Friday, October 31, 2008

HR Safety:- Halloween: Beware Witches, Goblins, Safety Hazards

Halloween is a lot of fun for kids and adults alike. But the holiday is not without its hazards. Our Safety Training Tips editor says to make sure your employees are aware of the risks to their kids and to their homes.

Start With the Fire Hazards.
To keep homes and kids safe this Halloween, the National Fire Prevention Association (NFPA) recommends that your employees:

-- Look at labels when buying costumes and make sure they say "flame-resistant" or "flame-retardant."
-- If employees make costumes for their kids, they should use materials that don't catch fire easily and avoid features such as long, loose sleeves, billowing or trailing capes, etc.
-- Use flashlights and other forms of battery-powered illumination instead of candles—indoors and out. Even jack-o-lanterns can be more safely illuminated with flashlights.
-- Be very careful when decorating with dried flowers, cornstalks, and crepe paper, all of which are highly flammable. Make sure these decorations are well clear of radiators, lightbulbs, and other heat sources.
-- Teach their kids how to "stop, drop, and roll" to put out flames should their costumes catch fire. And remind them to stay away from candles and other open flames.
-- Remind kids about the family emergency plan and have them locate exits for an emergency when they attend parties in the homes of other children.

If Kids Trick-Or-Treat, They Need to Take Precautions. To keep kids safe while trick-or-treating, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission recommends the following precautions:

-- For greater visibility, decorate or trim costumes with reflective tape that glows in the beam of a car's headlights. Bags or sacks can also be decorated with reflective tape.
-- To easily see and be seen, children should carry flashlights.
-- Costumes should be short enough to prevent trips and falls.
-- Children should wear sturdy shoes that fit well.
-- Hats and scarves should be tied securely to prevent them from slipping over children's eyes.
-- Employees should think about applying a natural mask of cosmetics or face paint rather than letting a child wear a loose-fitting mask that might restrict breathing or obscure vision. If a mask is used, however, employees should make sure it fits securely and has eyeholes large enough to allow full vision.
-- Swords, knives, and similar costume accessories should be of soft and flexible material.

Parents Should Prepare Kids for a Safe Evening. Safety experts recommend that the safest way to celebrate Halloween is to have a party for the neighborhood kids or to let kids to go a neighbor's party. But if employees let their kids go trick-or-treating, they should make sure they follow these basic safety rules:

-- Don't let children trick-or-treat alone. Accompany the younger kids, and make sure older kids are part of a group.
-- Teach kids that they should never get in a car with anyone they don't know or enter anyone's house (unless it's a neighbor they know well and trust).
-- Review the rules for crossing streets—for example, look out for cars, look both ways before crossing, and cross only at crosswalks and/or with the light.

Why It Matters...

-- Halloween is one of the most popular holidays, but it's also one that is full of safety risks.
-- According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), more than 1,000 home fires a year are related to seasonal decorations, especially those involving candles.
-- Every year, children trick-or-treating are hit by cars, and some are badly injured or killed.
-- Some kids are attacked by older children, abducted by adults, or given tainted candy.

Thanks to BLR.

HR Quotes:- Overcoming The Negative

"All adverse and depressing influences can be overcome, not by fighting, but by rising above them."
Charles Caleb Colton

"If you wish to travel far and fast, travel light. Take off all your envies, jealousies, unforgiveness, selfishness, and fears."  ~~~
Glenn Clark

If you want to get out of the pit, stop digging. ~~~
Ernesto Santos-DeJesus

"I have always believed, and I still believe, that whatever good or bad fortune may come our way we can always give it meaning and transform it into something of value." ~~~ Hermann Hesse

HR Motivational:- A Sweet Lesson In Humanity

Years Ago, A 10-Year-Old boy Approached the counter of a soda shop and climbed on to a stool. "What does an ice cream sundae cost?î he asked the Waitress.
"Fifty cents," she answered.
The youngster reached deep in his pockets and pulled out an assortment of change, counting it carefully as the waitress grew impatient. She had "bigger" customers to wait on.
"Well, how much would just plainice cream be?" the boy asked.
The waitress responded with noticeable irritation in her voice, "Thirty-five cents."
Again, the boy slowly counted his money. "May I have some plain ice cream in a dish then, please?" He gave the waitress the correct amount, and she brought him the ice cream.
Later, the waitress returned to clear the boyís dish and when she picked it up, she felt a lump in her throat. There on the counter the boy had left two nickels (Nickel: 5 Cents) and five pennies (Penny: 1 Cent). She realized that he had had enough money for the sundae, but sacrificed it so that he could leave her a tip.
The Moral: Before Passing Judgment, First Treat Others with Courtesy, Dignity, and Respect.

