Thursday, December 30, 2010

Writer's Block Obliteration & Destruction Tip #1

Okay here's the first of many ideas for you about how to break the dreaded writers block. Try the "Syncopated Walk":

How to do it:
Take a small notebook and pen with you and set out on a walk. Try to take a path you have never been down before, so that the sights will be fresh and different. Observe as you go, and every five minutes, stop to write something—anything—down. When you return to your workspace, use the most intriguing material to get you started on something bigger. Click here to get a free fax-back brochure for FrontLine Employee, the only fully editable, reproducible, web-usable, re-nameable, customizable, employee wellness and company communication newsletter in existence. You company newsletter is made easier by having super employee newsletter articles read to use or edit. And you can also get your own employee newsletter name and employee newsletter template.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Newsletter Topic to Consider

If you visit workforce.com, you will find a place where you can visit a forum where HR managers make posts and read posts about all sorts of problems. This is valuable stuff for your newsletter because it tells shows you in black and white and with numbers the concerns human resource managers have. Simply cruse the topics for discussion and hit the back post topics too. See what post topics are getting the he most "views". These are the concerns, arguably that HR managers have most on their minds. See if you can't create content around them. Here are only ten, but subjects over 2000 views number about 50.

Top Ten:
Text Messaging Policies and Issues
Employees Who Are Always a Little Late
Managing Mentally Ill Employees
Divorce and It's Affect on Workers
Unusual Bathroom Habits Due to Culture or Religion
Employees Bringing Children to Work
Stealing and Lying Employees
Childcare Referral Issues
Tips for Success in HR in Working with Managers and
Employees
Time Management

Can you imagine any articles? I can!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Do You Have An Internal Newsletter?

My name is Dan Feerst. I publish FrontLine Employee.

You might not have a solid employee newsletter, and because of that have communication problems and a lot unaddressed risks that newsletters help resolve.

FrontLine Employee is 100% customizable in MS Publisher or MS Word. It’s professionally written by licensed mental health professionals with 25 years minimum workplace experience, and it is completely unique. Nothing compares to it.

Four million employees read FrontLine Employee. Hundreds of employers subscribe, and that includes the HR departments of Tennessee, Ohio, and Washington states.

Helping overstressed employees and their family members, and reducing risk to employers inspired me to create this newsletter. Specifically, I wanted to write shorter, more useful, and punchier articles with plenty of how-to’s, tips, and action steps employees could sink their teeth into. Why? To help them and reduce workplace risk.

With FrontLine Employee, you edit or add anything you like “on the fly”. Do nothing—or insert your own articles, add photos of your staff, place it on your website, email it to employees, or send it home to family members. I am talking full control.

You can do ANYTHING with FrontLine Employee (except give it other companies). 

You can change the name of the newsletter, too if you like. Instantly you have your own customized newsletter that maximizes internal communication.

Do These “Behavioral Risk Exposures” Loom?

During the year, I target and discuss stress management, family wellness, nutrition, workplace communication, conflict resolution, improving productivity, improving relationships, dealing with difficult people, improving morale, staying safe, preventing injuries, getting help for personal problems, and improving one’s relationship with the boss!

Get this: You can email “www.workexcel.net/hotline.html” and suggest topics. What articles ideas will help your employees? Let me know! I use 95% of suggestions.

FrontLine Employee allows you—perhaps for the first time—to have your own personalized, monthly internal newsletter with none of the hassles. Subscribers love this!

No Invoice for Two Months

There is no risk to this offer whatsoever. You will get two or three issues before you see an invoice. You will quickly see the impact of FrontLine Employee and how beautifully it works for your company. You’ll also see that employees love it.

But don’t worry, if you don’t wish to continue, simply cancel. However, I don’t think you will want to cancel. Employees will fall in love with FrontLine Employee and it will solve your lack of having a great internal communication and wellness newsletter.

