Four Common Myths Around Active Lifestyles!

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Active lifestyle

What’s holding you back from an active lifestyle?

When it comes to keeping fit, many of us are guilty of creating expectations on the time and level of disruption that such a change brings, which can put us off from pursuing an active lifestyle. 

Balancing Act

While staying active will affect your personal life, the idea that you can’t maintain a balance is untrue. Incorporating it into your lifestyle is far more progressive than most people realise, and the benefits are obvious. Like any other habit, it gets easier with time until it becomes almost second nature. 

One of the first things you should do is dispel the myths around active lifestyles. Here are four common myths we can squash right now!

1. There’s Isn’t Enough Time in the Week 

Many people have a fixed idea of how much time it takes to ‘get fit’. The truth is fitness regimes can (and should) be scaled to individual profiles. No one’s asking you to spend three hours in the gym every day when you already have a packed work schedule! From the number of days per week right down to the time per session, a good fitness plan should allow to make full use of the time you have available to you to get the results that you want.

Multitasking fitness

You can always make time to be active

2. Exercise is Exhausting 

Yes, training can be tiring, especially at the beginning. However, most take the exhaustive aspect of exercise a little too far. A good training session shouldn’t leave you feeling like a husk of your former self. In fact, research shows that staying active regularly maintains and even improves energy levels, focus and productivity. For this reason, it is not uncommon to see employers support fitness within the workplace via several initiatives like free fitness classes, discount gym memberships or corporate wellness programs.

Productivity

Working out doesn’t have to negatively impact productivity

3. Gyms Are So Expensive

While that shiny new gym with the oak interior, steam sauna and jacuzzi pool has every right to charge a hefty premium, it doesn’t mean that you can’t shop around! The fitness industry has come a long way since the ’80s – big-chain gyms and neighbourhood fitness clubs are no longer as polarising as they once were. It really isn’t all that uncommon to see smaller establishments offering the same staples as commercial gyms but at a lower cost, with some even offering special amenities such as 24-hour access. And even if it still exceeds your budget, there’s always the local park to get your sweat session on!

4. Staying Active Means Not Having a Social Life

You hear a lot of stories about how adopting an active lifestyles can affect your relationships, eg being phased out of a social circle for not wanting to drink alcohol the whole time. The truth is that there will be some people in your life who won’t be able to understand your desire to change initially, or even at all. The important thing is they understand how this is your decision and afford you the appropriate amount of respect. When it comes to your end, do your part by not shoving your new lifestyle change down their throats – adopting a holier-than-thou attitude is a sure-fire way to annoy people. You might even find that your active lifestyle leads to new relationships.

Friends at the gym

Social aspects of working out

Step in the Right Direction

Part of the reason why such myths exist is the level of change an active lifestyle requires. We are naturally averse to sudden change, so we come up with excuses to protect ourselves from the unfamiliarity. Yet, change has always been the thing that precedes progress. While you may never know for sure just how far you’ll end up going, rest assured that it will at least be a step in the right direction.

To discuss how you can motivate your workforce to be more active, get in touch with WellteQ today.

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How to Transform Your Employees from Detractors into Promoters

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One of the questions we hear a lot is: how can you use wellness programs to transform employees from detractors into promoters and significantly increase your Employee Net Promoter Score (eNPS)?

What is eNPS?

The eNPS approach is a relatively new phenomenon but it is fast becoming a powerful tool for savvy employers. It was adapted from the Net Promoter Score (NPS) metric, which is used to measure customer loyalty by asking how likely, on a scale of 0-10, they are to recommend a product or service: 0-6 (detractor), 7-8 (passive), 9-10 (promoter). You then calculate the NPS by subtracting % of detractors from % of promoters.

However, the difference is that the eNPS measures employee loyalty through the question: “How likely are you to recommend this company as a place to work?”. It’s a pretty brutal scoring system, with only the super-engaged employees becoming promoters.

WellteQ has been proven to significantly improve eNPS

Calculating your eNPS score

But why all the fuss about eNPS? While the system is not perfect, with several critics calling for more expansive measurement criteria, there’s beauty in its simplicity. Asking employees one simple question is a low barrier to gathering feedback on work culture and, if used periodically, can provide good indication of employee engagement. However, anyone who’s worked in HR will tell you it’s hard enough to implement an eNPS, let alone measure it.

Healthy Employees Are Happy Employees

At WellteQ we take an altogether more holistic approach to understanding employee engagement. We believe that employee wellness is intrinsically linked to employee engagement – by improving your exercise regime, nutrition, sleep quality, mental health and financial wellness you can boost your happiness at work, thus increasing the likelihood of recommending your employer.

