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Who should HR report to?

22 May

Human resources professionals are quickly becoming more integral to the way businesses are run. While they have always been important to acquiring and building the talent that puts corporations on the map, it's becoming clearer than ever their roles should be more closely aligned with those in the C-suite. This begs the question: Should HR report to the CEO or the CFO?

Pros of pairing HR and the CEO
The Saratoga Business Journal discussed the role of HR as it applies to the CEO of a business. According to Rose Miller, an HR consultant, there is no clearer correlation between the objectives of the CEO and HR. The two are inextricably linked together in that both wish to drive the business forward. Since the CEO shapes company culture, and the HR department essentially ensures that culture is maintained throughout the office and in every new hire, it makes sense that HR would report directly to the CEO.

In addition, Inc. magazine discussed the notion that the CEO is the only individual in an organization who has direct contact with all people, teams, decisions and aspects of business operations. It figures CEOs would work with the department in the same situation. HR is active on just about every level, from hiring personnel to ensuring performance standards are up to par. Essentially, HR is a direct reflection of the CEO.

Cons of pairing HR and the CEO
However, as nearly anyone who has tried to schedule a call or meeting with a CEO knows, these executives are often spread incredibly thin across a huge variety of projects and obligations. If working with HR to convey expectations and provide solutions to company issues isn't within the CEO's schedule, it's likely these tasks will get pushed to the back burner.

Often, in an attempt to better manage HR, CEOs will outsource the department, Inc. stated. While this is sometimes beneficial, it could distance the human resources professionals from the people they are supposed to be managing, helping and providing information to on a regular basis. This type of CEO-HR relationship wouldn't be conducive to a successful business.

Pros of HR reporting to the CFO  
The potential for a CEO-HR relationship to become strained is why there are advocates for HR reporting to the CFO instead. The roles of the CFO and the HR department both have undergone serious changes in terms of responsibilities, leadership and involvement in key decision-making in the past few decades. This puts them on a similar level in terms of understanding one another.

One reason why it would make sense for HR to report to the CFO is that both entities are focused on planning now for the future - investing in resources that will help grow the business down the line. The Deloitte University Press outlined this potential relationship, elaborating on the element of driving business results. CFOs and HR both consider the long term, making decisions today they know will affect the company years down the line. These investments may be more closely aligned than people think.

As of 2010, 85 percent of a company's assets were intangible, compared to only 40 percent in 1975, according to an infographic from Deloitte. This means CFOs and HR are able to determine a business's worth with greater ease than ever before. 

In addition, as CFO magazine pointed out, financial managers can help ensure regulation compliance for HR, as there are exorbitant fees associated with failing to adhere to federal and state regulations. With finances in mind, CFOs would be able to better prioritize benefits package inspection and required financial paperwork to keep the business afloat. 

Cons of HR reporting to the CFO
Unfortunately, a financial perspective is also a reason why HR may not want to report to the CFO. Fundamentally, CFOs are financially driven, and HR is people driven. As outlined by CFO magazine, the principles used to guide strategic financial decisions for a business are not the same principles that should influence decisions about people, benefits, employee engagement and talent management. Building a strong workforce and attracting top talent in an industry requires spending, and sometimes CFOs can't see beyond the figures on the page. Yet spending funds on recruiting and employee perks could lead to the onboarding of the next CEO. 

When it comes down to it, HR professionals are concerned with office culture and taking care of each individual on the payroll. CFOs are much more concerned with the bottom line. HR leaders have a sixth sense for the type of person an organization needs; relying on a figure-driven party to determine whether this person is good or bad for a particular position may not be best. 

When in doubt, it may behoove a business to place the CEO, CFO and head of HR at the forefront of an organization to lead as a team. 

Creating a team leader-focused performance review process

22 May

Human resources professionals may want to invest in employee management software if they have not already. especially as the methods for employee performance evaluations are beginning to shift across industries. Recently, Deloitte University completely revamped its performance evaluation process based on significant data accrued from employees and managers. HR professionals should take a look to see how their current practices could benefit. Should they decide to make changes, a reliable software platform can help ease that transition. 