Phone My Cell: 843-367-0920 or click here to load brochure


Sincerely,

Daniel Feerst, LISW, Publisher

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Your Newsletter Name, Newsletter Title, and a Great Newsletter Masthead

Do you have a newsletter name yet? Click here to take a look at a few newsletter nameplates (PDF) that cost only $75 to produce a graphics pro. The graphic artist is Joe Russell, and FrontLine Employee has an exclusive bargain rate working with him. Do this. Send Dan you 1) Web site address. 2) Name for your newsletter. 3) Your company logo. See what Joe and produce for you. When you get your employee newsletter nameplate back, one change so he can redo it is free. After that, each change is only $10. But rarely do people ask for more than one change to nameplates that look this great. Go here to contact Dan Feerst from his main website, WorkExcel.com

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Save Employee Lives with Your Newsletter

Don't laugh. Every company should have an employee newsletter for one important, even paramount reason. It will save lives. Are you in the least bit skeptical about this point? I think this reason is the one that gives me the most satisfaction in writing employee newsletters.

The wonderful thing about employee newsletters is the captured audience that comes with them--employees on the job. The most direct way to save lives is to discuss health care problems with short, punchy narratives.

(Remember, I never advocate articles longer than say 250 words or shorter than say, 75-80 words. This keeps employee moving from one article to the next. Less is more when it comes to newsletter articles.)

As an example, everyone knows that the most common form of cancer is lung cancer, primarily among smokers. But healthy employees who don't smoke, are perfect in their weight, and who work out with low cholesterol think they are completely immune from other other types of cancer.

Well, if they are not thinking that they are immune, they certainly don't have cancer fears at the top of their mind. They should if they have not been screened for colerectal cancer, and are over 50 years of age. This is the most incidious and sneaky cancer.

So, below is an example of an article on this topic. You can mimic the energy and frankness of this article for others that you might write yourself.

Imagine a company with 300 employees reading it. Do you think it will cause a few to get screened for this cancer? Absolutely. So, include these types of articles in your newsletter periodically. Don't overdo it. Maybe twice a year. You will definitely be doing the right thing.

Know about Colorectal Cancer

If you don’t smoke, what cancer presents the highest risk, even if you feel healthy as an ox? Answer: colorectal cancer (CRC). CRC is the leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States among nonsmokers. The good news is that CRC deaths are dropping because of education and the willingness of people to get screened for it. Nearly 50% of people between 50 and 75 years of age have not been screened for CRC. What about you? Don’t procrastinate with this one. Talk to your doctor or health care provider to learn about screening options, how early you should get screened, associated risk, and your next steps. Avoid being one of the 140,000 people diagnosed each year with CRC. Source: Centers for Disease Control, Press Release, July 6, 2010

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Free Article for You

Here's a free article for your newsletter. I wrote it but can't use it. It appeared in one of my April newsletters, but I can't use it for the others. So, don't use it if you are a FrontLine Employee subscriber. I can't use it because it will throw off my sequence. If you want it, download it here. You must add "by Daniel Feerst, WorkExcel.com". Thanks. The title of the article is "Keep A Stress Management Arsenal at the Ready". Talk to you soon. Don't retype the article. It is a pdf, but use the copy text tool to copy and paste to a document. You should not have to retype it, but you can if you wish.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Employee Newsletter Ideas: Promote Your Unpromoted EAP

About 70% of companies have employee assistance programs (EAPs). The percentage of true EAPs is up for debate, but essentially these programs help employees with personal problems that affect their lives or job performance.

Here the blog point: Do you know if your company has an EAP and are you periodically mentioning it and talking about its confidential nature?

About 30-40% of people who contact me don't know if their company has an EAP or they have never heard of an EAP or do not know how to contact their EAP, if they have one. Of the employees who do DO know about their company's EAP, 50% or better don't think "that" it is confidential, or in some manner or form don't trust it being confidential. If the person contacting me works for a police department, or some federal agency with significant national secuity implications, they are REALLLLY hestitant about confidentiality--almost every one.

Your newsletter should periodically talk about your business organization's EAP and its confidential nature. Does it? Saying that the EAP is confidential at the top of the newsletter masthead isn't enough to pentrate the fear barrier. You have to put a little more meat on the bones to make an impact on the very natural fear associated with whether or not something like an EAP is confidential. This is called "marketing confidentiality".

Of course, you have one less employee newsletter article to search for if you can plan ahead during the year and perhaps mention the EAP several times in this respect. (Please tell me your newsletter is more frequent that quarterly--and don't say employees already have too much to read. It's the lamest excuse I hear for not reducing behavioral risk exposures in the workplace via a newsletter.)

Marketing confidentiality increases use of the EAP, reducing risk, helps employees, helps family members, increases word of mouth marketing (your best friend), and makes the financial investment in your EAP pay off. That's a lot of stuff.