Happy employees

Healthy employees are happy employees!

One important aspect of employee wellness is stress. A recent case study shows 44% of employees reporting significant reductions in stress at work after the wellness initiative. Perhaps a more surprising result was that 44% of employees also reported a strong decrease in stress levels at home.

WellteQ step challenge among employees from case study

Stress levels pre/post wellness program

The Net Result

By measuring stress and other human factors across our wellness initiatives, we have seen a dramatic rise in the eNPS score ranging from 18-73%.

However, perhaps our most exciting finding is that employees who measured as least engaged before the wellness initiative made the largest positive shift after the initiative – truly transforming detractors into promoters!

Positive Perception

The overarching participant feedback was companies investing time and money in wellness initiatives showed they truly cared about employee wellbeing. This created a much more positive perception of that employer.

This is just one example of how WellteQ leverages technology and analytics to drive demonstrable ROI on employee engagement and wellness.

To discuss how you can turn your detractors into promoters by maximising employee engagement, get in touch with WellteQ today.

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Give up alcohol for a month

High and Dry – Why You Should Consider Dropping the Drinks This July

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Give up alcohol in Dry July

Bin the booze this Dry July!

 

Since as far back as mankind can recall, no consumption habit conveys a more socialising effect than that of alcohol. Whether it’s for letting off steam with colleagues after a hectic week, reconnecting with old friends or firming up business relations, grabbing a drink at the nearest pub seems to have cemented itself into our modern culture. In celebration of Dry July, consider putting down that drink and picking up a healthier habit instead.

Are You Ready for Dry July?

Yes, this July is all about hanging your booze mugs out to dry. While we’re all aware of the obvious benefits of staying sober (no more hangovers!), there are many other changes associated with adopting a teetotal lifestyle.

Whiskey-soaked Social Bonds

A huge majority of adults like to unwind and socialise over a few drinks, and many of our friendships are actually based around our shared love of alcohol. Yet, passing on the bar over the weekend can be quite a revelation. 

If you manage to rope your friends or colleagues in to join you in Dry July, then congrats – you’ve got a real bunch of pals! While it may seem like the absence of alcohol diminishes the joy of socialising, it actually gives you the opportunity to explore other activities with your friends – park yourselves in a board game café for an afternoon, race each other around a go-kart track or even join that circus fitness class you’re been talking about for ages!

You might very well find that you enjoy these alternative activities more than chugging on a flat beer.

Jump on the Wagon

Here are five other reasons that you should consider lowering your alcohol intake:

1. More money in the bank

Life’s too short to waste on lousy booze, but decent drinks don’t exactly come cheap either, especially if your city has a hefty tax on alcohol. Ultimately, a smaller (preferably non-existent) bar tab means a healthier bank balance. That means you get to either put more away for yourself or have more to play with when the time comes to splurge!

2. Increased productivity

No one likes being at work when their head feels like it’s hosting a party of overenthusiastic woodpeckers. Aside from not having to deal with hangovers, halting the drinks also frees up a bunch of personal time you never thought you had. You can pursue healthier and more restorative activities with your free time, which will lead to you feeling more refreshed and motivated when the time comes to get down to business.

3. Look (and feel) better

Most people who’ve dropped alcohol would agree that the changes are noticeable almost immeditely: weight loss, increased energy levels and improved sleep quality are just some of the physical benefits you can expect to receive.

4. Improved mental health

Alcohol is a depressant, so the more you drink, the more likely you are to feel blue. Easing up on the drink can improve mental wellness, eg less mood swings, decreased anxiety and increased motivation. 

5. Better judgment

You’re also less likely to make hasty decisions while inebriated – the kind that you always end up regretting immensely. You know exactly what we’re talking about – drunk texting is never a good idea!

Last Orders

You don’t have to stop drinking altogether if you’re the sort that enjoys some tipple every now and then. Leading a balanced lifestyle can include indulging in certain vices occasionally, as opposed to maintaining a regular habit of downing several glasses of the strong stuff. Take the time to find something else that you’d enjoy, and you may end up re-evaluating your view of drinking. Or at least try going dry for July and enjoy the benefits!

Team WellteQ are doing Dry July… follow our highs and lows on Instagram!

To discuss how WellteQ can help transform your workforce, get in touch today.

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Top 5 Tips to Improve Employee Engagement in APAC

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On the back of a recent Colliers International report that APAC countries are losing billions of dollars a year from health issues, employee wellness is now a key business component for HR teams across the region.

So, without further ado, here are WellteQ’s Top 5 Tips to Improve Employee Engagement in APAC.

