Episode 3: Wellness and All-In Employees


In this episode, Scott and Nelsa discuss hot topics trending, including Wellness in the workplace and how that affects employee engagement, as well as ways that employers can assist their employees in increasing wellness through programming.  Join us bi-weekly as we analyze key tactics and trends in employee engagement, YOS, and safety programs, while we discuss relevant news topics affecting your workforce. Listen to the episode below or continue reading for a full transcript. 



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[00:00:41] Welcome to the All-In Employee podcast. I'm your host, R. Scott Russell, and I'm right here with my co-host Nelsa Weber and we're from CA Short Company. And you can find out more about us at cashort.com.


[00:01:01] All right Nelsa, so we're gonna talk some current events today, are you ready? Oh, I'm always ready for current events. So I love to scour the Internet and the news and look for some great things for us to talk about. So I found a few topics I wanted to talk about today. You ready? I like to surprise you. Plenty to talk about. So this one, I thought was really interesting.


[00:01:20] So there was a headline recently about dying malls trying to find their new way to survive. Wow. And so one of these things and, you know, I grew up in malls right here. One of my young jobs was in a mall. I worked in many malls in the Nashville area. But what they're talking about is they're turning some of these shopping centers, which we know when these malls die out, it leaves these giant empty eyesores. Right. So one of the things they're doing is they're actually turning some of these spaces into apartments, which include stores. So you might have one end of the mall is now like shopping and retail and food, and the other end is apartments.


[00:02:02] That is a great way to repurpose. And I'll tell you why. Just having recently moved into my own place, like so many cities are like apartment affordable housing short. And what a great way to repurpose a building and recycle it to include the best of both worlds. You know, like if you go to a major city like Charlotte or Atlanta, New York, you know, people are living on top of stores pretty much. Yeah. And, you know, even though a mall typically like the one on nowhere I grew up, it's one level.


[00:02:33] Right. But you don't have to worry about going upstairs.


[00:02:38] But that's an awesome idea. I hope somebody does that where I live. So what do you think about it?


[00:02:44] You know, I at first I thought, well, that's kind of odd to me. But then I started thinking again. And what you're seeing today, you know, a lot of the lifestyle shopping areas do include living. Right. We're seeing that a lot. Where where you now go outside to shop. But there's living space, just like you said. It's above it or near it. And so I just thought that was a little interesting topic. And just to touch on this one. But, well, when I was growing up, this is the real story. I always had this dream that you know, how you would see a school and it'd be an old school and they'd be just small enough. They'd close it down. They'd go build a new one. And I thought, wouldn't it be cool to live in one of those big giant schools?


[00:03:23] And you'd have a basketball court and theater.


[00:03:26] And so this kind of made me think about that, like, what would that life be in? And when you think about, I guess, really even to the colder climates. How convenient that could be. Yes. Could you imagine what if you worked in the mall, lived in the mall and you never left an energetic footprint?


[00:03:40] You know, we're talking about doing what's good for the Earth. We're talking about, you know, not just totally wiping out buildings that have been very well made. So why wouldn't you just go in there and create townhouses or apartments or whatever for people to be able to have convenience? So, you know, they've done a lot of that with old factories as well, where aisles close. You're right. And they've gone in and created these multi multipurpose facilities that have gyms and restaurants and all kinds of things in it that are convenient for the people who live there. So I love it. I think it's a great idea for it.


[00:04:14] Bring it. Bring it to my town. They like to shop. That would be a great day. Right. I could just, you know, walk out my front door and down the block to the store. Is that right? Right. Get there. So.


[00:04:25] So Nelsa, I know you and I both come from a theater background, radio, theater. That's all in our blood. So a couple of stories came out recently that I thought we needed to touch on. And one was that you know, Broadway is closed for the year. Yeah, it's a huge impact. And I think in the New York City area and to entertainment and the arts in general. Right. And you, the listener, maybe think, well, why are we gonna talk about this and not all-in employees? Well, you know what? Theater people are employees. Yes. They're there, you know, constantly entertaining us. But they're employees, too, now, and they have a job to do and they're not able to do it. Right. And what is it like? You know, I think about what that must feel like for Broadway to go dark for almost an entire year. Right. Has that even ever happened? I don't think it has. I really don't think it has. And maybe it has. Maybe a listener will tell us that. But I don't think it has. But I think about the impact on those employees. You know, what is it like to know that you're not going to be doing your specialty, that you're not going to be using that God-given talent voice that you've got or that acting ability? And you know that it's going to be you know, right now it's summer for us. It's gonna be all the way to 2021 before they even get to return. Right. And what does that do to your engagement? Like, how does that affect you? How do you come back with even more energy and vigor to entertain us and to bring those stories to light?