What needed to change?
Deloitte University realized it needed a better way to not only recognize performance, but also to clearly observe accomplishments and track employee progress. With reviews once per year, this wasn't feasible. The company now encourages team leaders to review individual performances after every project is completed in addition to meeting on a weekly basis to discuss ideas, thoughts on improvement and other work-related concerns. While working on long-term projects, employees should expect quarterly reviews. In addition, the weekly reviews are to be initiated by the employee instead of the team leader. This creates a much more dynamic discussion rather than a one-sided review. 

How can this change be implemented?
A Deloitte survey found 58 percent of executives don't believe their current performance management systems actually drive employee engagement or work to improve skills, output or productivity. Marcus Buckingham, Marcus Buckingham Co. chairman, told the Society for Human Resource Management recommended those businesses reevaluate the needs of workers and shift to focus more heavily on the team leader-employee relationship. Managers should be asking themselves what team members are capable of, how each individual is applying unique skills, if those skills are working to improve performance and what traits each team member exhibits that may contribute to their current performance. 

These questions put the leader in the driver's seat, though the review is also more heavily engaged with the employee. Employee management software can help human resources professionals and team leaders communicate on issues pertaining to performance reviews and design a system that benefits workers, and in doing so, enhances the value of the entire organization. 

Preparing for FLSA changes with personnel management software

21 May

Personnel management software can help businesses during times of intense transition, especially when it's unclear whether certain changes will occur.

Potential amendments to overtime exemption
Last year, President Barack Obama issued a memorandum calling for a revision of the Fair Labor Standards Act. Obama appealed to the secretary of labor, stating the existing overtime regulations for white collar workers needed to be streamlined and changed to include more employees. 

Since then, the U.S. Department of Labor has announced several different dates on which it planned to release the proposed regulation changes. First December 2014 and then February 2015 was supposed to be the date of issuance. Then, in March 2015, the Supreme Court ruled "a federal agency does not have to go through the formal rulemaking processes" when deciding to make amendments to current regulations. This means should the DOL decide to make significant alterations, it doesn't need to provide a period of time for the public to make comments.

However, it's now April, and there is no word on when employers can expect the definitive new regulations. That doesn't mean businesses should sit quietly and wait it out. There are actions employers can take to prepare themselves for any transition that may soon appear.

FLSA regulations today
Currently, the FLSA overtime regulations state any full-time worker who makes $455 per week, or $23,660 per year, or less can be considered exempt from receiving overtime pay for working more than 40 hours in one week. CNN Money stated employers classify these workers as exempt and make the choice to pay them salaries instead of an hourly wage. Today, only 12 percent of workers qualify for overtime.

Employees affected by this white collar exemption policy include managers, administrative professionals, sales workers, teachers and other professionals in careers that require advanced knowledge in science or the arts, according to the DOL website.

What regulations could look like tomorrow
President Obama's goal is to increase the baseline salary required for workers to be exempt from overtime pay. While regulators have proposed no exact increment, many speculate the DOL will mandate the amount is raised to somewhere between $42,000 and $52,000. This would make 3.5 million and 6.1 million more workers, respectively, eligible for overtime pay.

The Economic Policy Institute and the National Employment Law Project hope the threshold is increased even higher. Ideally, for these groups, the number would get bumped up to $51,168 per year. This would mean 47 percent of workers would be eligible for overtime pay.

How does this affect employers?
Even though no announcements have been made yet, employers cannot ignore this issue. After the Supreme Court decision in March, new guidelines could become reality at any time, and businesses need to be ready to accept the changes and transition.

One thing employers cannot do is forget about state laws. It's possible that the new stipulations could change the way employers reconcile differences between minimum wage guidelines in their states and the FLSA. Employers have to comply with both.

