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Note: The views and opinions expressed here are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the position of the Morris County Chamber of Commerce.
Note: The views and opinions expressed here are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the position of the Morris County Chamber of Commerce.
MINI-GUIDE. Whether you are a business owner, executive/human resources professional, or other, give yourself 10 minutes to sit back and read this. It will make your company a magnet for employees, including you, who want to thrive. Then act on it.
by John Allen Mollenhauer “JAM”, Performance Lifestyle Coach
The employees coming back to the worksite post-Pandemic are not the same ones who left in March of 2020. Like most of us, our priorities changed because of the Pandemic. Before the Pandemic, most of us we worked from 7:00 am to 7:00 pm, daily, with travel added on to and from location-based businesses. This left us with little time for self-care, our families, and other life interests, at least during the work week. During the Pandemic, while working from home, and not having to travel to work, we began to have time for such “luxuries,” which are downright essential to wellbeing. We realized that we could have it all so to speak -- get our work done and see our families!
The Pandemic gave us a taste of working from home. While we still had busy schedules, with back-to-back Zoom meetings, we were able to take pep naps when we were tired or stressed, go for walks, see our children, and not spend 2-4 hours a day commuting. We realized we could do all of this – and still be productive!
The stigma of working from home was/is now gone. When everyone was working from home for a year, we could hear dogs barking in the background while talking to bank reps, the nightly news was filmed from home libraries, and late-night comedy was broadcasted from attics and spare rooms. Not everything was a big, costly production anymore. And just as there are plenty of real-life stories of isolation, depression, and weight gain, there are just as many or more stories of engagement, fitness, and happiness.
The stories of happiness came mostly from people who were prepared with a "performance lifestyle" mindset and specific skillsets pre-Pandemic. Those who were not used to living through dramatic changes, or clear on how to set themselves up for success in a new environment, suffered because they did not have the requisite lifestyle skills to maintain balance, health, and high performance.
"Employee Wellbeing Is No Longer a Benefit. It's a Strategy." ~ Arianna Huffington
In fact, according to the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), “Burnout [i] was high during the Pandemic as parents had kids home from school, online meetings took over our lives, and fear of not being employed became a primary driver to increase engagement, followed by mounting exhaustion.”
Generally, when employees are engaged, burnout usually decreases, while productivity and wellbeing increase. However, during the Pandemic, our wellbeing and engagement diverged and moved in opposite directions.
A Forbes article by Naz Beheshti, called “The Pandemic Has Created A New Kind Of Burnout, Which Makes Well-Being More Critical Than Ever,” stated "Some expected employee engagement to plunge because of the strains and uncertainties that came with Covid. The opposite happened. At least for a while, engagement shot up—reaching a new high of 40% (and 41% for remote workers) during June and July. Meanwhile, wellbeing sank as worry and stress took their toll." [ii]
It's called "The Wellbeing Engagement Paradox of 2020," [iii] as Gallup defined it; but it's something that can happen throughout the year, and in any year when we are engaged and seemingly thriving but our lifestyles are not fully supporting us and what we are up to in our careers or businesses.
According to Workstars.com, “burnout is the second leading reason why people leave their job.[iv] But burnout goes beyond unfair compensation, unreasonable workloads, and too much overtime, among other factors such as poor management, lack of precise alignment between work and corporate goals, and negative workplace culture.
Those factors suppress the expression of energy people may already have or literally tire them out and burn them out mentally and physically. Then, factor in the all-too-common work environments that are not health-promoting, with little outdoor exposure, almost no recovery time, poor food quality access, and limited physical activity, and employees literally "downward spiral[v]" and exit.
As Beheshti, states in her article, "The disconnect between engagement and wellbeing in 2020 reinforces my conviction that the idea of "work-life balance" is flawed. The term suggests an ideal ratio of work to life, when in fact, the optimal mix varies significantly from individual to individual. It can change day to day, from month to month and over the course of one's career. [vi]
At Performance Lifestyle Coach, we repeatedly urge clients to think not only about managing their time but more about managing their energy. We explain that instead of thinking in terms of “work life balance,” think in terms of establishing alignment between how your life is structured, your lifestyle and your goals so you can get your needs met while working. We work all the time, so you’ve got to live in the process.
We thrive and are at our best when engaged and energized in our personal and professional lives which are completely interwoven. Similarly, as Beheshti writes, “Energy is the best lens through which to determine the right relationship between work and life."