[00:05:52] Well, and I think that's one of the things I can remember, an actor's training. You know, I always thought it helped me when I drew on my own. I'm a Stanislavski girl and drawing on my own background like don on my own experiences helped me to create characters who are full and well-developed or whatnot. And, you know, a lot of people have been talking about this is a when things are a rough like this when we're in a really hard time. That's when your creative juices ought to really start going into overtime. But one of the things that I think about is before you can get there, you've hit this really rock bottom place. So, you know, what are they doing for mental health? What are they doing for you know, unemployment benefits and, you know, how are those actors and musicians and those folks who are unemployed? What are they doing to be able to fill a need? And when you're a creative person like that and you spent all this time and energy training. It's really hard to go backwards sometimes, but a lot of people do it. You know, a lot of people wait staff on the side, but then those places have been impacted. So the typical odd jobs that an actor once had, those jobs are still not readily available to them. Right. Especially in New York. So it's a hard time. But, you know, my daughter, both my daughters, one went to go see Hamilton live when it came to Charlotte and the other one just watched the watch party on Disney. And so one of the things that I think is really great about how we're revolutionizing life as we know it in real-time. She watched that watch party and watched the show via Disney. And so more things are going straight to Netflix, you know, like straight to, you know, streaming. Yeah. So maybe this is a time when we'll get a lot of really good content because people can't leave to go home. And maybe the arts become affordable again, because sometimes things have outpriced. You go to Las Vegas to go see Cirque de Soleil. And you can't afford the ticket. It cost more than your hotel room just for a ticket to a show. So maybe we'll get a chance for more people to access the arts, which would be awesome, in my opinion. So, you know, of course, our thoughts and prayers are always out to those who have been impacted by the things that are going on in the world. But I think this is a really great time for things to be revolutionized, including Broadway.


[00:08:13] You know, I agree. I agree. And that's a great Segway right into my next headline. I mean, it's. I know. Cirque du Soleil. I had no idea, filed for bankruptcy.


[00:08:26] So while they're not going out of business, they are heavily reducing their staff. Right. And it's another sign of a little bit of what we're dealing with in this summer is just a transition right into that headline, because, again, it is arts and entertainment-oriented. Right. So a couple of big headlines from the last few weeks. And I know you know, that's I agree with you totally. I love or Cirque De Soleil. But high ticket prices sometimes. Right? You are paying for what you get. You're getting amazing talent. Right. But as we start to see, you know, the impact that this summer has had on so many industries, I do think we often probably discount the arts and entertainment industry, not realizing I have a lot of friends in the music business. And I mean, there's nothing to do. There's nowhere to go. There's nowhere to play. There's no audience to be found at the moment. It's very difficult. And how long this plays on, I think can be very hard on those people. And each artist, each show. When you didn't think about the artists on stage, you're not thinking of the hundreds of people behind the stage exactly that helped get that person.


[00:09:34] The tech people who always used to think were brilliant and amazing because they make you look good. But what are they doing? But, you know, a lot of times they have skills like carpentry and painting and, you know, construction. Yes, it's slowing down, but it hasn't stopped. You know, you look around and houses look like they're like the housing industry. Looks like it's booming in this season with interest rates so well and so low. But I think a lot of times, though, you know, things what goes up must come down. All right. You know, those laws that we think about and this is a good time for people to really rebrand. We've been talking about branding around here and thinking about what do I add value to? How do I add value to a program of movie, you know, show whatever. And thinking about what are my real basic skills. And I think every employee, no matter what your industry right now, this is a great time to go. If you've never done a Myers Briggs test or some sort of personality test or strength test or whatever to figure out who you are as an employee again and what value do you add and how can you remarket and rebrand that during this time of rebirth? You know, I like to think of it as a rebirth as opposed to a meltdown.


[00:10:47] It makes me feel better. Always on point. And then I'll add to that is, you know what?


[00:10:54] If you know somebody that's in the arts and entertainment industry, give them some love. Give them some appreciation. Cash App them. Yeah. Do something for them if you can. Because it is a difficult time right now and they are employees and all those people. Know, I've seen some stars who had to put their whole road crew on furlough and we don't know when they're going to be on tour. And so it's just a good time. Thank those guys as well. Exactly.


[00:11:16] Because if you've been turning your TV off like I have, it's quiet, you know, without your regular shows, without, you know, movies that you thought were going to be a date night or, you know, going out and doing things and that impacts all other employees. I used to tell my class when I taught theater, you know, pound for pound, the arts touches everybody. You know, you listen to a radio, you watch TV, do you go to plays, you go to movies. Well, it's going to be a real quiet world without those people. And hopefully we're gonna see a resurgence and everybody will be back to our new normal before long.


[00:11:53] And we won't talk about this. And I won't tell Nelsa. But I couldn't get through Hamilton in one sitting, so I'm still working on it. But we'll go. That's a story for another day.