Start with an article that goes something like this, "Are you aware that in your wallet or purse, and the back of your insurance card is a number to our company's employee assistance program?..." Then discuss top management endorsement of the EAP, what it does, etc. Even have top managment sign the article, or make the article come from the CEO. That's even better strategy.

There are lots of ways to create an article on the subject of confidentiality and your EAP, but the point is, your company wellness newsletter or employee EAP newsletter is directly linked to beating back fear of non-confidentiality because you have a captured audience.

So, make your employee newsletter pay off and your EAP along with it. You can get a completely editable newsletter, possibly in the next 15 minutes to use--for three solid months. If you want your own name for your newsletter, and special masthead, you can get one. Learn more: Here are a few examples of customer mastheads for FrontLine Employee.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Make a Newsletter Avoid the Pain

If you have been tasked to make a newsletter for your company with the purpose being to help employees with health, wellness, and productivity content, start with MS Publisher if you are not an expert in more sophisticated software like Quark, InDesign, or more programs often used to make a newsletter in many larger companies. Don't panic about design. Very simple formats can look quite readable, neat, and clean. Admittedly that sometimes templates look like you obtained them from your Microsoft Office newsletter software, so you may want something that doesn't look too canned.

Some of the most expensive newsletters are extremely plain appearing. You will discover eventually, that content is everything. Having great employee newsletter ideas and employee newsletter topics that appeal to your workforce, and you put your newsletter on a cocktail napkin, and they would read it. A couple hints. Only use two types of fonts in your newsletter, and their bold and non-bold types. That's four visual differences in fonts. Choose another readable font for the body (the articles) and you now have a good balanced approach to make a newsletter look great. One of the easiest ways to have your own newsletter is to examine FrontLine Employee. The publication is completely editable and you can manipulate anything in it. The format is clean, simple, and it is so well accepted that the States of Ohio, Washington, and Tennessee use if or their employees. Don't underestimate simplicity. Success is attracted to simplicity, not complexity.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Choose Simpler Words for Your Employee Newsletter Articles

Always choose the simpler word when writing employee newsletter articles. Forget using the word "conundrum" to describe a big problem. Instead use "a big problem". You must draw a balance between writing how people speak, but ridding yourself of slang, contractions, and inappropriate grammar, etc., even if people do speak that way. And don't count on free employee newsletter articles available on the internet to always use the simpler word. It takes practice.

You may have employee newsletter ideas that really excite you. That's great. But realize that the more emotionally involved you are with the article, the more likely it is that you will write quickly and your mind will speed your thoughts up causing you to produce your employee newsletter too fast. It is easy skip sentences that should be included to help the reader grasp the full meaning of your article. So try to make sentences short, not long-winded. And think "process" as you connect one thought to the next.

As you write for your audience, realize a very important point: Your reader must interpret what you are saying one word at a time. They are reading what you wrote for understanding. You should therefore do the same thing. Be careful not to write for your own personal reasons. These might include impressing your reader, saying something profound, being angry, making a splash, getting something off your chest.

You can write for any of these reasons, but always put them second to the goal of writing for understanding. Did you know that the New York Times writes for a reader who has a ninth grade education? Keep this in mind and do the same, and employee newsletters that you write, will be completely read--and passed along to others.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Changing Employee Behavior for the Better

If you are an employer and you don't have a "work-life-health-wellness-productivity-stress management newsletter" (I call it an employee newsletter for short), you are missing a profound opportunity to influence behavior, reduce behavioral risk, decrease accidents, improve morale, stop negativity, influence positive change in the homelife of your employees, save money, reduce absenteeism ... and a host of other benefits.

The list of such benefits is enormous. I cannot emphasize this point enough when I talk about employee newsletter tips. Employee newsletter topics that relate to the most important issues in your organization can be brainstormed in minutes and articles gathered. Instantly, you have a newsletter tool to reduce costs.

All of this is inexpensive because you can acquire newsletter content from many sources and even a typed page of information for employees is enough to make an impact.

There are two important secrets however. You must, and should absolutely distribute frequently--I recommend once a month. Why in the world send such a publication quarterly? Also, one other point: Make articles short.

You have a captured audience. It's a beautiful thing. So, a punchy newsletter of two pages with short to-the-point articles will be picked up and read by your employees.