The Society for Human Resources Management stated employers should review current job descriptions to ensure duties, exemption status and responsibilities are clearly expressed to candidates. It also may take several months for the new guidelines to take effect. Should a business have to reclassify a large number of employees, companies may find themselves redefining certain roles or expectations. Preparing options now for potential changes later is a good idea. 

Personnel management software can help businesses not only prepare for a future change but also handle it better when the announcement finally rolls in. 

The NLRA and non-union workplaces

12 May

Unions are still important aspects of the U.S. work force. Even though the Bureau of Labor Statistics claims the percentage of the private sector workforce organized into unions has declined from 35 percent to 6.5 percent over the past 50 years, these groups remain an integral part of the daily grind for many employees.

In fact, as discussed on The Conversation, without unions, the fights to raise minimum wage and provide employees with paid sick leave wouldn't have succeeded or begun in the first place. Unions fundamentally help decrease inequality among workers around the nation.

After unionizing reached its high point in the 1950s, when one third of all non-farm workers were part of a union of some kind, unionization took a dramatic turn in the 1980s and 1990s. 

The NLRA and the NLRB
Today, non-union and union workers alike operate under the National Labor Relation Board and the National Labor Relations Act, both of which were created in 1935 to give more rights to workers. The NLRA is a federal mandate allowing employees to form unions, join unions, participate in "protected, concerted activities to address or improve working conditions" or decide against getting involved with unions at all. Section 7 of the NLRA deals directly with these rights, outlining all stipulations for employees and their employers.

Even though the number of private sector employees involved in unions has dramatically diminished over the years, the NLRA is still relevant to non-union workers. The NLRB is currently working hard to ensure that all workers, regardless of union affiliation or lack thereof, are able to get involved with the protected, concerted activities should they choose to do so.

As outlined by Lexis Nexis, protected, concerted activities are defined as actions taken by a group of two or more employees, or by one employee acting on behalf of an entire group, in response to any term or condition of employment. Terms and conditions of employment include, but are not limited to, salaries, hourly wages, working hours and benefits.

When employees participate in protected, concerted activity, it often involves protesting, formally complaining, striking, picketing or simply publicly calling attention to an issue the group takes with an employer.

What does this mean for non-union employees?
While both union and non-union employees are technically entitled to the same rights under Section 7, non-union parties may experience some differences. Non-union employees must be informed about their rights, as there are many situations in which an employer may try to control employee rights where it is not allowed to do so.

For instance, social media posting falls under the protected activity category. Employees are allowed to speak their minds on sites like Facebook and Twitter. In fact, in addition to being able to post complaints about working conditions such as wages, benefits, morale, office atmosphere, break times, overtime and more on public forums, employees are also allowed to talk about supervisors in a derogatory manner without fearing repercussions. 

However, any remarks critical of the employer's products and services are off limits. Section 7 prohibits employees, unionized or not, to defame their employer's reputation if the critique has nothing to do with working conditions. In addition, workplace and client confidentiality must not be breached. 

What does this mean for non-union employers?
When it comes to the employer side of the coin, the NLRB often favors unions, as it views an employee union enough of a security blanket to protect worker's rights. This means non-union employers may have a slightly more difficult time should its non-union employees decide to take action to change policies. The NLRB would have to be more involved.

Lexis Nexis recommended employers do anything they can to decrease the likelihood they'll have to become involved with the NLRB. It's wise for employers to review their current employee guidelines and policies, especially as they apply to common issues in the workplace. These guidelines must be just strict enough to comply with the NLRA's Section 7 stipulations while still offering employees enough freedom to discuss working terms as they see fit and organize as necessary. 

For non-union employers, obtaining a human resources management solution is a good step in the direction of compliance. The right platform can help companies better serve their employees and eliminate the chance the organization will violate Section 7 rules. 

Effectively administering and interpreting employee surveys

12 May

Human resources professionals are constantly on the lookout for employee engagement ideas. Many companies use employee surveys to increase engagement, boost morale and find out what makes their workers tick. However, these metrics and statistics can be misleading and may even have the opposite effect if not administered properly. 

