Charles Benayon

Founder & CEO of Aspiria


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Employee Recognition + Rewards = A Healthy Company

rules-good-co-worker-relationship1It has often been said that we spend more time at work than at home and recent studies back that up, announcing that 78 percent of people who work 30 to 50 hours a week spend more time with co-workers than with their families.

Although many employers want to increase employee engagement, there needs to be more attention placed on co-worker relationships because employees who have quality relationships with their co-workers are more likely to be engaged and happy at work. And happy engaged employees will mean increased productivity, and decreased time off, sickness and mental health issues.

Employers can boost employee engagement by creating a culture filled with healthy co-worker relationships. I have outlined below a few key ways employers can encourage employee engagement to create a healthy workplace.

1. Employee Recognition

Employee recognition is critical in preventing employee turnover and dissatisfaction in the workplace. Make sure you celebrate employee accomplishments, not just on a one-to-one basis, but with the entire company. Make a point to thank the employee in front of the whole department or even the entire company, depending on the size of your company. If the accomplishment has a large monetary impact on the business, then you may consider presenting them with a “high achiever” award or a gift.

2. Boost Morale

When employers encourage workplace friendships, they help boost employee morale, and encouraging supportive and trusting relationships help employees stay engaged and maintain a sense of belonging at a company.

In addition to setting up social events, which encourage employees to interact on a more personal level, employers can create an office space that encourages conversation. For example, have open office space or provide a space for employees to hang out in their free time (i.e. a small gym or even a lunch room).

3. Praise Milestones

Years ago, when an employee reached a 25-year anniversary, they were given a watch. Today, as employees do not tend to stay with the same company for a “lifetime”, employers need to invent creative milestone events to remind employees of their value to the company and how much they’re appreciated. Milestone events may include employee anniversaries, birthdays, anniversary of signing on a large account, memorable activities or other employee accomplishments.

Quite simple, if employees are engaged, recognized and appreciated they will feel happy, your company will be a healthy workplace and they will keep working hard and remain loyal to the company.

What are some ways your company has created healthy co-worker relationships in the workplace?

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Sexual Harassment – How Prepared Is Your Organization?

Sexual-Harassment-22Looking back on 2014, it is quite apparent that there was an influx in the number of workplace sexual harassment scandals appearing in the media. First, renowned CBC broadcaster Jian Ghomeshi was arrested and charged on four counts of sexual assault, and has since had three charges added after more accusers stepped forward. Soon after, our Parliament was under fire after female MPs and staffers began coming forward with sexual assault allegations against many high-profile male MPs. Turning to our neighbours to the South, television legend Bill Cosby made headline news after numerous women came forward claiming the actor had assaulted them in the past.

With many of these allegations occurring in the workplace, business owners and human resources departments must be more aware than ever of how to prevent, notice, and deal with sexual harassment. Without the proper procedures in place to prevent and/or handle cases of sexual harassment, employers are at risk of a long list of negative repercussions, including decreased productivity, low morale, increased absenteeism, and potential legal expenses.

What questions must you ask yourself in preparation to prevent/respond to sexual harassment in your organization? We’ve listed some to start with below:

  • Do you have a defined procedure in place to deal with the sexual harassment?
  • What response-time standard will you institute to indicate a sense of urgency for the complaint?
  • How will you communicate the severity for which you handle each and every case?
  • Do you have the appropriate resources available to deal with the complaint?
  • Do you have the appropriate resources available to the person who complained, and the remainder of your employees?
  • How will you communicate the action taken to the person who complained?

Answering these questions is only the beginning. Depending on your responses, your challenge is to ensure you’re armed with the right tools to respond to cases of sexual harassment and just as importantly, to take appropriate action in order to mitigate sexual harassment in your workplace

The conversation regarding sexual harassment in the workplace is an important one, which is why we want to go beyond this blog to talk to you about it. This year at the 2015 HRPA from January 21-23, Aspiria is offering you the opportunity to discuss your organization’s policy, training and concerns regarding sexual harassment by meeting with an expert from Yellow Brick House, a women’s shelter and counselling centre in York Region and myself.
Space is limited, so don’t waste any time in calling to book your 15 minute “meet the experts” appointment with us at Aspiria’s booth (#312)! Contact 1-877-277 4742 ext 105 or e-mail us to schedule your appointment.


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Gratitude is an Attitude

GratitudeJournal-esollaAs many Canadians celebrated Thanksgiving this past weekend, it gave me pause to reflect on how merely expressing appreciation and sharing positivity for life can have profound effects on our well being, health and relationships. People who practice gratitude consistently report a multitude of benefits, including:

  • Stronger immune systems and lower blood pressure;
  • Higher levels of positive emotions;
  • More joy, optimism, and happiness;
  • Acting with more generosity and compassion;
  • Feeling less lonely and isolated

Unfortunately, in our busy and chaotic lives, it can be hard to find time to give gratitude. There are many moments when we may feel stuck and fed up, but taking time to appreciate the good things, and what we are grateful for, can be life-altering.

Life coaches remind us that “gratitude is an attitude”, and the number one predictor of success is gratitude. Research suggests that gratitude boosts morale and productivity in organizations. We spend so much of our time at work, yet people are less likely to feel or express gratitude at work than anyplace else.

If being grateful will increase happiness by 25%, then depression, stress, and anxiety can be decreased. This makes for happier employees, but employers who remember to also thank their customers as well as their staff watch their sales increase.

If gratitude improves stress levels, relationships and overall mood, then here are some ways it can be cultivated in the workplace:

  • Organizations need to devote time at meetings or provide other opportunities to explicitly thank other members for their work
  • Managers in your organization should not wait until there is extraordinary performance from staff to say thank you, but also for doing a good job daily
  • Saying “thank you” for your work should come from peers as well as managers
  • Dish out compliments on a daily basis
  • Make a contribution or volunteer time with your company’s charity of choice, to help people less fortunate than yourself
  • Avoid complaining and criticizing – take notice of how your energy is wasted on negative thoughts and feelings and divert it to focusing on better things. You can also share your appreciation of things, such as how nice the journey to work was.

Life coaching is valuable for helping you to see the positives rather than the negatives, and to become more productive and successful in all aspects of life. Coaches can help us to realize what we have, which takes the focus off what we don’t. This can lessen our need for wanting more all the time.

Oprah once said, “Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more.  If you focus on what you don’t have, you will never, ever, have enough”. It’s a choice, and one that could determine the quality of your life.

“What a wonderful life I’ve had! I only wish I’d realized it sooner.” Colette, French novelist

Do you take time every day to appreciate your coworkers or boss? What do you do to show them appreciation? I look forward to reading your experiences in the comments below.