Catching Communication Cues – B3 Monthly – October 2019


B3 Monthly

BeneFit3 Launch Event: Workplace Wellbeing – Cutting Through the Hype

workplace wellbeing

The dreaded ‘w’ has become more than a little tired in HR circles. It started off with employers introducing yoga and fruit boxes in the office, but now having the newest and best wellbeing initiatives at the workplace has pulled our focus away from promoting true employee wellness.

So how do we cut through the hype of ‘fad’ wellbeing trends and actually get to the heart of employee happiness and health? How does a company curate and embed wellness attitudes and culture without breaking the bank?

Stanford Brown is hosting an electric event aimed at tackling the apathy and fatigue that HR Execs and People Leaders may experience about wellbeing.

Workplace Wellbeing – Cutting through the Hype is lunch time presentation and panel discussion with wellbeing experts, Chelsea Pottinger (EQ Consulting), Dr Simone Ryan (TOTIUM), Martine Beaumont (Select Wellness) and myself, James McFarland (Stanford Brown).

BeneFit3 will launch our overall benefits services, including our Complete Executive Wellbeing Suite and we will also preview our dynamic FinFit Tool – an online financial health risk assessment tool that provides a financial fitness score and then guides users through relevant educational material to improve their financial health.

The lively panel discussion will include answers to some difficult questions including the usefulness of wellbeing initiatives, what ‘embedding’ culture really means, and how to avoid fads that don’t add meaning to HR strategies.

Workplace Wellbeing – Cutting through the Hype is taking place at 12pm – 2pm on 30th October 2019 at the ivy Sunroom.

To register your interest in attending, please email [email protected].


Catching Communication Cues

Analysing shifts in your employee’s language can help determine their current mental state and sense of wellbeing. Whilst a shift in your employee’s physical behaviour can signal a decline to their mental health, noticing a change in their communication (both verbally and in emails) is sometimes more effective.


Other than obvious signs, like increased use of negative adverbs or adjectives, frequently using personal pronouns such as ‘I’ and ‘me’ is a common shift for depressed people. It is also important to look out for the increase of absolutist words – like ‘always’, ‘never, ‘definitely’ and ‘absolutely’, as these have also been proven to link to negative cognitive thinking.

James W. Pennebaker backs this theory up by monitoring how more socially engaged people speak using third person pronouns, like ‘he’, ‘she’ and ‘they’, in his 2019 TEDx Talk. “By using these third person pronouns, by definition you care about other people, you think about other people. And people who use these at high rates are much more socially engaged.”

In light of Mental Health Awareness Month, we encourage all HR managers to take note and be vigilant about observing changes to their employees’ language and reach out to those who may be suffering. A friendly coffee catch up and providing a listening ear is a great start.


The Sanctity of Sleep


We talk a lot about sleep here, and for good reason. A recent government inquiry ‘called for sleep to be… recognised as a ‘third’ pillar of a healthy lifestyle alongside diet and exercise’. But it seems we aren’t giving sleep the priority status that it deserves.

The statistics haven’t changed (40% of Aussies aren’t getting enough sleep), the studies are still showing the same results (we aren’t getting enough sleep and It’s affecting our physical and mental health).

If we know that the results of inadequate sleep are that we are more likely to suffer from cardiovascular disease, can’t concentrate, more likely to be sad or irritable, then why aren’t we doing more about it?

As wellbeing develops into a more defined strategic pillar for businesses, further reaching programs building on more than just promoting healthy exercising and eating habits must be implemented. With the research telling us that sleep effects efficiency and mood (these having a direct correlation to work output), then it’s time for businesses to invest in sleep-based wellness programs.

It’s easier and more cost effective than you think. Start with an awareness campaign, providing insights and statistics to staff who may not understand the detrimental side effects of poor sleeping habits.

If you want a more structured sleep program put in place, then you’ll need to do more than read about it. If you are stuck with where to begin or would like more insight on how to build sleep awareness programs into your wellbeing strategy, then reach out to Stanford Brown for guidance.


