HES Unveils “Work of Art”

in Wellbeing

Work of Art LogoJozito’s Bob Merberg Served As Key Consultant For Innovative Emotional Well-Being Program

MindfulnessGratitudeOptimismConnection, and more.

The Art of Living an Emotionally Healthy Life

I’m delighted to tell you about a solution to an employee well-being gap I’ve written about often — a solution just announced by my client, Health Enhancement Systems (HES)…

Work of Art is a program about the art of living an emotionally healthy life, featuring the personalizationquality, and spirit that only HES can deliver. As a consultant on the product, playing a major role with background research, content development, testing, and some feature design, the release of Work of Art — a program I’m certain will make a difference in the lives of workers and the organizations that employ them — is one of the proudest milestones of my career.

I urge you to learn more about Work of Art, and to pass this message along to your colleagues, because it may just be the most important employee wellbeing product of its time.

Gratitude to Treat Mental Illness? Thank You, But No Thank You

in Uncategorized, Wellbeing

A new study repudiates gratitude interventions as a treatment for depression.

The original intention of positive psychology was to expand mental health, not to cure mental illness. But wannabes self-help gurus, and some mental health professionals, hawk positive psychology interventions as a panacea for clinical disorders.

As the study authors note, gratitude interventions have value (for example, improving relationships) —  but not much for the treatment of depression or anxiety.

Ultimately, the authors state (in Gratitude Interventions: Effective Self-help? A Meta-analysis of the Impact on Symptoms of Depression and Anxiety):

Consistent with past reviews, we found gratitude interventions had a medium effect when compared with waitlist-only conditions, but only a trivial effect when compared with putatively inert control conditions involving any kind of activity.

In other words, gratitude interventions didn’t fair better than other behavioral activities used as controls.

A remaining controversy is how the limited efficacy of gratitude interventions compares to popular antidepressant medications.

Do Employees Pick Up the Wellness Programs You Throw Out There?

in Employee Wellness Programs, Uncategorized

A truck worker in a snowstorm

On a snowy winter day, as I listened on a conference call with a client, I watched through the window of my cozy home office as the curbside recycling truck lurched to a halt.

A burly guy jumped off the truck, where he’d been clinging in the blasting snow and arctic wind. In his orange reflector-striped parker, snow-dusted cap, and humongo gloves, he lifted my recycling bin out of the snow bank where it’d been half-buried by the city plow and in one swift move heaved the clinking and clanking contents into the backend of the truck.

He tossed the emptied bin onto my snow-covered driveway and stepped back onto the rear of the truck as it grinded away. With its amber caution lights flashing and sparkling in the icicles that hung off its rim like a damaged chandelier, the truck — its passenger clutching the back and ducking his head out of the wind — vanished into the whiteout.

“What kind of wellbeing program would appeal to this guy?” I thought. “What would be useful to him?”

On my conference call, the client was chatting about placing fruit-infused water stations in break rooms.

Would the recycling worker want a fitness challenge to track his steps? Would he like a health coach to call that evening to “nudge” him to eat fewer carbs? A work-life balance lunch-and-learn?

In the latest iteration of employee wellbeing, where all the buzz is about purpose, authentic self, mindfulness, and gratitude, would the recycling worker pick up what we’re throwing out there?

I don’t know what this individual worker wants and I won’t make assumptions. I haven’t spoken to him yet, but, like you, I chat with blue collar employees, manual laborers, and lower-wage workers every day. Some I meet in the course of my daily business, some are friends, some are family members. And I do ask what they want and how their workplace can support their wellbeing.

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The above was originally the preamble to my LinkedIn post, “How My Dad Proved Steve Jobs Wrong About Loving What You Do…”, but I cut it because of length, relevance, and tone. Still, I’d love to hear from you. How can we serve employees in job classes like this recycling worker? How can we best support their wellbeing?