Do employee surveys work?
The question of whether employee surveys actually work is dependent upon the information a business hopes to glean and what actions are taken after results come in.

HR Zone noted that surveys are likely to be inconclusive or detrimental to employee engagement if no productive action is taken after responses are collected. This demonstrates a lack of genuine concern for employee thoughts and opinions. Even more detrimental is if a survey questions employees about pain points or areas in which workers need to improve and the employer takes no action. A survey implies a company wants to know how to increase productivity and happiness at work; when answers are blatantly ignored, workers feel as though they were led astray and lose trust in their organizations.

One way of measuring the success of a survey is response rate. As On The Same Page discussed in its Factors Influencing Employee Survey Response Rates report, the more employees who fill out the survey, the more accurate results will be. Again, this metric is largely dependent upon actions taken in the past after surveys. The report noted when a company with 800 employees administered a survey three separate times, response rates decreased dramatically due to lack of action on the part of the employer after obtaining results. The first survey returned responses from 87 percent of the company. The second, only 76 percent. By the third try, only 67 percent of employees replied. This shift occurs when businesses can't effectively interpret data or strategize effective responses.

To garner the most cohesive data and largest number of responses, businesses should consider the following tactics:

Timing
A larger number of employees will reply to a survey with a lengthy response period. However, it should be noted that the first three days will typically see the highest level of responses before dropping off dramatically. On the Same Page suggested leaving participation open for up to three weeks and sending out periodical reminders for stragglers in that time frame. 

Method
The most valuable method for administering surveys is in a large group setting. Getting workers together and handing out a survey to be completed in a specific time frame can yield a response rate between 80 percent and 90 percent. The next most effective method is email, which gives employees more flexibility and privacy.

Types of questions
HR Zone stated that to get the most productive responses from people, questions must center around the following areas:

  • Autonomy and personal development
  • Rewards and recognition
  • Motivation
  • Performance management
  • Trust and relationships
  • Well-being and involvement 

These are the only topics that will give solid insight into how workers are genuinely feeling about their positions at a company. 

Interaction
Businesses cannot expect employees to happily engage with a survey if team members don't know why it's being sent out, where the information will go or how it will affect their position. HR professionals must clearly communicate the reason for the survey and what the company hopes to do with the information. HR also should let employees know when to expect the questionnaire and follow up throughout the administration process to ensure people are responding accordingly. 

Action on all levels
The impact of taking action after administering a survey cannot be understated. Employees need to know supervisors and HR personnel on all levels are concerned with the thoughts contributed through the questionnaire. Even if there are only small changes that need to be made, upper- and mid-level management alike need to work together to make necessary changes. 

Avoiding class action lawsuits due to FCRA violations

8 May

Employers must be certain their hiring and recruiting practices are compliant with state and federal regulations. Failure to provide the correct documentation or paperwork to new employees could result in fines or worse - a lawsuit. Personnel management software can help companies avoid landing themselves in hot water during hiring. 

Recently, there has been a wave of class action lawsuits against large companies for violating the Fair Credit Reporting Act. The Federal Trade Commission outlined the FCRA, which states any business planning to conduct a background check on prospective employees must notify the applicant that such action will be taken through a written document. Most businesses obtain consumer reports on prospective employees; consumer reports are part of the background check process. A consumer report delivers information on an applicant's criminal history, contact information and education. This information is often used to corroborate the items on the applicant's resume and identify any potential red flags that would affect the applicant's ability to perform his or her duties well.

If an applicant does not land a position due to some piece of information gleaned from the consumer report, these details must also be shared with the applicant in a standalone document.
In the past few months, there have been large class action lawsuits brought against employers by applicants claiming to have never received standalone disclosure authorization forms. Many have stated these authorization forms were embedded into other paperwork the applicant signed during the hiring process.

