Families First

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Families First’s mission is to create healthier communities by strengthening families and individuals though life challenges and changes.
Learn more at www.familiesfirstindiana.org.

Career Clear

Corporate Wellness Programming

  1. Introduction
  2. Career Clear Summary
  3. Corporate Benefits
  4. Why Focus on Strengths?
  5. Programming Options

 Introduction

Employers need productive employees.  With Career Clear training, we can address how employees react to stressors that can reduce productivity. We empower employees to feel in control and have ownership of their actions & emotions by teaching them to flourish in their environment.

Studies show that poor mental health among employees is one of the leading financial drains in the workplace.  Evidence indicates that positive psychology interventions can improve workplace performance.  Positive psychology offers numerous empirically-validated approaches that can be implemented in the workplace.  Employers gain a competitive edge and avoid costs associated with turnover and absenteeism as well as productivity enhancement, simultaneously building both employee psychological well-being and organizational financial well-being.

The reality is that not all disengaged employees request time off for being sick.   In October, 2004, Harvard Business Review published an article entitled “Presenteeism: At Work — But Out of It.”  Its author Paul Hemp argued that, whereas managers tend to be highly aware of worker absenteeism, they should be more attuned to presenteeism.   Presenteeism, when an employee is at work but isn’t productive, can cost even more over the long haul.  One of the top causes of presenteeism is poor work-life balance and high levels of job-related stress.

The costs of presenteeism to an organization can be huge. In 2007, Medibank Private commissioned a study to identify the costs and impacts of presenteeism on the Australian workforce and economy.  This landmark report and study revealed that in 2005-2006 the cost of presenteeism to the economy was estimated at $25.7 billion, nearly four times the cost of absenteeism. 

So what can you do to prevent this cost and increase the wellness of your employees? Career Clear has been developed to provide employees with the tools needed to live better lives through the study of positive psychology. In our classes, participants address the core principles of the science, utilizing interventions that improve productivity in the workplace. Topics can range from dealing with adversity/misfortune through hope and optimism, releasing “flow” in the workplace, discovering personal strengths and how to apply them, and adding authentic value and meaning to daily interactions with others.

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Career Clear Summary

Career Clear programming is strength-based, meaning it focuses on employees strengths to encourage productivity in their work. Overall, the program is designed to give people the tools to live better lives. We offer a series of six classes available for purchase. The first class provides an overview of the PERMA model, which focuses on positive emotion (P), engagement (E), positive relationships (R), meaning (M), and accomplishments (A), with a take away from each of the five pillars. This model is a wellbeing theory and focuses on overviews of the five essential elements to authentic happiness, or wellbeing.

We offer five additional sessions, one for each pillar in PERMA. These sessions are more intense, interactive, and really help employees understand what they can do to thrive in all aspects of life. During these sessions, employees are asked to take an online strengths survey. This individualized assessment will identify their strengths and ways to use those strengths personally and professionally.

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Corporate Benefits

Career Clear training provides individuals with the techniques that modifies their behavior to improve their mental wellbeing and decrease depression. This in turn creates a healthier, more productive workforce while also realizing tremendous savings for the employer in healthcare costs and turnover. Career Clear can increase employee’s confidence, creating stronger employees that are ready to take on more challenging tasks.

Being mentally and physically well can provide more benefits than just reducing absences from work. Returning to the idea of presenteeism from the introduction, the cost of presenteeism to an organization can be huge. In 2007, Medibank Private commissioned a study to identify the costs and impacts of presenteeism on the Australian workforce and economy. The report indicated that workplace stress is responsible for a loss of 2.14
\working days per employee annually as a result of presenteeism, which equates to a cost of $533 per employee annually. 

With this research in mind, applying the presenteeism cost for employers cited above, the value of a six-session workshop for 15 employees could reach just under $8,000 per year. While some employees will still require clinical intervention and standardized treatment, generally speaking employees benefit most from focusing on the positives in life and their individual strengths first.

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Why Focus on Strengths?

You might wonder why focusing on strengths could benefit your workforce. Research shows that individuals who focus on their strengths are generally happier and more confident in their daily lives. When individuals are more confident, they are able to take on and put in the necessary effort to succeed at challenging tasks. Part of doing so relies on having an overall sense of optimism toward one’s own abilities. When we focus on our strengths, this optimism regarding ability to overcome challenges allows us to flourish both now and in the future, perservering toward goals and redirecting paths as needed to succeed. Additionally, those who focus on their strengths are able to overcome adversity by sustaining andbouncing back, becoming more resilient.

