager that was ignored. Soon, O’Neill was also getting employee suggestions that helped streamline production processes and increase profits. These changes made the company less dangerous while also encouraging a culture of innovation, communication and problem-solving.

Of course, changing a keystone habit is easier said than done. It requires concentrated effort, a strategic approach and dedicated employee training. That’s why Mastery Technologies offers a variety of online courses to help you improve your business. Whether you are interested in implementing safer on-the-job routines or improving in-office communication, we have learning resources to meet your needs.

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Master this skill that many managers lack

According to a Harvard Business Review survey, employees want corrective feedback, but managers hate to give it.

As a manager, are you comfortable offering corrective feedback?

We have previously discussed on this blog the importance of giving your employees regular performance reviews in a skilled, thoughtful and sophisticated manner. Forbes calls the ability to offer both positive and negative feedback a foundational managerial skill, an assertion borne out by an ongoing study recently outlined in the Harvard Business Review (HBR).

Unsurprisingly, almost all 899 survey participants expressed a strong aversion to criticizing subordinates’ work. Anyone who has worked as a manager knows that it can be incredibly difficult, uncomfortable and unpleasant to give employees negative performance reviews, even if it is intended to help them get better at their jobs and move forward in their careers.

However, the survey found that workers are far less averse to “corrective” feedback than many of us assume. In fact, many respondents said they prefer hearing constructive critiques to praise, agreeing by a three-to-one margin that the former does more to improve their professional performance than the latter. In this case, it seems it is much easier to receive than to give. These findings illustrate that, while it may be hard for you, as a supervisor, to offer corrective feedback to your team, they likely want to hear it.

Finally, because so few managers are comfortable giving constructive criticism, anyone who does so with ease, confidence and finesse will undoubtedly stand out in their field. By mastering this skill, you’ll help your employees succeed while also advancing your own career. If you are a supervisor or executive who would like to be more adept at offering corrective feedback, invest in one of Mastery Technologies online management training courses. Courses cover topics such as leadership, feedback and recognition, decision making, delegation skills, and mentoring and coaching.

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