Recent court cases
Michaels Stores Inc., Paramount Pictures Corporation, Express Services, Inc. and Whole Foods are just a handful of the employers under fire these days, according to Employee Screen. The site also stated that businesses like K-Mart, Dollar General and Domino's Pizza have paid millions of dollars in settlements for violating these regulations. Law 360 stated violations could result in a business paying an applicant no less than $100 and no more than $1,000 for each violation depending on the severity and complexity of each individual case.

It's unclear - and varies on a case-by-case basis - exactly whether businesses are aware of their violations ahead of time or make the mistakes that land them in court on accident. In looking over the cases presently in court or recently ruled, its clear companies need to revamp their background check processes to guarantee they are compliant with state and federal regulations.

Here are several things employers can do to ensure they avoid falling into the class action lawsuit trend and paying millions in fines:

  • Talk to a legal expert: No matter what research has been done, it's worth consulting with a legal expert on the language used on disclosure forms. 
  • Review disclosure forms: As the FCRA requires both a disclosure and an authorization form, it's a good idea to taking another look at the businesses's current practices. Make sure the documents or terminology aren't outdated or no longer relevant. 
  • Triple check signatures: Without a signature on both forms, a background check cannot be administered. In an ideal world, the applicant would also add the date next to the signature. 

Personnel management software can help businesses maintain compliance for background checks, applicant interviews and much more. It's the perfect compliment to an already stellar human resources team.  

The positive influence of rounding on employee morale

27 Apr

Human resources professionals can improve employee management and engagement by using a tactic called rounding.

What is rounding?
Rounding is defined by Capstone Leadership Solutions as the act of meeting with employees, either in small groups or one-on-one, to discuss thoughts, concerns and praise about current business practices. It is proactive leadership aimed at improving employee-employer relationships. Often used in health care facilities to ensure patient safety, rounding is an excellent tool management and HR can use to improve performance and build trust among workers.

Why is rounding important?
Rounding is important because it establishes loyalty among employees and their team members, supervisors and corporations as a whole. It's also a good way to boost morale. Workers want to know they are valued and contribute meaningful work to an organization. When a senior member of the company engages employees in honest conversation, that effort demonstrates a genuine interest in the work being done.

In addition, personal conversations increase leader visibility and thus, transparency. No one likes being left in the dark when it comes to changes or updates at a company. Leadership engaging with entry- and mid-level employees boosts trust throughout a business.

This type of interaction also improves employee value proposition, which is the views current and prospective employees hold of a particular employer. If workers feel mistreated, deprived of fulfilling work or like there is no room for growth at an organization, they'll be disgruntled and pass that information on to others. However, if HR engages in rounding, it can more easily spot these trouble areas and work with employees to fix them.

Without rounding, key issues with client relationships or talent development may go unnoticed. Employees could feel uncomfortable bringing up specific client issues with supervisors in front of others; instead, a private meeting may be the best setting to openly discuss problems and then work toward positive solutions. 

How to perform rounding in the workplace
Southern Ohio Medical Center stated there are strategies businesses can implement to get the most out of rounding efforts. The following are several tips for HR professionals looking to either establish a rounding practice or enhance the one currently in place:

  • Schedule: It's important to set a time and place for rounding meetings, as this solidifies investment in the process. Make sure this time works for all parties involved. The Medical University of South Carolina recommended allotting 10- 15 minutes for a rounding session, though depending on the employee or topics at hand, rounding could extend well beyond this timeframe. 
  • Follow through: Be on time to a scheduled rounding meeting. This shows respect and instills confidence in employees that their opinions matter to leaders. 
  • Ask open-ended questions: Initiate the conversation with a question designed to bring about deeper conversation. Yes or no questions defeat the purpose of successful rounding. 
  • Don't ignore equipment: While pertinent to the medical industry for sure, its worth inquiring if employees in any industry have all the tools they need to effectively do their jobs. 
  • Follow up: Check back in with team members after rounding. Follow up on key discussion points or plans of action. 