If your employees pick up a newsletter meant for them and it is a book of 4 or 8 pages, they will instantly feel like they are in a cluttered garage and put it down until later. We all react this way to "work" from time to time. But you do not want this to happen with a risk management tool that can influence positive change or prevent loss. Imagine inflencing an employee with an anger management problem, or even violence prone behavior with your newsletter?

Make your articles between 70 and 250 words, and vary the number of articles (I suggest eight) on a two-page newsletter. Put an image with each article.

Your organization buys expensive insurance to prevent financial loss. You spend money to protect your organization, pay workers' compensation bills, hire security guards, have lawyers to protect you, and spend enormous amounts of energy dealing with employee complaints, disciplinary matters, and having special events to improve morale -- pizza parties, off-sites, and birthday celebrations.

An employee newsletter can reduce the costs associated with each one of these things. I can think of an article that will directly enhance each of the forgoing.

So, if you don't have an inexpensive employee newsletter, you have a big hole in your risk management and employee benefit program. Fill it and reap the benefits for your work organization.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Respect in the Workplace--Behavior Change is Top Down

Let me take the long route to the real point of this article -- using your newsletter to help promote and generate respect among employees.

If you think that disrespect is an individual employee responsibility, you are 25% correct. The truth is that disrespect is contagious like the common cold. When one person is disresepectful persistently, and gest away with it, other employees frustrated by the behavior will soon lower their standards to cope with it in the same way. This turning to disrespectful as a solution can then become cancerous. Pretty soon, you can have your entire workplace at risk with people treating each other like crap. Why is this the case?

Disrespect is simply a modern day facet of other undesirable behaviors in the workplace such as abuse, workplace conflict, sexual harassment, racism, negativity, discrimination, anger management gone awry, and other issues all of which are part same continuum of human behavior--aggression. Aggression is a normal, necessary human capacity for defense and survival. The problem is that the behaviors just mentioned are inappropriately expressed forms of getting one's needs met in some capacity or another, especially at work.

Frankly, once you get practiced enough at it, being aggressive and inappropriate is a cheap emotional way of getting your needs met because you do not have to temper your inappropriate behavior with civility. (The behavior you learned well enough that your parents finally allowed you to come out of the playpen.) Of course, the origin of disrespect may be absent parents for many folks who never acquired these skills of respect. Any takers on that belief?

Civility is a modern day concept of self-imposed restriction on basal instincts that otherwise would predominate and completely ruin a civil society if it did not exist. It's why we have come at least this far in our evolution.

The bottom line -- respect is a organizational responsibility and one employee being disrespectful, like negativity in general, spreads like a virus among the workforce. So top management, and management employees in general, must first be training in respectful workplace behavior, and then you impart it to the rest of the workforce in that order.

Research respectful workplace issues and make them a regular part of your employee newsletter topics offerings. It will have an impact on your employees. HOWEVER---> keep your eyes open in your workplace for the type of disrespect that predominates there. It exists because all workplaces will from lack of a respectful workplace at some point. Other employees are witnessing the same thing. Then write about that type of behavior in general terms. It will be noticed and it will have an impact on your employees.

Never stop writing in your employee newsletter about disrespect, but title articles in positive terms. This is critical. For example, "How to Gain More Cooperation from Your Team" is positive. Articles with positive titles communicate a message of "enhancement" or "becoming more".

All of us naturally gravitate to things that will add to our lives and you will get more readers for your employee newsletter articles verus titling such an article "Stop Being Bossy with Your Team". Fewer people will read your employee newsletter articles because they are not hard-wired to be attracted to it and it does not appeal to self-interest as much as an article title which communicates "enhancement".

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Preventing Workplace Violence and Other Critical Education

Struggling for employee newsletter ideas? If you write a newsletter for your company, pay attention to the news. When an some extraordinary incident occurs such as workplace violence, or a tragedy like an earthquake happens, experts will come on television or radio to be interviewed by media professionals. At these times, you will be handed free newsletter content

These conversations will allow you to capture highly relevant and rich information orally presented by these experts that you can use in meaningful articles to help employees live better lives. Let me give an example.