The focus on strengths is not just a fad within the health community. The research-based consulting firm, Gallup Organization, which focuses on performance management, recently publicized a poll examining employees’ perception of the meaning of strengths in the workplace. They found:

  • 99% of those surveyed felt engaged at work if their managers focused on their strengths vs. 78% of those who felt that their managers focused on weaknesses.
  • With a strengths focus, 84% of those surveyed planned to work in the same place a year later vs. 37% of those without the strengths focus.
  • With a strengths focus, 74% intended to recommend its organization’s products and services vs. 29% of those without the strengths focus.

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Programming Options

The core of Career Clear programming has been developed based on the principles of positive psychology - the study of strengths and positive emotions that enable individuals and communities to thrive. Evidence indicates that positive psychology interventions can improve productivity. The workshops also draw on motivational theory, along with authoratative research to help employees understand what they can do to thrive both personally and professionally.

Our programming is customizable to your needs. We suggest that all employees complete the initial one-hour overview of positive psychology and the five pillars of PERMA before adding additional class content, however it may fit your company’s needs to only focus on, for example, positive relationships. If this is the case, let us know and we can tailor our trainings to fit your needs. Below is a brief overview of both the topics available, as well as the scheduling options:

Topics:

The BasicsThe basic idea of positive psychology is that utilizing our strengths and positive emotions can enable individuals and communities to thrive. By using one’s natural talents, individuals can produce better work and live happier and reduce unncessary stressors. The basic core of Career Clear can help individuals look at challenges in a new light, building upon their strengths.

Positive EmotionsPositive emotions are fairly easy for many people to identify: joy, amusement, hope, etc. Each of these has its own trigger. Focusing on positive emotions does not mean eliminating negative ones, rather utilizing the positive ones to help us flourish. Increasing the amount of positive emotions you have can be a good step toward increasing your overall wellness.

Engagement
The key aspect of engagement is something referred to as “flow.” Flow is what we call it when we are so absorbed in a particular activity that time seems to fly by. As you might guess, being engaged to the point of achieving a good flow is critical to a productive workplace, but it is also important in happiness, as it prevents boredom and other negative elments.

Relationships
Having positive relationships with friends, family, and co-workers means a few different things: enjoying their company, feeling supported, engaging with them, and receiving positive emotions and impressions from them. If these elements are missing, it migh tbe time to evaluate why. Is something missing that is not fulfilling your needs in your workplace relationships?

Meaning and Purpose
These days, people often find meaning in a variety of places, including their relationships and families, their jobs, faith, and causes they find important. This aspect is why things like mission statements are important at work. A clerk migh feel they are “just a clerk”, but if they view themselves as part of a larger whole, it injects new meaning into what they do for your organization.

AccomplishmentIndividuals view accomplishment through a retrospective lens. (i.e., “Did you finish a tough project?) Accomplishment is something we can call on from our past to help drive us through our future to achieve more. It also helps us identify our own strengths. Acknowledging and rewarding accomplishment is therefore vitally important in the workplace. 

Scheduling Options:

One-Hour Course
During a one-hour session, training can be focused on one of the topics above. We strongly suggest starting employees with the overview to learn more about themselves before moving on to utilize the five pillars in a guided dicussion on ways to utilize strengthswithin the five topic areas. One-hour courses are lecture based, given the short amount of time and cover ways participants can self-explore their strengths.

Two-Hour Course
Two-hour courses provide some time for interactive content, allowing participants to walk away with a greater understanding of their own strengths. These courses can focus on the two of the training topics above. Again, we suggest including the basic overview of the five pillars and one additional topic.

Two-Day Course
Two day courses are available for organizationslooking to complete the full Career Clear training.Two days of two or three hour sessions provide time for much more interactivity in the course, allowing instructors to work with employees to undrestand their own strengths and provide them with resources to  succeed relative to all five pillars of PERMA.

Other
Career Clear trainings can be customized to meetyour needs. At MHA Indy we understand thateach organization will have their own timeframeand workforce goals that influence their needsand desires for training opportunities. We want to work with you and your employees to make your workforce development training fit yourneeds and work for you in a stress free and productive way.

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Contact Us!

Are you interested in bringing Career Clear training to your employees? Contact us at info@familiesfirstindiana.org