Rounding is a powerful tool HR departments can use to better engage and connect with employees. 

Understanding and implementing employee value propositions

27 Apr

Human resources professionals must develop strong employee value propositions to attract and retain the best candidates. This employee-centric theory influences where people desire to work most, how badly they want to be part of a particular company and why.

According to a white paper by Recruiting.com, EVP is the collection of all appealing features that make candidates want to work for a business. These include, but aren't limited to:

  • Benefits: Healthcare, vision, dental, life insurance, 401​(k)
  • Rewards: Public recognition, internal contests, challenging assignments
  • Salary: Starting salary, growth potential, bonuses
  • Culture: Engaging teams, company outings, growth potential
  • Programs: Wellness, vacation time, training, development   

The key to understanding EVP is recognizing it comes from the perspective of the employees and potential recruits. It has little to do with the way HR values the offers available to workers. Even if HR finds programs suitable, it's the employees who are involved in and directly affected by these programs. When in doubt, define EVP by listing all the characteristics an employee would brag about to his or her friends when asked, "Where do you work?"

Why should employers care about EVP?
Without a compelling and positive EVP, it's incredibly difficult to recruit and retain employees.

When it comes to recruitment, finding the best talent means offering the top industry performers job positions they cannot refuse. A company that appeals to candidates on multiple levels will fare better in their job searches than one meeting only a few criteria.

In terms of retention, the Corporate Leadership Council found new hire commitment increased up to 29 percent for those companies with strong EVPs. A positive EVP also saved corporations money by cutting newly hired employees' compensation premiums in half. Plus, a positive impression of benefits and company culture may reduce the number of candidates who lose interest in an organization based solely on the salary offered. 

Examining EVP helps HR professionals revamp their recruitment and retention practices. It's often difficult to know why certain tactics work for recruitment and others fall short. By developing a strong EVP and analyzing employee feedback on the company culture and benefits, HR professionals can better manage their departments and hire top talent.

A good EVP standing can also reinvigorate current employees. If cohesive and in-depth training and development programs exist, employees are much more inclined to not only enjoy their work but also enhance their performances and grow confident in their roles at a company. This concept builds trust among employees and helps facilitate a healthy work culture. 

How to improve EVP?
Any HR professional looking for a way to enhance the EVP of an organization needs only to begin with current data. Edelman, a public relations firm, encouraged businesses to survey employees to find out what drew them to the business and why they've stayed. Ask them where the company can improve and what benefits may be lacking. It's crucial to involve everyone from senior management down through entry-level positions, as all input is incredibly valuable. After dissecting this data, identify the key areas in need of improvement and implement programs to boost those departments. 

Investing in employee management systems can help HR professionals track their progress working with EVP and improving the employee experience for current and prospective workers. 

Revamping performance reviews to increase employee engagement

20 Apr

Employee reviews are critical to career development and business growth. Human resources professionals must examine the review process closely, as many companies tend to use the same methods for performance evaluations year in and year out. Revamping reviews can enhance employee engagement

The power of inclusion
Feedback is certainly a powerful tool in that it clarifies exactly what tactics are working for an employee and which ones need improvement to keep up with performance standards. However, Inc. magazine noted that simply administering feedback to employees isn't always enough to convey their importance in relation to the entire company. In fact, workers who are given an equal combination of autonomy and responsibility to make decisions feel more valued in their roles.

Fast Company reported that when employees are asked to make decisions that directly influence their work and that of their peers, a greater sense of community and well-being begins to build. Happy employees are more productive and contribute stronger work to their organizations because they see the results of their efforts. 

Rather than reviewing an employee from only one side of the table, HR should consider turning the process into a conversation. Offering the employee a chance to evaluate his or her performance before listening to outside input can establish a stronger relationship between worker and employer. This action demonstrates trust and interest in fostering that employee's success. Whether beginning the review by asking employees to discuss their work or sending out planned review questions ahead of time, this approach gives workers a greater sense of control over their positions and their ability to improve.