Adapted from A Lifetime of Success Pat Williams & Fleming H. Revell

Thursday, October 30, 2008

HR Safety:- Returning to Standard Time Can Be Deadly

For most people in the United States, daylight saving time ends at 2 a.m. this Sunday, November 2. And, according to several studies, the days following the return to standard time can be a particularly dangerous period for your employees, both at work and on their way home.

Two professors at Carnegie Mellon University reported last year that pedestrians walking around dusk are nearly three times more likely to be struck and killed by cars in the days following the return to standard time than just before the time change.

Ending daylight saving time results in about 37 more U.S. pedestrian deaths around 6 p.m. in November compared with October, according to the study by Professors Paul Fischbeck and David Gerard.

It's not the darkness itself that's the problem, but rather the lack of adjustment to earlier nighttime that's the killer, the professors said. They conducted a study of 7 years of nationwide traffic fatalities and calculated the risk per mile walked for pedestrians. They found that per-mile risk jumps 186 percent from October to November-and then drops 21 percent in December.

The December drop-off indicates the increased risk is caused by the trouble both drivers and pedestrians have adjusting when darkness suddenly comes an hour earlier, the researchers said.

Back in 1999, Kathy Konicki, safety director for Nationwide Insurance, was warning about the dangers associated with the end of daylight saving time.

"The time change has been known to leave many of us feeling fatigued, which can pose some safety risks at home and at the office," Konicki said, adding that some of the things to keep in mind about the switch back to standard time are:

-- Fatigue — Studies suggest that it takes people who work traditional hours several days to fully readjust their sleep schedule after the time change. While it may seem a welcome gift to get an extra hour of sleep as opposed to losing an hour in the spring, "Regardless, there is a physiological consequence to changing our clocks," Konicki said. "So don't be surprised if you feel a bit sluggish for the first week or so of November."

-- Accidents — Evidence suggests that time changes increase safety problems both at work and at home. "Just being aware of the increased risk of accidents in the period immediately following the time change may help you stay alert," Konicki said. "And remember to avoid building up a sleep debt in the days before the change."

Safety professionals have long used the start and end of daylight saving time as reminders for performing recurring safety tasks. On its website, the University of Oklahoma Police Department suggests using the occasion of setting your clocks forward or back as a cue to:

-- Check and Replace the Batteries In Your Smoke and Carbon Monoxide (CO) Alarms. Replace any smoke alarms older than 10 years. Replace any CO alarms older than 5 years.

-- Prepare a Disaster Supply Kit (Water, Food, Flashlights, Batteries, Blankets, etc.). Once you've created your disaster kit, use the semi-annual time change to check its contents (including testing/replacing flashlight batteries).

-- Check Storage Areas for Hazardous Materials. Discard any that are outdated, no longer used, or in poor condition.

Still another thing to remember when you "fall back" is that shift workers on duty that night will generally work an extra hour, for a total of 9 hours of work, and they must be paid for all of those hours.

For shift workers, changing work hours can be the norm rather than the exception. Tomorrow we'll look at some of the hazards posed by shift work, and how you can train your shift workers to stay safe and healthy.

Thanks to BLR

HR Safety:- Shift Work Risks: Stick a (2-Pronged) Fork in Them

It has long been known that shift work (defined as shifts outside of the traditional 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. workday) can have a damaging impact on workers' safety, health, and social and family lives.

National Sleep Foundation studies have found that most shift workers don't get enough sleep, and the sleep that they do get is less restful. During night shifts, workers are fighting the natural wake-sleep pattern, making it hard to stay alert at night and just as hard to fall asleep and stay asleep during the day.

Safety Issues

It is difficult to reset the internal circadian clock, the Foundation says. It is not surprising that 10 percent to 20 percent of nightshift workers report falling asleep on the job, usually during the second half of the shift. That's one reason why shift workers who work all night may find it difficult to sleep during the day, even though they are tired.

When sleep deprived, people think and move more slowly, make more mistakes, and have difficulty remembering things. Those negative effects result in lower job productivity and a higher rate of accidents. The financial loss to U.S. businesses is estimated to be at least $18 billion each year, according to the Foundation.

Health Issues

Chronic lack of sleep harms a person's health, safety, productivity, memory, and mood. Lack of sleep is associated with irritability, impatience, anxiety, and depression, the Foundation reports.

Those problems can upset job and family relationships, and spoil social activities. Shift workers experience more stomach problems (especially heartburn and indigestion), menstrual irregularities, colds, flu, and weight gain than day workers. Heart problems are more likely, too, as well as higher blood pressure.

