Redefining the family-friendly workplace
Over the past several decades, the composition of the workforce has changed dramatically. Now, couples are increasingly dual-career, and single parents with children continue to seek outside employment at high rates. Consequently, both mothers and fathers likely have substantial responsibilities at both work and home. In response, organizations are implementing “familyfriendly” provisions to help their more diverse workforce better manage their work and family responsibilities and reduce work-family conflict. The evidence suggests that family-friendly provisions are more likely to improve organization-focused outcomes, such as recruitment and job attitudes.
As such, organizations that implement family-friendly provisions that effectively reduce work-family conflict will reap benefits in the form of improved worker productivity and health. This piece addresses the current state of the science on formal and informal family-friendly provisions, including their utility and effectiveness, and includes recommendations to better align family-friendly benefits with employee work and non-work needs.
Mindfulness at Work
Several decades of scientific research have confirmed that highly stressed employees are subject to considerably greater health risks, productivity losses,and medical costs than those with normal stress levels.
Given the burgeoning research supporting the benefits of “mindfulnessbased” programs targeting the roots of chronic conditions that undermine health
and productivity, eMindful participated in two randomized controlled trials (RCTs) evaluating “applied-mindfulness” content, and a scalable delivery platform
that allows employees around the world to participate in real-time “Webinarstyle” programs.
Both programs were found to behighly effective: the first in reducing stress and the second in reversing metabolic syndrome. The programs also improve satisfaction and health for employees, while simultaneously improving productivity and the bottom line for employers.
The positive results seen in these studies offer evidence that mind-body approaches to health improvement are an effective and targeted solution for employers who want to lower the costs associated with stress and help their employees achieve better overall health.
Skillsets for the new conceptual age
IQ (intelligence quotient) is considered to be the measure of an individual’s cognitive ability to solve problems, understand concepts, and process information. EQ, or “emotional quotient,” is far less studied or assessed and refers to an awareness of one’s own and other people’s emotions, the ability to discriminate between different emotions and to use emotions to direct thinking and behaviour.
While the value of the guiding genius and visionary leader in today’s hypercompetitive, meta-entrepreneurial, “innovate or die” business environment is still widely recognized, IQ and EQ are not, in and of themselves, innovation drivers and have never been guarantors of success. IQ has been used for many years to predict a person’s success, educational achievement, special needs, job performance and income. EQ can forecast a person’s success or challenges in interacting with the world (work, home, virtual). SQ (“synchronized quotient”) adds experiential/design thinking to the analytical and social thinking inherent in IQ and EQ. In many ways, SQ is an amalgam of both IQ and EQ, with the addition of specific abilities and strengths that are the foundation of design thinking. In short, SQ may be at the core of creativity and the basis upon which most, if not all, sustainable innovation occurs.