The Hunstville Alabama female college professor who gunned down her faculty colleagues last week after being denied tenure, it elicited a string of media interviews about workplace violence. I learned several important points during these interviews over the ensuing days that I hadn't quite read or heard before. Bam! Employee newsletter article content and information for your story. One clear useful tip that "an employee who visits a shooting range" might be at higher risk of violence or "a belief that one is smarter than what what he or she is being given credit for by other people" give powerful clues to risk of workplace violence when the issues are examine in total. Make article hot and relevant, and do so by watching the mainstrea media news.

The point of this note is to let you know that their is information all around. True low hanging fruit. Go get it.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Get the Alcoholism Thing Right

If you author a workplace wellness newsletter or an employee fitness bulletin, you will someday, if not already, have the urge to write about alcoholism.

Don't think that this will be an easy scrabble. The economics and politics of alcoholism diagnosis, causation, treatment, and ongoing recovery are profound and convoluted. You must be prepared to have your worksite health program or corporate wellness services come under heavy scrutiny for discussing alcoholism in way that runs counter to the beliefs of others will feel affronted by your educational presentation--that at least for several hours or days cause the house of cards many addicts live atop, to come tumbling down. Count on whatever you say not being in conformance with many people's false, yet with a death grip held, beliefs.

But as much of a snarl as has been made over this biological, genetically induced, non-equal opportunity, chronic disease -- there is an answer and a clear cut way to explain it in a precise and inerrant manner.

Go to the American Medical Society on Addiction Medicine's Web site. The reason that you have never heard of this organization, despite the fact that its 4000 members are the world's foremost authorities on the nature and treatment of addictive disease, is because science flies in the face of the popular culture.

ASAM's strong position on alcoholismt does not serve many powerful economic interests that benefit from servicing alcoholics with completely bogus explanations of alcoholism that under gird their so-called treatment or beneficent activities.

The bottom line is that you must abandon your personal opinions and almost certain false beliefs about what alcoholism is in favor of facts. You will find everything you need at ASAM.org.

You will undoubtedly learn something magnificently new that will allow you to explain this disease to your readers. Almost no article you can possibly write will have as much of an impact in helping many and upsetting just as many.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Stress Management Tips for Employees

If you are not delivering a firehose of stress management tips to employees, you are missing the most important part of your employee newsletter and its power to help employees. You absolutely must do it, and you cannot assume employees won't eat them up.

I am have been a clinical social worker and EAP consultant for 31 years, and I will confess to you that three days ago I was fumbling through a pile of papers in my office and saw a list of stress tips. One of them was, "take a hot bath". You know what? I have done that. So, I became motivated to try it. Of course, I cannot count how many stress tips I have used and tested, but that that one I have never tried.

It was great. I took that bath at night after everyone in my family was a sleep but as a employee newsletter article goes, do not assume that stress tips have to be complicated. Just make them keep flowing.Employee Newsletter I recommend.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Write Newsletter Content as Do's, Don'ts, and Checklists

It's a fast-paced work-life we live, so you need to cut down on the narrative content of your newsletter articles. People who read your newsletter are not in a lounge chair. They are in go-karts with the accelerator stuck. So, you want your articles to be fast-paced with lots of to-dos and checklists. Most of the content I write for newsletter customers -- whether it's the U.S. Congress's employee newsletter content or the mom and pop store, I write in a way that people can snap up the information fast.

Here are a couple recent articles from this month's and last month's issues of FrontLine Employee and WorkLife Excel. They follow this format:

Avoid Mistakes at the Gym
If you’re using gym equipment to help create a “new you” in 2010, follow a few simple rules to keep yourself safe. Start with an OK from your doctor, and get expert advice on using gym equipment. The American Council on Exercise says the following mistakes are commonly made by new gym-goers: 1) not warming up prior to training (muscles need time to adjust to demands before you start); 2) lifting too much weight (gradual and progressive resistance is much better); 3) not cooling down after exercise (this lowers your heart rate and boosts flexibility); 4) not doing enough stretching after an exercise (this can help you prevent injuries); and 5) consuming energy bars and sports drinks during moderate workouts (unless you are working out for two hours a day or more, you’re piling on calories you don’t need). Source: American Council on Exercise.

Goal Achievement: Boiling It Down
There are thousands of books on goal achievement, but not all of them have a unique message. In fact, most boil down to four principles stated in many different ways: 1) You must decide precisely what you are going to achieve and accept no substitute for achievement; 2) you must decide that you will act vigorously and relentlessly to make the goal reality; 3) you must recognize progress and lack of progress so you can repeat, add to, or not repeat action steps accordingly; 4) you must abandon preconceived notions of what should or will ultimately work.