Viewed through that lens, this new variant of burnout is not unexpected. Patricia Grabarek, an expert in workplace wellness at USC, identifies three interrelated elements to the burnout she is now seeing in an LA Times article by Roger Vincent, called “Workers look to their bosses for mental health support. Many aren’t getting it”:
1) Emotional or physical exhaustion,
2) A sense of being disconnected from work or family, and
3) A feeling of being less effective." [vii]
So now, here we are. It's a new time, and for the most part, it's post-Pandemic. We are living in our “new normal.”
So how do you attract, retain, and maintain high-performance employees, who know how to manage their energy, and as a result, are happier and healthier?
1. Flexible work schedule at home, the office, and mobile.
A hybrid future
In looking for ways to navigate their way through all this change, employers should hold fast to one word – hybrid. A report by weforum.com, called “Survey: 40% of employees are thinking of quitting their jobs,” says “An inflexible, location-centered approach to work is likely to encourage 41% of people to leave and find somewhere more to their tastes.” Those who are thinking of going to live somewhere else while maintaining their current job might also find themselves thinking of quitting if their plans are thwarted. [viii]
What matters most is getting work done in ways that fit people's lives and works for the company. And this is not just for strictly work output purposes but also for connection and inspiration, support, and fun! This is what keeps people engaged. At home, at the office, mobile, we should be able to be where we need to be when we need to be there, for as long as we need to be there as long as objectives and goals are fulfilled.
What also matters is what you do with all that freed-up office space.
Use freed up space from fewer employees working full-time in your building, not for more "ping pong tables”, but for making sure that they get their number one need met — the need for more energy. You should consider installing an ATP Charging Stations℠ (more on this below) and promoting wellbeing at the front and center of your company.
Don't fight the natural drive people have to take care of themselves. Instead, make it central to your company’s culture. When you do this, you are on the path to creating what's called a performance lifestyle culture — a culture that supports your employees so they can crush your company goals.
That means going beyond just wellness days and weeks to on-site at-the-source-of-stress recovery. Let's face it, people, in general, are tired, including health experts. Tiredness is not something people readily admit to, especially in a corporate environment because they think it means something is wrong with them or that they don't have their "stuff" together.
A silver lining of the Pandemic is that it was not just one person who wanted to get out of the boat – everyone wanted to get out of the boat. For the first time, people had a chance to experience a change of pace -- and they liked it!
Now, how do we maintain a balance between the silver linings of the Pandemic (for employees) with the growing demands of the business (company)?
Having a corporate gym is not enough for employees because it doesn’t address the critical element all employees need, which is energy. There is a reason that people in general are always drinking coffee, and dealing with brain fog… It is because they need energy. Neither of these things helps, no matter how much coffee you drink or go to the gym; they do not address the type of energy people need.
The non-caloric, non-addictive, non-stimulant source of energy people need on a regular basis is to recharge at the cellular level. Everybody is made up of cells, which have the properties of a battery, and batteries need to be recharged to stay in use and deliver enough power. People often think they are ‘high energy” when they’re not because they can delude themselves and stimulate to keep going, at the cost of their health, and ultimately their wellbeing, which costs companies much more money due to their poor Performance.
So, what do you do?
2. If you are a medium to a large company, you put full body "ATP Charging Stations℠" at convenient junctions throughout the building. If you are a small business, you set up 1-2 recharging stations. If you are a micro-business—start-up entrepreneurs, service professionals, consultants, coaches, etc., you locate a retail performance recovery facility and build recovery into your and your employee’s days.
The crux of the emerging high-performance lifestyle [HPL] is the sufficient recovery of energy. While providing the staff with more motivation, incentives, and personal or professional development are good, they truly only work if the employed person is charged up and has the energy to do something with it.
Corporate America has taken notice, and an increasing number of companies are now offering HPL-related benefits — both as a recruiting tactic and to improve work performance.
"HPL is becoming a part of the benefits package that's going to power companies from a revenue standpoint and create bigger players in the space." ~ Steinberg, Axios.
What is a total body ATP Charging Station?
Nap pods have gained some traction,[ix] in recent years, as businesses are coming to realize that daytime napping is not laziness and comes with significant performance advantages--both psychological and professional[x]. But they are not regularly used because most people are sleep deprived,[xi], so napping can induce a sleep cycle (90 minutes) that gets cut short and can leave people feeling groggy during the day. Plus, non-performance lifestyle-oriented corporate cultures don't necessarily support this activity, even if they have nap pods.