A Two-Pronged Approach

The shift work training meeting in Safety Meetings Library says workers can protect themselves from shift work hazards by focusing their efforts in two directions:

-- Getting a Good Day's Sleep
-- Maximizing Safety While Awake and Working

Focus on Sleep

To ensure getting enough rest, the meeting tells employees to:

-- Always go to bed at the same time, preferably as soon as possible after work.
-- Sleep in a dark, quiet room. Use room-darkening shades or drapes and turn off the phone.
-- Eat balanced, nutritious meals. Eat only light snacks before bed. Avoid food that's heavy, rich, or spicy.
-- Exercise regularly, though not in the 2 hours before trying to sleep.
-- Avoid sleeping pills. If you have trouble sleeping, talk with your doctor.

Focus on Safety

The second prong of minimizing shift work hazards is maximizing safety during working hours. Here, the meeting advises employees to:

-- Turn on all the lights in your work area and in hallways, stairways, bathrooms, etc.
-- Replace or report any burned out bulbs promptly.
-- Check that you have adequate task lighting. If you can't see your equipment controls, read container labels, or have
other similar problems, let your supervisor know.
-- Be sure all work areas are ventilated, and report any ventilation systems that aren't working properly.
-- Keep temperatures comfortable. Again, if you can't get a comfortable temperature, let a supervisor know.

That's just a smidgen of the tips in the comprehensive meeting outline, which includes suggested discussion questions as well as a shift work checklist and quiz.

Thanks to BLR

HR Quote:- You, Too, Can Become Great

Keep Away from People Who Try to Belittle Your Ambitions. Small People Always do That, But the Really Great Make You Feel that You, Too, Can Become Great.
~~~ Mark Twain (1835ñ1910) Humorist and writer

HR Service Culture:- There Is A Big Difference

Someone Once Said...

"Life Is Like a Game Of Tennis. The Player Who Serves Well Seldom Loses."

Etch this quote in your brain and apply it to your business! If I had to pick one key to building a successful company, I wouldn't hesitate; it would be...create a service culture.

And as much as we try to complicate what great service's really pretty simple: It is giving more than the customer expects...consistently. You notice I said simple, not easy. There is a big difference.

By Mac Anderson / Simple Truths

HR Quotes:- Overcoming Obstacles / Judgment

Overcoming Obstacles

"Adversity has the effect of eliciting talents which, in prosperous circumstances, would have lain dormant."

"The abundant life does not come to those who have had a lot of obstacles removed from their path by others. It develops from within and is rooted in strong mental and moral fiber."
William Mather Lewis

"If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant: if we did not sometimes taste of adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome."
Charlotte Bronte

"People who consider themselves victims of their circumstances will always remain victims unless they develop a greater vision for their lives."
Stedman Graham

"Don't be disquieted in time of adversity. Be firm with dignity and self-reliant with vigor."
Chiang Kai-Shek

"The one resolution, which was in my mind long before it took the form of a resolution, is the key-note of my life. It is this, always to regard as mere impertinences of fate the handicaps which were placed upon my life almost at the beginning. I resolved that they should not crush or dwarf my soul, but rather be made to blossom, like Aaron's rod, with flowers."
Helen Keller

"I've learned that no matter what happens, or how bad it seems today, life does go on, and it will be better tomorrow." ~~~ Maya Angelou

"The beauty of the soul shines out when a man bears with composure one heavy mischance after another, not because he does not feel them, but because he is a man of high and heroic temper."

~~~ Aristotle



We judge ourselves by what we feel capable of doing, while others judge us by what we have already done.
~~~ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
(1807–1882) Poet

Distrust your judgment the moment you can discern the shadow of a personal motive in it.
~~~ Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach (1830–1916) Novelist

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

HR Motivational:- Christopher Columbus Was a Salesman

Many people do not realize the important role that sales people have played in America. America was discovered by a salesman. Christopher Columbus was looking for India and missed it by about 10,000 miles. Fortunately, he was a better salesman than he was a navigator!

If you question his sales credentials, consider this: He was an Italian in Spain with only one prospect to call on. If he missed the sale, he would have to swim home. That's pressure selling. Once aboard ship, he really had to "sell" in order to sail. Those sailors were going to throw him overboard and he kept saying, "It's just around the corner or over the horizon, let's sail one more day!" Then came that exciting call from the lookout, "Land ho!" and the most profitable sales call in history came to a close.

We were freed by a salesman. Think about it. Washington had to persuade the Colonists to leave their homes, farms, businesses, ship-building activities and fur trapping and go to war against the most powerful nation on earth. He had to be completely honest and tell them that if we won, he probably wouldn't have any money to pay them, and if we lost, they would be hung. That's selling!

