Hollis Kool

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3 Science-Backed Steps to Better Workplace Communication

By Hollis Kool Oct 19, 2017 8:00:00 AM

I’m about to share a truth that may be a little hard to hear, but it needs to be said. Most of us are really bad at communicating—especially at work. There’s a reason why it’s so hard to communicate well in the workplace: We have to navigate the fine line between professional and social as well as the complex relationships we have with our coworkers.

But communication is such a big part of the employee experience that it can’t be neglected any longer. And it’s no secret that it’s a pain point at many companies. In fact, according to research by Deloitte, only 14% of companies believe their internal processes for collaboration and decision-making are working well, and 77% believe email is no longer a viable tool for effective communication.

It can be particularly difficult to change the entire nature of your workplace’s communication. Overhauling everyone’s communication style is a tall order. But, you’d be amazed at the way that changing your approach to communication can affect nearly all of the interactions happening around you.

Read on to learn about three tactics you can start to practice to work better in teams, improve interactions with your manager, help lead others, or find the right tone while you are in the break room.  

The Case for Investing in Employee Wellbeing Coaching

By Hollis Kool Oct 4, 2017 8:00:00 AM

What’s the first thing you feel like doing after having a frustrating day at work? Coming home and complaining to your spouse, roommate, or best friend, right? Commiseration and validation of our emotions feels good, and usually brings us closer to others when we feel like they understand our experiences or feelings.

While you’re actually at work, though, it can be difficult to share your emotions in an appropriate or constructive way. You may worry that venting frustration, anger, or disappointment could get you labeled as a problem employee and hurt your chances of promotion and success at work. But what if there was a way for you to participate in the same type of commiseration and validation you experience in your personal life within a work setting?

Some employers have begun to offer real-time health and wellbeing coaching, effectively giving employees a way to express their emotions in a safe space at work. Keep reading to learn the benefits of including health coaches in your workplace wellbeing program, and why it’s worth the investment!

We’ve Got the Cure for These 4 Common Wellbeing Program Ailments

By Hollis Kool Sep 13, 2017 8:00:00 AM

With most ailments like the common cold, you usually know exactly what to do. When you have a sore throat, you gargle with salt water. If you have a cold, nothing works better than Mom’s chicken soup. But what if you’re struggling with something that’s a little more complex?

How to Personalize Your Employee Wellbeing Program

By Hollis Kool Aug 30, 2017 8:00:00 AM

Here’s a common scenario: Your company decides to offer a wellness challenge, and you get a big group committed to running a 5k or walking 10,000 steps a day for a month. People seem excited and motivated at the beginning of the program. But by the end, or a few weeks after? That excitement has vanished.

Why does this approach to employee wellbeing tend to fade out? First off, once the ideal conditions and group encouragement are gone, most people revert back to their usual habits (you can learn more about how tricky it is to really create new habits here). But perhaps more importantly, it’s because the goal was set externally and isn’t necessarily relevant to each individual participant.

Want to know how you can start making personalized wellbeing programming that recognizes your employees as individuals? Read on to learn more about the benefits to personalizing your wellbeing program, and how to actually accomplish this. Let’s get personal.

Habit Change & Workplace Wellbeing: Part 2

By Hollis Kool Aug 24, 2017 8:00:00 AM

In Part 1 of this series, we explored some of the factors that go into the mechanics of habit change and why it’s so hard to adjust our behavior, even if we have a strong desire to make a change. If you missed it or want a quick refresher, you can see that post here.

In this post, we’re going to look at how the science of behavior change can impact your employee wellbeing programs, and what that means for you as you design them.

Habit Change & Workplace Wellbeing: Part 1

By Hollis Kool Aug 23, 2017 8:00:00 AM

"We are what we repeatedly doExcellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”

- Aristotle

Your alarm rings at 6am, you hit the snooze button—five more minutes of sleep. The second alarm goes off, and, grunting, you sit up. You reach over to shut off the alarm on your phone, and open up Facebook and start scrolling. If you’re feeling extra groggy this morning you might venture over to Instagram and Snapchat, too. Thirty minutes later, you’ve somehow managed to get yourself showered, dressed, fed, and out the door for work.

This morning routine—which may be a little hectic, but relatively low effort—is fairly unremarkable. Maybe your Special K ran out and you switched over to Honey Nut Cheerios, but for the most part, you can’t remember the specificities of one morning from the next.

The quote above from Aristotle makes the ordinary feel more remarkable than it seems. But, he has a point: Habits are the building blocks of our minute-by-minute behaviors, which make up our day-by-day routines. These automatic, unconscious routines make up our semblance of a person—40% of our behavior, in fact, is habitual rather than decided.

But what if we want to augment these routines? What if we are unhappy with the type of lifestyle they create in aggregate?

As an HR person or employer, you may wonder how you can encourage positive routines for your employees or help them disrupt their unhealthy habits. And wellbeing programs are one effective approach to accomplish this.

In Part 1 of this two-part series, we’ll take a more in-depth look at how habit formation actually works, how long it takes, and what makes it more likely to stick. In Part 2, we’ll consider what this means for your workplace wellbeing program design.

3 Ways Employers Can Support Positive Habit Change Among Employees

By Hollis Kool Aug 2, 2017 8:00:00 AM

Take a moment to consider the New Year’s resolutions you eagerly set for yourself at the beginning of this year. Remember that vision of a “new you” you saw parading in your mind?

Now flash forward to the present. Have you been hitting the gym, sticking to your diet plan, and spending more time with your family and friends? If so, good for you. That’s quite a feat. But if not... congratulations! You have a normally functioning response to negatively framed goals. Your neurological pathways for behavior change (or lack thereof) are right on track.

New Year’s resolutions, like many goals we aspirationally set for ourselves, focus on change from an undesired state or behavior to an ideal one. Although we may strive for self-improvement, it’s not as simple as just deciding that we want to be healthier, more generous, and well-balanced people. This process of setting ideals, but failing to reach them is an agonizing, yet very common one.

As an employer, it’s important to understand why you may be seeing performance outcomes by your employees that don’t match your (or likely their) ideals. Just as we all struggle with executing our New Year’s resolutions, employees can also have a hard time reaching their aspirations in the workplace. This is part of the bigger issue that humans can sometimes be our own barriers to achievement and change.

So how can you help employees make real, effective changes to their lives? Read on for a few ideas!


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Lifedojo solves the employer’s crisis of under-utilized disease management, behavioral health and well-being benefits through an all-encompassing employee behavior change engine.

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