Even working at home, most people don't have 90 minutes to spare in the middle of a workday to make up for the lost 1-2 hours of daily sleep loss most people experience.[xii] But there is a way to accelerate recovery and turn 15 minutes into the impact of a complete sleep cycle to recharge a person in an AM deficit, or deal with inevitable midday dips (which happen earlier and earlier these days) to give a person a chance at a solid second- half-of-the-day performance.
Recharging a person's body for 15 minutes in an ATP Charging Station℠, primarily with red and near-infrared light, combined with a nap that’s naturally included, provides not just a power nap, but now a "Powered Nap;” where at the same time, you are resting and proactively recharging the body/brain. It’s the most significant Performance improvement method there is.
It looks like a tanning bed, but it's not a tanning bed, and there's no UV in there. It's mainly red and near-infrared light that stimulates the respiratory chain (think electrons, life force) to accelerate the production of ATP—the chemical currency of everything in the body. In 15 minutes at any time of the day (not too late or you’ll be up for a while), The ATP Charging Station℠ dramatically reduces tiredness and fatigue and increases naturally occurring energy.
Elite athletes use these charging stations before they train or go on the field, and it changes their game for the better. As it works for them, it works for us. I learned this firsthand, after founding and running RegenUs Center to help people accelerate their energy recovery, reduce stress-pain and fatigue.
”I use an ATP Charging Station℠ 3-4 times a week during my busy days, and it is an advantage like nothing else I've ever experienced in 30 years of being in the human performance/potential industry. No method of "motivation" overcomes the buildup of energy debt better and more consistently than simply recharging energy. Energy is the crux of high Performance and proactive recharging my body is vital part of my life and workstyle.” ~ JAM
These stations are essentially Performance recovery centers. They help people get back in the game of their work/life, faster, stronger and feeling better. Nothing will make a person feel, think, look, and perform better than more vital energy.
If you want to increase Performance and have your company attract, retain, and maintain high-performance employees, you should adopt a performance lifestyle philosophy for your company. That "starts" by putting whole body recharging station(s) in your business.
It's a game-changer and will give you the ability to let incoming employees know that the company cares about them so much that they are going to be able to recharge their batteries during the day, so they can do their work well, and not be so tired when they go home.
Which brings up the third strategy…
3. If your company wants high Performance, teach the Performance Lifestyle® to your employees to change, improve, and optimize the way they live and work. Create a culture that thrives.
We are living in a performance culture today. The pace is fast. We are online and engaged ten – fourteen plus hours a day, whether it’s “work” or so called “life” or just “what you’re up to.” Burnout is rampant, and it's one of the top three reasons why there are more than 9.3 million jobs available, and a staggering 41%[xiii] of the workforce is wondering if they will come back or stay working as they used to after the Pandemic!
Teach them how to manage their energy like the pros do in the new flexible work environment that’s emerging today. Also, get them trained on how to develop a high-performance lifestyle.
Managing your energy is the key to everything. The most healthy strategies are all built-in already to a Performance Lifestyle, like eating predominantly whole food, nutrient rich foods and activating and strengthening your body, in multiple ways each day in whatever environment you are in; and that's just for starters!
Soon, you'll be able to help your employees unlock their superpowers by restoring their energy, regularly recharging, and managing their energy with the Performance Lifestyle Blueprint.
Ready to step up the game of your company? We can help you. Give us a call at 1-855-MyPL365 and we'll schedule a company assessment and help your company win over the second half of the year.
JAM (John Allen Mollenhauer) is a leading Performance Lifestyle Coach, entrepreneur, author, and speaker. He is an authority on living the High–Performance Lifestyle with an online training academy and community that teaches people how to manage their energy like the pros. He helps achievers get free of the hidden lifestyle challenges that distract and hold them back from living their full potential as they optimize the way they live for the energy, health, and high Performance they need to achieve their ambitious goals and thrive. Performance Lifestyle Inc is currently based in Florham Park, NJ, where he and his team run RegenUS Center to help you restore your energy for life. For a complimentary strategy session with JAM or a Member of the Lifestyle Coach team, click here.
Give it up for the downstate -- sleep | Sara Mednick | TEDxUCRSalon https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MklZJprP5F0 [xi] https://theconversation.com/why-are-we-so-sleep-deprived-and-why-does-it-matter-91803
Please Note: The views and opinions expressed here are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the position of the Morris County Chamber of Commerce.
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