Feel free to use the above articles if you wish, simply add my copyright (c) 2010 by WorkExcel.com

Almost any newsletter article content can be reduced to bullets and to-dos. Try this approach and you will get more readers, and even better, you will have them looking forward to your newsletter! You can learn about an editable newsletter content publication here.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Is Your Quarterly Newsletter a Sheepish Apology?

What a weird question? Well, it's one of the many elephants in the Work-Life-Productivity newsletter living room, so let's discuss it.

Can a newsletter that you distribute too infrequently from your department make your program less visible and more likely to be cut? After communicating with hundreds of EAPs and watching what happens internally, I have slowly gravitated to an answer on this question. It’s “yes”.

It’s convenient not dealing with the distribution of a newsletter more often, but still appearing as though you are “doing something” to promote your EAP. Is this your mindset?

This vintage approach to communicating wellness information in a technological era has become almost an apologetic frequency as your newsletter sheepishly slips into employee in-boxes every three months.

I would like to make the argument that this is too infrequent and makes a statement about the importance of this material and your program, in particular.

Do you disagree? Consider why you do this. Is it because there is a history of EAPs always doing it this way because that is all that was initially available from vendor sources? So, by default, did it become the standard for EAPs, and you copied others? I think this is precisely what happened.

Since I joined ALMACA (EAPA’s early name) in 1978 – 32 years ago I have witnessed the evolution of this service. And, I have watched it grow more important.

With all the stress that employees face, and with the degree of importance that you place on your EAP as a life-saving and cost-saving mechanism, isn’t it a bit ironic that you only distribute a quarterly newsletter to employees when you could do it bimonthly or monthly for less, and with less hassle?

You may have a quick comeback — employees have too much to read! Don’t fool yourself. This is your codependency talking. You're giving in to a HR manager’s phone call telling you to slow it down about other material you may have sent. Or it's simply your imagination, because you haven't received such a phone call at all. You're just making this statement to avoid the work and it sounds damn good. I have caught many EAPs in this argument. It's not reality. This, too-much-to-read line is bogus.

If you are hearing this line, it is all about muscling you around and telling the EAP how to do its job. Why is that the most important thing employees read regarding their well-being and perhaps the one thing that they really look forward to most receiving, is the one thing that should be cut back?

What you’re hearing from HR, if indeed at all, is one HR manager’s opinion, or at best a manager’s opinion relayed via HR.

You need to understand something: HR managers don’t argue with top managers. They are their primary customers. Instead HR managers ask how high to jump. Corporations are on a big outsource-the-HR-departmet kick these days, and HR managers -- like EAPs are a threatened species.

I assure you that you are not getting the results of a survey that is supported by employee opinions.

Here’s the problem. Employee newsletters have historically been four pages. The problem begins and ends there.

Quarterly newsletters are always print or sub-links to the vendors own web site destroying your seamless look. They are expensive, with 500-600 word articles, and they are a vintage solution manufactured for EAPs in the early 1980’s when anything more frequent would be over-kill. Employees had more leisure time then to read these "books".

But the problem today is that they sacrifice your EAP or program visibility. You become less competitive with other things in the organization. You don’t want that. It will jeopardize your program.

You are sacrificing visibility and communicating the message that quarterly life-saving health and wellness information is quite enough. Trust me, you do not want to send this message.

An EAP newsletter is a resource, and visibility mechanism, and item of extreme interest to employees. And it is a way to compete against other things in the environment that are targeting the employee’s attention. You must not give in to the “stop distributing this material because our employees don’t have time to read it” mantra.

Instead, stop sending 4-page newsletters. Send two-page newsletters bimonthly or monthly.

Employees do not generally finish or complete four-page newsletters in my experience and in my view. This is another reason that you are locked into a 4-page solution distributed quarterly. It’s nuts to send it more often! And its expensive. So, change the model to the 2010 solution. Get out of the 1980's.

In this era, go for less content, shorter more action-oriented tight copy, and more frequency with the ability to edit the content yourself on the fly. This way your EAP will stay visible, be perceived as being more valuable and relevant, and be more effectively mainstreamed. Anything less and you’re in danger of being seen as expendable during next budget cycle.

Distribute EAP-wellness-productivity newsletters via PDF. Post them on your web site and send a link to employees when they are added to the site.