The New Millenial Malady

A recent survey found 23% of millennials have experienced some form of heart related symptoms in the past 6 months. This compares to only 17% amongst those aged 50 or greater, suggesting that millennials experience significantly greater heart symptoms than older age groups.

While most people know the importance of keeping physically healthy, many millennials don’t consider their heart health because it is associated with the elderly. Here are a few things you can do/not do to protect your heart:

  • Make sure you get a good 7-8 hours of sleep each night. Less than 6 hours of sleep a night can drastically increase the risk of heart disease. Our July B3 Monthly looked at some ways a night owl can shift their bed time 2-3 hours earlier which may help you get that good night’s sleep your body has been craving. Also check out the ‘The Sanctity of Sleep’ article above which talks about the importance of sleep in a healthy lifestyle.
  • Reduce your alcohol consumption. It is extremely common, especially amongst millennials and the younger population, to have higher than moderate amounts of alcohol. This can lead to high blood pressure, stroke and even heart failure. It is recommended to limit your alcohol intake to 1 drink per day for women and 1-2 drinks per day for men.
  • Get up from your desk every half an hour. It’s been shown that sitting at your desk for long periods of time has increased risks of heart problems, even if you exercise.
  • Go visit your doctor – It is never too early to think about your heart health. Visit your doctor for routine check-ups at least once a year. Even if you’re in teens or early 20s, it is a good idea to have a check-up.
  • Don’t smoke – This is the biggest cause of preventable deaths. Here is a great website provided by the NSW government that has amazing information on the effects of smoking, quitting methods and even a calculator that can show you how much money you could potentially save by quitting.

Incorporating health initiatives at your workplace such as introducing a walking challenge with fitbits to something simple as reminding employees to get out of your chair and stretch every so often via simple alarms every 30-45 minutes can be great ways to promote physical health to your employees.



Cheap and Cheerful

Being fiscally responsible is back in fashion! Based on recent research conducted on 1000 Australians by UBank, 53% think it’s cool to be financially responsible.


The study outlines that people are cutting back on discretionary spending such as buying coffee, dining out and subscription services such as Netflix and Spotify. Alarmingly, Private Health insurance was also one of the ‘discretionary’ items young people are getting rid of, in efforts to save more towards future investments and goals.

With this trend towards penny pinching, it’s important to ensure that your staff are adequately covered at work when it comes to health and life insurances. Putting in place a subsidized or voluntary Health insurance plan can help those savvy savers keep an eye on their spending while still maintaining peace of mind if something were to happen to their health.

Stanford Brown specialise in the advice and management of both employee funded and subsidised Private Health Insurance plans. Reach out if you would like to see how easy it is to implement a Private Health Insurance program at your workplace.


Stanford Brown Gen Y Event – The Map To Millions for Millenials


It seems most entry-level jobs require a lifetime’s experience, and a Master’s degree is no longer an edge in the workplace. Even if you have a job, it will probably be automated by 2030!

How can Millennials hope to get ahead in such a gloomy environment? Join us as three of Stanford Brown’s rising stars present a roadmap any Millennial (or Gen X or Gen Z!) can follow to achieve their financial dreams:

  1. Set your financial goals
  2. Accelerate your career
  3. Avoid the biggest financial mistakes
  4. Manage your spending

Event Date: Thursday 24th October 2019

Event Time: The event will formally start at 6pm. Please join us from 5:30pm for drinks and canapes. The evening will conclude by 7pm. We expect you will have many questions, so feel free to stay on after.

Where: Kirribilli Club – 11 Harbourview Crescent, Lavender Bay.

To register for this exciting event, please click this link.


What would you tell your younger self?

Hear from Stanford Brown partner, Hamish Harvey and Chairman & Chief Investment Office of Magellan, Hamish Douglass as they discuss the dos and don’ts of investing basics. Click below to watch!

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