I will confess to a certain degree of prejudice because I started selling vegetables on the streets of Yazoo City, Mississippi, when I was eight years old. Later, I sold peanuts in the downtown area. I was a salesman in a grocery store and on a paper route; then I was in direct sales for fifteen years. Today, I'm selling hope and ideas. Actually, everything is selling and everybody sells. Lowell Foletta said it well: "Our sales department is not the whole company, but the whole company is the sales department." So, no matter what your title or job description says, you are a sales person - just like Christopher Columbus. Buy that concept, sell with pride and I will SEE YOU AT THE TOP!

By Zig Ziglar



Lack of Direction, Not Lack Of Time, Is the Problem. We All Have Twenty-Four Hour Days. ~~~ Zig Ziglar

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

HR Reward:- Rewarding Your Team

Learning Why "Thank You" Is So Vital

Imagine this scenario: One of your team members has saved the company a significant amount of money with a process she spent weeks creating. It's right before the winter holidays, so you decide to reward her with a turkey that she and her family can enjoy for dinner one night.

You make a big deal of presenting the turkey to her. She smiles and shyly accepts the gift, quickly putting it in the office refrigerator. You feel good because you rewarded her efforts, and she seemed to be happy about the recognition.

But is she? Things aren't always as they appear. You didn't take the time to find out whether or not she likes turkey, so you didn't discover that she's a vegetarian. And you didn't consider that she commutes to the office one hour by train - so by the time she gets that frozen turkey home to give away to friends, it will be a drippy, soggy mess.

Have you ever wondered why the rewards you offer don't seem to be received very well? We often hear from business experts about how important it is to reward your team. But it's equally important to take the time to find out how your team would really like to be recognized. Sometimes people don't want a bonus or pay raise. Instead, what they'd really like is a sincere "thank you" or a day off to spend with their families.

This article helps you learn the "Ins and Outs" of Recognizing Your Team.

The Importance of Rewarding Your Team

Although the idea of rewarding workers beyond their pay and benefits package seems obvious, some leaders avoid the practice, perhaps because they feel that showing appreciation undermines their authority, perhaps because they want to avoid stirring up jealousy in other members of the team, perhaps because they feel they don't have the time to do it, or perhaps because they feel embarrassed praising people openly.

This is a shame, because these attitudes reduce their own performance, and all of these problems can or should be avoided.
The most successful leaders are those who recognize and reward their team's efforts. This not only builds trust, but it strengthens loyalty as well. Turnover is often much lower in teams that have a strong bond with their leader, and this impacts a company's bottom line.

You should also remember that, for the most part, the world's talent pool is shrinking - mostly due to declining birth rates, which leads to an aging workforce. This means that it's becoming harder for organizations to find the people they need. Finding and keeping talented people is a key issue, and the companies that figure out how to do this now will likely be the ones that succeed far into the future. One of the best ways to keep these people is to make sure that their hard work is appreciated. If finding the few minutes needed to recognize people is a problem, just think how much time you'd have to spend replacing them!

Recognizing Their Efforts

Appropriately rewarding team members for something they've done takes some effort on your part. If you don't put much thought into what you're doing, then you may just upset the very people you're trying to thank. This is why you should sit down with your team and find out how they'd really like to be rewarded.

For example, if your team is about to start a major project, find out:

  • Which team achievements would people like to be rewarded for?
  • What kind of reward would they like, as individuals and as a team?
  • Would they rather celebrate with several milestones along the way, or have one big celebration when they hit the team's goal?

Learning how your team would like to be recognized, and how you can show your appreciation, is a vital step toward making sure that your efforts will be appropriate.

When and How to Say "Thank You"

The return on appreciation is huge. Workers who feel appreciated are twice as likely to stay at a company than those who don't feel appreciated.

If you think you don't have time or can't afford to show appreciation to your team, then stop and think about how much you currently invest in hiring and training new people. How much would you save if your staff turnover were lower? Probably a lot, which is why recognizing your team's efforts is almost always cost-effective.

And don't think that daily gratitude will "wear out" your team. Has anyone ever thanked you so many times that it lost its meaning? Probably not. It's not likely that your team will ever get tired of receiving your appreciation.

Just make sure you're sincere about why you thank people. And don't rush the "thank you" while you're on your way somewhere else. This WILL probably make your gestures lose their meaning. Stop, look at the person, and tell him how much you appreciate what he's doing.

These small gestures cost nothing except a few seconds of your time, but their payoff is enormous.

"Thank You" Tips

Remember these guidelines:

  • Be Consistent - Consistency is vital. If you praise often during one month, and then skip the next month entirely, your team will wonder what's going on. Creating a culture of recognition and reward is important – so once you start, make sure you continue.

