B3 Monthly – March 2019

Welcome to the B3 Monthly for March 2019 our revamped monthly newsletter (formerly Eudaimonia) focusing on all things interesting and new in the world of Employee Benefits.

B³ Monthly is launched in conjunction with our new and exciting corporate benefits offering:

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BeneFit³ is an all in one solution that promotes overall wellbeing for your employees through targeted wellness programs. Encompassing our three pillars of employee health; the financial, physical and mental fitness the BeneFit³ program empowers your employees to lead happier, healthier, more productive lives.

B³ Monthly draws specific attention to the three wellness pillars, categorised as FinFit, PhysiFit and MindFit, so that you can easily identify areas where your benefits offering may need a push, and where you are currently excelling. We endeavour to provide topical, interesting articles and tips so that you can always be looking for the next best thing in the world of wellness and employee benefits.

We hope you like our new B³ Monthly branding and layout and would love to know your thoughts!

If you would like to find out more about Benefit³ and how it could be implemented as part of your employee offering, then visit our website or get in touch.

You can also follow us on LinkedIn.

Not enough sleep the same as being drunk?

Sleep deprivation is being labelled the new smoking, according to research, as retired US Navy SEAL, author and podcaster Jocko Willink observes “We are with sleep where we were with smoking 50 years ago”.

An ongoing Government inquiry into ‘Sleep Health’ has linked insufficient sleep with longer term health implications like cardiovascular disease, obesity, diabetes, dementia and cancer. In fact, participants in a study conducted at the University of Colorado, Boulder gained nearly 1.5 kilograms over two weeks when limited to 5 hours of sleep a night. They also experienced disruption to their metabolisms that would increase their risk of diabetes in the long term.

What’s worse is that 4 out of 10 Australians are getting insufficient sleep (less than the recommended 7 hours) with 2 out of 10 having a diagnosed sleeping disorder.

However, not only does sleep deprivation have harmful effects on our health, research indicates that an employee’s performance at work can be considerably impacted by their sleeping patterns. The previously mentioned Government inquiry noted that “In the short-term the consequences of insufficient sleep included “…decreased work performance…”.

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Matthew Walker, a sleep neuroscientist at the University of California, Berkeley conducted research concluding that the number of people who can function without measurable impairment on less than 6 hours of sleep, is 0(when rounded to the nearest whole percent). His research even goes so far as to compare sleep deprivation to intoxication: “After 20 hours of being awake, you are as impaired cognitively as you would be if you were legally drunk”.

So just like any employer wouldn’t want their employees working drunk, they shouldn’t want them working sleep deprived either. Well rested employees are happier and more productive, both of which are good for business. In fact, Deloitte estimated that in FY17, sleep disorders cost the Australian economy $66.3 billion.

If you are interested in ways you can tackle the sleep issue in your workplace please get in contact with us.

#Balanceforbetter – Women and Superannuation

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It’s a hot topic this month and we are sure going to talk about it too – International Women’s Day!

IWD was on Friday 8th March and we hope you celebrated women in your workplace and around the world

Keeping the focus on women, we would like to highlight the alarming facts about the gender superannuation gap. A fact sheet about Women in Super outlines that women are living longer than men but retire with a shocking 47% less superannuation!

Potential reasons for the gender gap are because:

  • 43% of women work part-time
  • Women working full-time earn 18% less than men
  • Women take on average five years out of the workforce to care for children or family member which can cause their super savings stagnate and begin to fall behind those of men
  • The current 9.5% Superannuation Guarantee does not enable most women to accrue sufficient savings for a comfortable retirement
  • An estimated 220,000 women miss out on $125 million of superannuation contributions as they do not meet the requirement to earn $450 per month (before tax) from one employer (as many women work more than one part-time job)

So… how can we mitigate the gap and achieve #balanceforbetter? Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees (AIST) CEO Eva Scheerlinck, suggests we abolish the $450 monthly income threshold for compulsory super payments. She also suggests HR managers pay superannuation contributions to employees when they are on parental leave. This is the only form of paid leave that doesn’t attract super. You might think to implement this policy, regardless of legislation, into your workplace to help achieve #balanceforbetter.

The Myth of Bucking Up and Pushing Through

In a time where the theories of resilience, mindfulness and good mental wellbeing are becoming more understood (and dare I say ‘trendy’) in the Australian workforce, it is putting these theories into practice that becomes the challenge for you and your high performing staff.

Karen Stein, Executive Coach with Deloitte Australia, explains that just ‘pushing through’ is not enough. In her LinkedIn article, Stein discusses that “long-term periods of high stress is unsustainable… which moves us from a productive stressed state, to a state of depletion and burnout”.

So how do we stop burning out and start actively practicing resilient and mindful behaviours to help us with high pressure work periods?

Stein outlines the Four ‘Cs’ of mental toughness:

  • Commitment – Be motivated in a way so that you pursue internal satisfaction rather than external validation. Setting purposeful and positive goals will help with the commitment you have to attaining them.
  • Control – As much as you can, influence the progression of your goals. Look at practical steps to progress within constraints at work, as well as thinking outside the box for ways to influence factors you can control. These factors include your emotional control. My favourite cliché works well here – Attitude is everything!
  • Challenge – Make sure your goal is challenging you; becoming bored can derail your performance. Equally, if your goal is too tough, then you may stretch too far. Keep reviewing your goal to know where you stand in this spectrum. By reframing your goal as a way to learn, even if you fail, will aid in a creative mindset and build overall resilience.
  • Confidence – Keep an eye on the way to speak to yourself – are you only focusing on the negatives or the failures? Talk to others who motivate you and boost your confidence. And make sure to reward yourself for your success, no matter how small!

Start actively looking at your goals – Use the Four ‘Cs’ to reframe your attitude towards your goals as a tool in building your resilience.

If you are interested in providing your high performing staff and/or executives with practical steps toward setting measurable and achievable goals, then speak us about our new Goal Setting Program.

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HR Extras

Bending over backwards – Flexible working works!

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“A right to request flexible working arrangements”. You would have heard or read this before. It’s one of the 10 National Employment Standards under our national industrial relations framework, meaning every employee in Australia is entitled to this request.

But flexible work isn’t just a legal obligation for employers to consider, it’s a proven people strategy that maximises productivity and employee engagement whilst lowering turnover costs. Take mining giant BHP for example, where 46% of employees currently work flexibly with a further 9% intending to do so within the next year. Their internal reporting revealed a 60% drop in fatigue related incidents amongst truck drivers who were working flexibly. They also serve as a great example of a non-office business implementing and enjoying the benefits of flexible work.

US investment bank BNY Mellon appear not to have gotten this memo however; America’s 11th largest bank banned flexible work in its London offices last week, only to reverse their crude decision 48 hours later following an intense backlash, the threat of a landmark lawsuit and a mass exodus at the hands of its 3000 employees. The decision, that aimed to “increase collaboration and enable faster decision making”, as communicated to employees via email, would actually disadvantage working parents and women in particular. Ironically, employees were notified 4 days before International Women’s Day.

So what can a business do to run an effective flexible work strategy? Anne Donovan, US People Experience Leader at PwC shares her insights in this Harvard Business Review article. Her three key insights propose that 1. flexible work must be flexible, meaning everyone’s flexible working patterns will be different, and that this must be embraced, 2. everyone deserves the same degree of flexibility, regardless of their age/generation and 3. with regards to flexibility, trust is given, not earned. She summarises flexible work at PwC: “For us, flexibility is not about working less, but it is about encouraging people to work differently”.

If you’d like to look at reviewing your HR practices or surveying your employees to see how flexible working could be incorporated at your workplace, contact us!

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