Once may not be enough
Business Insider encouraged companies to think outside of the box and review employees more frequently so that any negative observations are addressed sooner rather than later. Surprising employees with the news that their performances have been less than acceptable for a long period of time will immediately question their future with the company and how highly they are valued by supervisors.

The negative effects of comparing and contrasting
It's hard not to measure oneself against peers; bosses and HR professionals must be sensitive to the fact that team members may already be in silent competition with one another. It doesn't help to compare any employee to another, particularly during a performance review. Instead, it's a good idea to narrow the focus to the employee under review and his or her strengths. What does this person bring to the table that no one else does? How are contributions made in meetings conducive to growing the business? 

In the same vein, if it seems a team member is not fitting in with others, avoid discussing the situation in a negative light. Explore how this person's unique perspective can contribute to the team's assignments. 

A robust human resources management software platform provides HR professionals with the tools they need to develop the most productive method of conducting performance reviews possible.

Monitoring employee stress and physical activity

20 Apr

When people think about stress, they often picture a frantic emotional or physical state that increases heart rates, causes perspiration and makes focusing on a single task difficult. However, in today's workplaces, physical stress looks very different than it used to. Multiple studies have emerged in recent years indicating that sitting at a desk all day is almost as bad – if not worse – for the body as smoking. The stress placed on the body by being sedentary all day can dramatically decrease employee health and productivity.

How much time is spent sitting?
The Annals of Internal Medicine published findings from a study on the effects of a sedentary lifestyle on health completed earlier this year. Sedentary is an adjective used to describe an inactive person or way of life. As many office workers know all too well, a large portion of the day is spent sitting at a desk. Unfortunately, the study, "Sedentary Time and Its Association With Risk for Disease Incidence, Mortality and Hospitalization in Adults: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis," found that despite efforts to exercise before or after the workday, sporadic activity does little to undo the damage that sitting for 8 to 12 hours every day does to the human body.

Pain Management and Injury Relief noted that on average, adult workers spend 9.3 hours per day sitting down. This number has steadily increased over the past 150 years; in the past, our ancestors spent 90 percent of their daylight hours moving or walking. Today that number is as low as 40 percent. In fact, 50-70 percent of people spend at least six hours sitting down every day, whether at a desk, in front of the TV or participating in other leisure activities.

The impact of sitting still 
The sedentary time study noted this passive stress increases the likelihood people will develop a variety of diseases in their lifetimes. High cholesterol, slowed blood circulation, cardiovascular disease, obesity and colon cancer are more likely to emerge in people who sit for 8 to 12 hours every day. In fact, one's risk for developing Type 2 diabetes increases by an alarming 90 percent with that type of sedentary lifestyle.

Fixing stress with active company culture 
Since the workplace often enables sedentary lifestyles, it's important that businesses provide employee engagement ideas pertaining to health and wellness programs to decrease physical stress. A corporation that weaves physical activity into its culture elicits greater achievement from individuals and develops more productive teams. Businesses should consider offering discounts on local gym memberships or paying a portion of an employee's enrollment in a marathon or charity run. Establishing a company sports league or playing recreational sports each season is another way to not only boost activity but camaraderie as well.

Companies that may not have the funding or resources to provide extensive training or health programs to employees can still encourage a more active lifestyle. Standing desks are becoming more popular among offices around the world, as it provides a convenient and healthy alternative to sitting down all day. Workers who have invested in a standing desk actually found they were less stressed, according to Pain Management and Injury Relief. Aside from burning more calories, standing up at work made 87 percent of workers more energized and 71 percent more focused.

Employees can also find moments throughout the day where standing could take the place of sitting. Phone calls can be taken standing up and meetings with a few colleagues could take place on a walk as opposed to a conference room.

Any method used by a business to get employees up and active is worth the effort. Those workers are the future of the company and managers should be investing in their health every day. 

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