  • Be Specific - Every time you praise people on your team, be specific about what they did to deserve the recognition. If you say, "Jim did a great job yesterday!" that's not only vague, but it may cause jealousy from other team members. Being specific not only makes the person you recognize feel better, it also lets the whole team know that you're paying attention. So, detail exactly what the person did and why it made a difference.

  • Know Your People - You must know your team to reward them adequately. For example, if you know that someone loves art and music, then opera tickets or museum passes would probably be an appreciated, thoughtful gift. If someone else is a sports fan, then football tickets might be a great idea. Getting to know your team's interests is critical to showing your appreciation well. Send out a survey, or question them about their passions. And write it all down so you don't forget.

  • Make the Reward Relevant - Your gift or gesture should be relevant to your team member's effort. For example, if someone comes in early for a week to make sure a project is completed on time, then a gift certificate for a great breakfast would be a good fit. If, however, the person just saved the company from a mistake that would have cost millions, then something more significant is needed!

Ideas for Rewarding Your Team

As we said earlier, chances are high that your team isn't looking for a bonus check or pay raise to feel appreciated. Sometimes, smaller gestures go further and don't break the budget in the long run. Here are some creative ideas to consider for showing appreciation to your team:

  • Offer flexible scheduling - not everyone needs, or wants, to be in the office at 8:00 a.m. Or, you could offer telecommuting days.

  • Send handwritten thank-you notes when someone goes above and beyond the requirements of the job.

  • Create "free day" coupons that a worker could use for a free day off - no questions asked - without using vacation or sick time.
  • Take your team out to lunch - and then, as a last-minute surprise, give them the rest of the day off.

  • Give out "lazy Monday" coupons to allow a team member one "free" Monday morning off.
  • If you e-mail a team member to say thank you, consider copying that message to YOUR boss.

There are thousands of creative ways to say "thank you." The great thing about these gestures is that they'll probably be remembered far longer than any bonus check. You'll show your appreciation - and, at the same time, you'll strengthen the bond between you and your team.

Key Points

Leaders need to say "thank you" regularly. Your team members will likely work much harder if they feel that what they're doing really makes a difference, and that their efforts are noticed by those with "power."

Thank-you gifts don't have to be extravagant or costly. Small gestures are often remembered longer than financial bonuses. These small, entertaining rewards can also help promote a sense of fun in the workplace, which may go a long way toward helping you retain key talent.

By James Manktelow / Mindtools

HR Workplace Enemies:- How to Win Over Your Enemies

Sadly, in business, we all have them: Enemies. Rivals. Adversaries. Foes. They say bad things about us behind our back. They prevent us from succeeding in our work. Or they ignore us, in acts of passive aggression. Whichever M.O. they choose, they make our lives more difficult and decidedly less pleasant.

You know who they are. Have a few names in mind?

Here's a bit of advice that will most likely surprise you: What's the quickest way to get one of these archenemies to like you? Answer: Get him to do you a small favor.

Let me explain.

It sounds counter-intuitive but it can be easily explained by what social psychologists call "Cognitive Dissonance Theory." The theory maintains that we all try to maintain consistency in our attitudes and behaviors. When we do a person a favor (the behavior), we tend to like him more as a result (the attitude).

This phenomenon is also known as "The Ben Franklin Effect." Franklin wrote in his autobiography, "Enemies who do you one favor will want to do more." A political opponent in the Pennsylvania state legislature was annoying Franklin and he set out to win him over. Franklin asked his adversary if he could borrow a rare book from his library. According to Franklin, when they next met in the House, the adversary spoke to him for the first time "with great civility." He added that they eventually became great friends.

The Problem
All employees need cooperation from their co-workers in order to succeed at their jobs. Without respect, they won't receive the cooperation they need to be effective. Senior management can promote the importance of teamwork until they are blue in the face, but employees must respect one another if they are to work together effectively.

What to Do
Here is the Ben Franklin method that individual employees and managers can use to get their enemies to like them.

1. Identify Your Enemy
Think of the individuals who are preventing you from succeeding at your work. It could be a co-worker, subordinate, boss, employee from another part of the company, or even a customer.

2. Ask for a Small Favor
The favor should require the adversary to expend some effort, although it shouldn't be a Herculean task.

3. Proceed as if You Are No Longer Enemies
If your future interactions with this person are to be positive, you must treat him or her as a colleague, not an adversary. Otherwise, your attitude may negate the newly gained feelings of good will toward you and, instead, perpetuate the ill-will of the past.

Take a lesson from Ben Franklin and the Cognitive Dissonance Theory. If your workplace enemies are making life difficult for you, ask them for a favor. Give it a try. You might be pleasantly surprised.

