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Be Happier, Healthier and more Productive in 2015

Posted By APSO, Tuesday, 08 September 2015

Be Happier, Healthier and more Productive in 2015

Recruitment, they say, is one of the most stressful jobs. Follow these great tips to ensure that you’re happier, healthier and more productive in 2015.

See the glass as half full

It’s easy to get swept up in the negative but rather focus on the positives and practice an attitude of gratitude. A survey conducted by the University of California found that groups of people who kept a journal recording just 5 things they were grateful for each week felt better about themselves, were more optimistic, had fewer health issues and slept better.

Take the first step

Setting goals is only the beginning, taking action is critical for greater productivity and ultimately happiness. Create an action plan to assist you in achieving your goals. Ensure that you achieve at least one of your action steps per day and soon you’ll reach your milestone.

Losing track of time is not necessarily a bad thing

We are focussed on accounting for every minute and chastise ourselves for spending too long or becoming absorbed in an activity. However, it is clear that we tend to “lose track” when we’re doing something that we enjoy – whether it’s work-related or leisure. Studies have shown that individuals with high energy levels and who spend sufficient time doing things that energise them have higher self-esteem, achieve greater levels of engagement and are more likely to enjoy long-term happiness.

Exercise…preferably outdoors

We all know that exercise is not only essential for good health but for mental well-being and stress relief too. But did you know that exercising outdoors, in the fresh air, drastically increases one’s energy and enjoyment, not to mention plummets our stress levels and anxiety.

Laughter it seems, is the best medicine

15 minutes of laughter raises our pain threshold 10% because it releases endorphins, the body’s built-in stress and pain reliever. Laughter is also a good indication of socialisation, a necessity for human beings. We are 30 times more likely to laugh in a group than on our own.

Listen more

As recruiters we spend lots of time in interviews, hopefully listening more than talking. In this regard we are ahead of other professions who don’t necessarily derive the benefits. Cultivating good listening skills doesn’t only mean you’ll make stronger connections with people and establish greater rapport, it also improves your ability to block out distracting thoughts meaning you can absorb more information, increase your knowledge and demonstrate confidence.

Do something for someone else

Altruism, doing something for someone else without an expectation of anything returned, results in what’s known as “helper’s high” that actually triggers the part of our brain that is responsible for feeling of euphoria. People who engage in regular volunteer work experience better health and less depression.

Choose your company wisely

A study of 4000 people over 20 years revealed that happiness is a network phenomenon. People who are connected to a “happy network” were found to be more likely to be happy “years into the future”. Your happiness level is likely to be the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with…is it time to change company?

No matter which, if not all, of these tips you take up, taking action to consciously improve your environment will help you to reduce stress, improve health and happiness and ultimately make you that much more productive.


Tags:  apso  communication  employees  employer  health  plan  productivity  strategy  team 

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Five Major Reasons Employees Choose to Stay

Posted By APSO, Thursday, 23 April 2015

Five Major Reasons Employees Choose to Stay

About the Author: Bruce Katcher, PhD is President of Discovery Surveys, Inc. His firm conducts customized employee opinion and customer satisfaction surveys.


1 out 3 employees are seriously thinking about leaving their job.

I recently consulted to an international management consulting firm. The partners hire only the best and brightest. They pay their employees well and offer challenging work assignments.

However, they work their employees very hard, monitor their time closely, and demand that they excel at everything they do. The firm is known for its unwritten rule of "up or out." If you aren't a superior candidate for promotion, you're asked to leave. Needless to say, it is an extremely high pressure environment.

The problem is that many of their "keepers," (i.e., those they want to stay with the organisation) are voluntarily deciding to leave. The long hours and near impossibility of living a normal life outside of work are just too much of a sacrifice.



This is a problem for many organisations. Turnover, especially of good young employees, is extremely expensive. It often takes a year or two for new employees to learn the ropes. Losing a valuable employee represents a wasted investment of time and energy.


There are many ways to keep good employees.

We recently conducted a statistical analysis of the Discovery Surveys' normative database to identify the issues that correlate most highly with the intentions of employees to stay with their organization. In analysing the responses from more than 50,000 employees from all types of organisations, the following five factors emerged as the best predictors of whether people will stay with their organizations.

  • Enjoyment of the Actual Work

Those employees who enjoy their work activities and feel a sense of personal accomplishment are most likely to stay.

  • Communication With Supervisors

Employees want to feel respected and encouraged by their supervisors. Those most likely to stay receive ongoing performance feedback from their supervisors throughout the year, not just annually. Those most likely to stay also believe that their supervisors encourage them to make suggestions.

  • Provide High Quality Products and Services to Customers

Employees want to be part of a culture in which people really care about doing good work. They are more likely to stay if they believe their organisation is operating efficiently, is committed to providing high quality products and services, and makes it easy for their customers to do business with them.

  • Pride in the Work of the Organisation

Employees want to feel they are contributing to a cause that is important. Those who are proud of their organisation and believe their work contributes to the organisation's objectives are more likely to stay.

  • Optimism About the Future

Those who intend to stay with their organisations believe that management is doing a good job of planning for the future. They also believe that they personally have a good future with the organisation.


You don't have to run your company like a country club in order to keep good employees. You do, however, need to provide them with five things: a sense of personal accomplishment, good one-on-one communication from supervisors, a commitment to quality, a sense of pride, and confidence in the future.

Tags:  APSO  apsogram  communication  employee retention  enjoyment  products 

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