Distribute print to employees without computers, or send copies to appropriate locations. Your utilization will increase, your visibility will be enhanced, you will spend less, and employees will read more, more frequently. Your EAP will be talked about more often, and this is what you want.

A two-page monthly newsletter is 50% more content than a quarterly four-page newsletter! (Read that again.) And, the two-pager is more likely to be completely read. Are you with me?

You’ll will also reduce waste, motivate more self-referrals, and reduce more risk to the organization with a two—pager, monthly newsletter. Oh, and it will cost less than print. Everything I am writing here is pure logic and it holds up in real life.

Still need paper, make copies from your clean PDF supplied by the vendor. Can’t get permission from the vendor? Dump the newsletter vendor!

FrontLine Employee and WorkLife Excel are your modern day solutions to effective employee and EAP newsletters.

You can get brochures here:

FRONTLINE EMPLOYEE EAP WORKPLACE NEWSLETTER

WORK-LIFE-EXCEL WORKPLACE NEWSLETTER

Monday, January 11, 2010

Employee Stress: What Can You Do About It

A recent press release issued by the Conference Board Research group has discover that employees hate their jobs more than ever.

65% of employees hate jobs! Truly amazing.

What are you doing about this problem? The impact on productivity, and especially innovation and creativity to American business is enormous, and let's face it folks, -- this is a crisis.

There are several ways to help employees feel better about their work, but the most important underlying mechanism to make it happen is effective communication that helps employees feel like they are not simply cog in a wheel.

Here is an article that you are welcome to place in your newsletter. Simply be kind enough to place "Copyright 2010 by DFA Publishing, LLC. Used with Permission".

TITLE: Getting More Excited and Finding Meaning in Your Job

Let’s face it — not many of us will ever land our dream job. Instead, most of us find some acceptable compromise between salary, perks, job security, schedule, and job satisfaction. We don’t expect to have it all; we just want balance. But what happens when external obligations make you feel trapped in a job that you can’t stand?

The bottom line: You must figure out how to feel better about an unchangeable situation.

What Does “Making a Difference” Mean?

Everyone has moments when they ask themselves, “What am I doing to make a difference? Does what I do really matter?” Unless you work for a charitable organization, finding meaning in your work can be elusive.

Making a difference doesn’t have to involve grand gestures. People make small differences every day, even when their work isn’t intrinsically altruistic. Simple kindnesses such as a pleasant greeting or words of encouragement when a coworker is having a rough day can have significant impact on the well-being of others.

Positions, titles, and salaries don’t determine influence. Actions do. Never underestimate your potential to influence others in a positive and meaningful manner.

Find Your Gifts

We generally find happiness and satisfaction when we’re able to fully use our natural gifts. Everyone is exceptionally good at something, but not everyone has a job that plays to their strengths. Unfortunately, a lot of managers aren’t good at steering employees toward their potential. So it’s up to you.

Write down five things that you’re very good at and find some way to apply them to your work, even indirectly.

Widen Your Focus

Is your career at a standstill? So what? YOU don’t have to be.

You are not your job, but neither are you separate from it. Try as we might to compartmentalize our work selves from our private selves, all parts of our lives overlap and blend.

Bring your personal goals to work. When frustrated with on-the-job tasks, shift your focus to self-development and away from concerns about where your career is or isn’t going. When you move forward personally, other parts of your life tend to move along with you.

Let Life Teach

Use job-related setbacks as teaching moments by relentlessly pursuing their underlying lessons. A bad day at work can teach you all kinds of things about yourself when you’re able to step away from the situation and review it dispassionately.

Look for opportunities to expand your knowledge in ways that will make you more marketable. Always be alert for prospects both within and outside your organization. Keep an open mind; life can take you in directions you’ve never imagined.

Reconnect

All of us at one time or another lose sight of our values. When work has you down, it’s often a sign that you’ve strayed off course in some larger sense.

Find some quiet time alone when you can give thought to prioritizing what matters to you and formulating a plan for getting the most that you can out of life. You may find the things that have been bothering you the most aren’t as important as you thought they were.

Dream

Whatever your circumstances, you’re not trapped forever. Don’t let your present situation prevent you from developing skills that will lead you to something better. Visualize where you want to be, and plan how to get there. You never know when doors will open, but you can always be prepared for when they do.

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