By Dr. Bruce L. Katcher / AMA

HR Managing:- Managing Up

A very long time ago, there lived the King of Kings in Persia. Every night for three years, he would take a virgin from the town, make her his wife, and then have her beheaded in the morning.  He did this because of the betrayal he felt as a result of his first wife's infidelity.  After 3,000 such executions, he met and married Scheherazade. 


On the night before she was due to be killed, Scheherazade began to tell the King a captivating story.  Just before she reached the end, and just as she had gotten to the cliff-hanger, Scheherazade abruptly stopped.  The mesmerised King, who eagerly wanted to hear the rest, asked her to continue.  But Scheherazade said there wasn't enough time since dawn was about to break, but vowed to finish the story the next day when it would become even more exciting.


And so the King kept Scheherazade alive as he eagerly anticipated what would happen next.  But every night, Scheherazade would stop just before the end of the story, which made the King keep her alive for one more day.  This continued for 1001 nights, by which time Scheherazade had become the Queen and had given birth to three of the King's sons.


In this supposedly true story, famously called Arabian Nights, Scheherazade influenced the King in the same way you can influence your boss.  That one way is summarised using one word:  understanding.  The more you understand your boss's objectives, problems, and style, the easier it'll be for you to get approval for any big ideas you'd like implemented.


Scheherazade understood the King's objectives (to be entertained), his problems (feelings of betrayal), and style (storytelling).  She combined an understanding of all three to get what she wanted.  You can do the same thing.


Objectives:  Find out your boss's key performance indicators, and then link any proposed change to the achievement of those goals.


Problems:  Discover what's keeping you boss up at night and show how your solutions will help to solve those problems, rather than your own.


Style:  If your boss is analytical, use numbers.  If your boss is direct, don't waffle.  If your boss is expressive, tell stories. 


Eventually, Scheherazade ruled the kingdom.  So can you.


By James Adonis



Did You Know?

A study of 500,000 employees has found that 56% of them do not have a clear understanding of their employer's goals.

Source: FranklinCovey / Harris Interactive



"Seek first to understand, then to be understood."

Stephen Covey

HR Health:- Attacking Heart Attack Risk Factors

We looked at the growing problem of obesity in America and at its serious consequences for your employees' health and your organization's bottom line. Today we'll focus on the related issue of heart attacks, and how you can help your employees lower their risk.

In order to reduce the risk of heart attack, you must first understand the causes and contributing factors.

The heart receives oxygen-rich blood from the lungs and sends it throughout the body. A heart attack occurs when a clot blocks an artery that carries the blood. Blockages damage the heart muscle within minutes. Within hours, the damage may be so great that it prevents the heart from functioning.

While some risk factors for heart attacks can be prevented or controlled, others cannot, including a family history of heart disease, age, or being male. According to BLR's, heart attack risk factors that can be prevented or controlled include:

-- Being Overweight, which makes your heart work too hard
-- High Cholesterol Levels and Diets High In Cholesterol and Saturated Fat, which clog and block the arteries
-- Smoking, which narrows blood vessels, increases heart rate, and doubles heart attack risk
-- Lack of Exercise, which can increase body weight and cholesterol levels
-- Stress, which can trigger health problems and weaken the heart
-- High Blood Pressure, which makes the heart work harder and weakens it
-- Diabetes, which, if uncontrolled, increases cholesterol levels

It goes without saying that if you smoke, you should stop--that is the single best way to lower your risk of a heart attack.

Another good risk-reduction step is to improve your diet. Ways you can do this include:

-- Eating Fresh Fruits and Vegetables and Whole Grain Breads, Cereals, Pasta, and Rice
-- Avoiding Saturated Fats like Butter, "Junk Food," Fried Food, Creams, and Gravies
-- Eating Steamed, Broiled, and Baked Foods and Low—or Nonfat Dairy Products
-- Restricting Salt Intake to keep Blood Pressure Down
-- Checking Packaged Food Labels for Sodium Content
-- Substituting Pepper or Other Seasonings for Sodium
-- Avoiding Alcohol to Keep Blood Pressure Down (and if you're diabetic)

If you do experience symptoms of a heart attack, you should take immediate action. Get to a hospital immediately if you experience:

-- Chest pain that lasts longer than 10 minutes. This could range from slight discomfort to pressure or tightness to crushing pain.
-- Pain that radiates to the left shoulder, arm, back, teeth, and/or jaw even if you rest, change position, or take medicine.