1. Realistic Expectations

Sadly, a major problem across APAC is employees working too many hours. This has been recognised at a governmental level, eg in Singapore the Ministry of Manpower has advocated a limit of 44 working hours per week.

However, change has to happen at an organisational level – managers need to open their eyes to the signs of burnout and mental health in workplace. While working overtime might help boost productivity in the short-term, the mid and long-term consequences can be severe.

Overworked employees may lose their motivation, become less productive or even leave the company.

In extreme cases, stress-related burn out can result in severe health issues and even lead to death. Tragically, this is so commonplace in Asia that many countries have their own word for “death by overworking”: karōshi in Japanese, gwarosa in South Korean and guolaosi in Chinese.

Effective leaders should discourage working overtime where it can be avoided. In some Asian cultures it is still believed that an employee should not leave the office before their manager – by leaving on time, the manager ensures that employees are not under pressure to stay at the office.

Employee engagement across APAC

Consistently working overtime can have severe health consequences.


2. It’s Good to Talk 

Internal communication is crucial to improving employee engagement, but this is something that has often been criticised across APAC. Whether it’s a corporate or a start-up, it is a manager’s duty to hold periodic appraisals with their employees.

These meetings are crucial for an employee to gauge how their performance is being measured and evaluated. It also gives them the opportunity to have transparent conversations about salary career progression. A good manager will also use this opportunity to identify and solve any issues that may inhibit the employee from carrying out their work.

Managers should proactively encourage employees to have these appraisals, as opposed to employees continuously chasing for it.

However, 1-on-1 meetings may not always allow an employee to air their grievances. By conducting employee surveys regularly, a company can allow unhappy employees to open up anonymously without fear of reprisal. This type of feedback is crucial to improve the Employee Net Promoter Score (eNPS).

3. APAC Wellness Programs

The Colliers International report found that “wellness is becoming a key component of workplace strategy with corporates increasingly looking to design the best workplaces to enhance employee engagement and productivity”.

In this increasingly digital age, traditional wellness programs are becoming less and less effective. Instead, organisations are looking at data-driven solutions that can provide more accurate insights into their workforce than ever before, eg WellteQ integrates with main-brand wearables to focus on optimising health goals such as stress, fatigue, fitness, etc.

But a good digital wellness solution can do so much more:

  • Add a dimension of gamification by rewarding employees for partaking in cross-departmental challenges.
  • Leverage smartphone technology to communicate more effectively with connected employees.
  • Identify a workforce’s health issues – companies can enhance risk analysis capabilies in order to reduce health insurance premiums.
  • Incorporate employee surveys to measure the eNPS before and after a wellness program. At WellteQ we have seen a 40% in employee engagement after our wellness program.
WellteQ connects with wearables

Connecting wellness programs to wearables


4. Inclusion Policy

One quick way to ostracise an employee is by making them feel detached from the company. Creating an “us and them” gulf between management and the rest of the workforce can be extremely demoralising. This could include things like reprimanding employees for being late while at the same time being consistently late themselves.

There are a number of things managers in APAC can do to make an employee feel more included:

  • Allowing them the opportunity to own share options means they are more immersed in the success and failure of the company.
  • Injecting a vibrant social calendar into your organisation allows people to forge deeper connections with both their team and management.
  • Incorporating CSR initiatives allow staff to bond over important causes not related to their everyday work. CSR projects can be particularly powerful if there is support from senior management.

5. Moving with the Times

The face of business has undeniably changed over the past few decades. There are now a range of digital tools that employers can get their hands on to boost productivity, eg Slack (team communications),  Skype (video conferencing), Jamboard (virtual whiteboards), and many more.

However, the non-digital advancements have been just as important, eg introducing stand-up meetings as a way to cut down on unnecessary time wasting.

This attitudinal shift can largely be attributed to the rise in startup culture where bootstrapped entrepreneurs needed to streamline their businesses to make them as productive as possible. They started cutting out unnecessary rules that had dominated the corporate world for too long, so things like flexible hours, relaxed dress codes and quirky office spaces were introduced.

The startup scene is thriving in APAC and the corporate world is learning from it as a tool to improve employee engagement.

Co-working space across APAC

Flexible working hours, relaxed dress codes and quirky offices.


Putting it into Action

So that’s our Top 5 Tips to Improve Employee Engagement in APAC!

While this is all very well in theory, these type of changes are difficult to implement and will not happen overnight.

To see how WellteQ’s award-winning analytics solution can help you increase employee engagement, get in touch today.

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CEO Interview – Garmin Globetrekker Partnership

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