In addition, you should promptly tell your doctor about such other potential heart-problem symptoms as:

-- Frequent Angina — Chest Pain that goes away when you rest (It's a sign your heart needs more Oxygen.)
-- Shortness of Breath
-- Weakness
-- Anxiety or Restlessness
-- Dizziness, Fainting, and/or Change In Pulse Rate
-- Sweating
-- Nausea and/or Vomiting
-- Pale or Bluish Skin

Thanks to BLR

Monday, October 27, 2008

HR Motivational:- Be Part of the Humane Chain

In times of confusion, sorrow, frustration and fear, it is difficult to be aware of how one small deed can brush away the aforementioned feelings. The inhumane chain effect of our interactions can be harmful communication and can cause others to experience the same negative emotions that we are feeling.

By the same token, the humane chain of our interactions can rescue others from their negative emotions and fears. Just one small deed at the beginning of the humane chain can be life changing, or perhaps life-saving, for people all along the chain.


She smiled at a sorrowful stranger.
The smile seemed to make him feel better.
He remembered past kindness of a friend
And wrote him a thank you letter.
The friend was so pleased with the thank you
That he left a large tip after lunch.
The waitress, surprised by the size of the tip,
Gave part to a man on the street.
The man on the street was grateful;
For two days he'd had nothing to eat.
After he finished his dinner,
He left for his small dingy room.
He didn't know at that moment
That he might be facing his doom.
On the way he picked up a shivering puppy
And took him home to get warm.
The puppy was very grateful
To be in out of the storm.
That night the house caught on fire.
The puppy barked the alarm.
He barked till he woke the whole household
And saved everybody from harm.
One of the boys that he rescued
Grew up to be President.
All this because of a simple smile
That hadn't cost a cent.
      Author unknown


"I am part of a humane chain and I am doing my part to make it a life changing chain." 
Have a strongly linked week!

Mary Rau-Foster

Sunday, October 26, 2008

HR Humor:- English Is A Crazy Language

There is no egg in eggplant nor ham in hamburger ....
Neither apple nor pine in pineapple.

English muffins weren't invented in England or French fries in France.

Sweetmeats are candies while sweetbreads, which aren't sweet, are meat.

We take English for granted. But if we explore its paradoxes, we find that quicksand can work slowly, boxing rings are square and a guinea pig is neither a pig nor from Guinea.
And why is it that writers write but fingers don't fing, grocers don't groce and hammers don't ham?
If the plural of tooth is teeth, why isn't the plural of booth, beeth? One goose, 2 geese. So one moose, 2 meese? One index, 2 indices? Huh?
If you have a bunch of odds and ends and get rid of all but one of them, what do you call it ? (Answer-- Is it odd that you have just one?) 
If teachers taught, why don't preachers praught?

If a vegetarian eats vegetables, what does a humanitarian eat?
Sometimes I think all the English speakers should be committed to an asylum for the verbally insane. In what language do people recite at a play and play at a recital?

Ship by truck and send cargo by ship?
Have noses that run and feet that smell?
How can a slim chance and a fat chance be the same, while a wise man and a wise guy are opposites?
You have to marvel at a language in which your house can burn up as it burns down, in which you fill in a form by filling it out and in which an alarm goes off by going on.
English was invented by people, not computers, and it reflects the creativity of the human race, which, of course, is not a race at all.
That is why, when the stars are out, they are visible, but when the lights are out, they are invisible.

And finally, why doesn't "Buick" rhyme with "Quick"?

By Philip E. Humbert, PhD,

HR Business:- Motivation Every Day

There's a wonderful quote from Zig Ziglar that "People often say that motivation doesn't last. Well, neither does bathing. That's why we recommend it daily."

I am frequently amazed at the number of business people I meet who will not listen to tapes or read books or attend seminars. They don't have time to read, and the tapes "don't work." They "can't afford" the seminars, and they "don't need" the education. And then they wonder why their careers seem to reach a plateau!

Even a badly done tape may contain a kernel of truth, a bit of wisdom, or it may motivate you to do your work better or differently or with more integrity than "that other guy." Motivation comes in all shapes and sizes. Sometimes we are motivated by needing to pay the bills, at other times we are motivated by an inspirational seminar or the enthusiasm of a speaker.

Sometimes we are motivated by a desire to do better for our families. Sometimes we are motivated by fear, but we are almost always motivated when we are around exciting people with great ideas, lots of energy and a clear vision of where they are going. Motivation works!

As a business leader, there are important reasons to keep yourself focused, enthused, energized and eager, and you owe it to the people who look to you for leadership. Whether you stay motivated by re-writing your goals every day, or by listening to tapes, learning new skills or attending rallies, do whatever it takes. Your success tomorrow depends on your level of motivation, commitment and determination today.
By Philip E. Humbert, PhD,

HR Motivational:- The Power to Get Stuff Done

Consultants and motivational speakers have talked about the importance of written goals at least since Benjamin Franklin. The 19th century Psychologist and philosopher, William James, talked about clear goals, and Napoleon Hill wrote about them in "Think And Grow Rich" in the 1930's. Of course you should choose clear personal goals, write them down, and stay the course!

And that's the rub. The daily grind of "staying the course."

We all have goals of some sort. Some are written, some are vague, some are almost dream-like, but we all have things we long for. The rub is in making them happen.

Almost everyone I talk with--large audiences where I'm the keynote speaker, small corporate trainings, and individual clients--they ALL talk about distractions. They ALL talk about interruptions and daily frustrations.
They ALL talk about how busy they are and how little time they have.

And yet winners find the "secret" of doing first things first.

The winners in life have exactly the same amount of time and the same resources everyone else has. They work hard (like everyone else) and yet there is a huge difference in their RESULTS. In the end, winners come out on top because they have a SYSTEM for choosing their top priorities and sticking to them.

Here are a couple of practical suggestions, starting with the most fundamental truth I know: You must decide what you want in life. Life is full of options, and each of us has the responsibility to clarify our choices and pursue our dreams. No one can do that for you. Decide what you really want in life!

Most people don't think carefully about their most important goals. They have goals that are vague or have never been discussed and coordinated with family members. Be clear. Talk it over with the people in your life and focus on what you truly want.

But then, here are my suggestions for making specific daily progress:

1. REVIEW Your Goals frequently. Brian Tracy and Napoleon Hill recommended reading them every day, and they were smart people. I do a thoughtful review of my own goals at least once a month, and briefly re-write them every morning. If you aren't making progress on your goals, the first step is to review and commit to them more often.

2. Work with a TEAM. Talk with your family. Review your priorities with your boss. Get together with a master-mind group every week. Talk about your goals with people who will support you and who have the resources to help you succeed!.

3. PLAN Your Day and do it each evening so your mind can prepare for the new day while you sleep. What has to be done tomorrow? What problems will come up and how will you deal with them? What is your one major target for tomorrow? Decide the night before.

4. Each MORNING, confirm your daily targets. I write my three most important tasks on a 3x5 card each morning. I do it with my morning coffee. I think it helps.

For most of us, the key to daily action is a SYSTEM that keeps us focused and brings us back to our most important goals. On our own we are too easily distracted. We lose focus and waste time. Instead, use a SYSTEM that gets you back on course like an auto-pilot. Then, trust the system and get to work!

By Philip E. Humbert, PhD,

HR Culture:- The Role of Language in Culture

Have you ever thought about the role that language plays in your corporate culture, your family's culture, or even your regional culture? We develop language shortcuts that are meaningful so that we don't have to keep explaining certain things. We develop common understanding because of the common language we share. Even though we may speak English with others, the English we use depends on where we live and the culture in which we operate.
I remember when I was tutoring a person from Colombia several years ago I had to explain why we use the words and phrases we do. Anyone who has ever studied a language other than their native language has had to struggle with the impossibility of translating idiomatic phrases.
What is the language of your organization's culture? Many industries have a myriad of acronyms that are completely foreign to outsiders. When I worked in the aerospace industry we had countless acronyms and one of our trainers made a project of having people in her classes add to her list of acronyms we used so she would understand the comments in class.
Is your language focused on your past or on your future? In order to effect change in an organization it is important to have a clear picture of where you are before you try to move in any direction from that. Part of that understanding comes from listening and looking around you to determine the language of your culture. What is important in your culture? You can tell what's important by what people hold onto. What is open to change and what must remain constant?
As you begin to plan for changes, you may try to explain the new in terms of the old, but find that the two are not compatible. You must recognize that there may be limitations. Sometimes you have to rebuild your language or even invent new terms. As the saying goes, "Necessity is the mother of invention." We have all seen this in new product development.
However, what about language in terms of your leadership? Does it feel too "touchy/feely" to discuss methods of positive motivation? Does your culture support discussing ideas in an open forum without fear of reprisal or raised eyebrows? Can you have productive conflict where people hash out all sides of an issue honestly and respectfully? Are you willing to let go of control and instead facilitate others' success?
The word "change" can be a negative word in almost any culture. The world today is moving quickly and the only constant may be constant and more rapid change. Building a culture that can withstand this change means that we must have language that will accommodate the dialog of failure as well as the dialog of success. They go together to create new visions. The language must give people the means to embrace learning from the old while transitioning to the new and unknown. Listen to the way language plays out in your culture and you may find an opportunity to lead your organization to the future more effectively.
By Vicki Anderson