[00:12:03] So our last subject I want to talk about in this section, there's a great article published recently by Josh Berson. And Josh is an expert in employee engagement. Somebody I read and follow quite a bit. And his article I found very interesting. And it's and I'm going to just tell you a little bit about it. Despite the pandemic, employee engagement is skyrocketing. And he says that after there's a poll of about 2000 Americans and they found out that, you know, while only five percent believe that things were going well, 40 percent believe they're going badly. However, what they found is that employers are lavishing support on their people right now and that two independent studies found that employee engagement, which is the measure of an employee satisfaction with their employer and their job, has reached the highest level ever. And it is both an astounding and enlightening trend. And so when you can you as you dig through their data, what we're actually seeing is that even the Gallup data, which pretty much says that employee engagement has been fairly stagnant over the last 10 to 20 years, it has actually spiked up a little bit. Now, understand that in the Gallup model, a tiny spike is huge. They are very stringent on how they measure employee engagement. But there are some other studies that aren't as stringent. And they show some pretty strong conclusions. And so the most obvious conclusion is that people with jobs are grateful. Right. And given an unemployment rate, which right now is between 10 and 15 percent, people are just happy to have that job. But the data shows a much deeper trend. It shows that employers are treating people exceptionally well. I loved this article and would recommend it if you get a chance to read it just because it says all the things that we spend every day trying to make happen. Yes. Right. We are fighting and working with our partners to try to grow employee engagement, try to grow that relationship.


[00:14:00] We saw our own company do this during these times. We're still doing things during these times. And so what I loved with this validates that we're all doing the right thing in this industry and it's the right thing. So I thought that was a really good article. I would recommend that if you guys get a chance to read it, sounds good. So I think coming up in our next section, we're going to talk a little bit about a good friend of mine named Paul her. Oh, yay. All right. We'll be right back.


[00:14:36] Welcome back. Friends. And we're going to talk a little bit right now. I just love this guy. So we have a great friend of CA Short. His name is Paul her. He is an author and a motivational theory expert. But for certain in my book is Paul wrote the book. It's called Primal Management. And Paul is actually going to be one of the session speakers at the upcoming RPI Virtual Conference, September 16th and 17th. You can find out more information at recognition.org. And I'm going to get to interview my friend. Yeah, I'm very excited about this. I met Paul a few years back. We struck up some great conversation. And if since we talk on a regular basis, I pick his brain and I always feel like I learned something. So Paul did a series of articles for us recently. And I just thought they were mind-breaking. Right. Exceptional here. And it's really around. How did we get motivation wrong? Yes. Right. And that's the session he's going to be at RPI. And so what Paul really talks about to us is that, you know, our workplace model, the way we do things, was really designed in the Industrial Revolution. Exactly. And we are still...Yeah. Eons ago. And that we are still sort of going through the motions of an old system. Right. Thinking that this is what drives people.


[00:16:08] We're working in a cloud now, but we're still operating on people clocking in and punching buttons and just basically being treated like machines. And if I give you a carrot and I promise all kinds of shiny objects, you'll do a lot better at your job.


[00:16:24] But people are living in the cloud. Come on. We've got it. Yeah, it's very different today.


[00:16:28] Know, I think of us about, you know, when we think about behavioral change and we think about, you know, the just the workplace, the environment and what the experience is and the voice of the employee. And so I really love how Paul really brings this in and talks about switching to more of a, you know, a tribal management experience and how you really work with the people around you. But he's got some great concepts. You know, he looks at what the drivers of motivation are, what truly drives you. And then how you need to understand that on an individual level. Right. We're also very different. And what drives you drives me differently. You know, all those types of things. So I'm really excited that we're gonna get some time with Paul. And I would love to have him again as a guest. Yeah, I would love to get him on the show. And I'm pretty sure we can get him to do that.


[00:17:21] Listen, I mean, we can dangle a carrot. You think we can innovate and motivate? Yeah.


[00:17:28] Great guy. Super smart. Somebody I really respect and look up to. Very excited about that. So I hope you'll join us. I'm going to try to get him in here next month with us to do a little episode. And he loves to talk. Well, so I don't think we have any problem with that. Perfect.


[00:17:57] All right, we're back, Scott. And this time we're talking about just a little about wellness and, you know, with things changing so much in the health care landscape and businesses trying to do things to make sure their employees stay engaged. We're seeing a lot of trends with companies recognizing the needs of the individuals that they employ. And wellness is one of those areas that hasn't always typically, you know, 30 years ago you were just you got insurance. You know, it wasn't about the total package. So you're seeing a lot with the physical side still, of course, with insurance policies, whatever. But we're also seeing things that are happening in the workplaces for people in terms of their mental health, their, you know, their emotional health, how they're engaging and come into work and being more productive and happier where they are at work. So what are your thoughts on that? You know, do you think wellness is the wave of the future or do you think this is something that's long overdue or are we just, you know, things in the NRA now?


[00:18:57] So I think that's a good question. I would tell you, I actually think it's overdue. Right. I will tell you even, you know, 10 years ago in my former life. Wow. While wellness was important to us, it wasn't something we built into the recognition program. And to your point, that's really a major trend right now. Is that where I'm at? I know I'm seeing it, but I think we're really seeing organizations placed high importance on the health and wellness of their employees. And then what they're starting to do is incentivize and recognize, well, behaviors. Right. And for a lot of reasons, think about this. So. So the better health you have.


[00:19:47] The more you're going to come to work, exactly, the more focused you're going to be. All right. So if I can help you there, it should be my duty as an employer. I believe that you have that duty. We spend most of our lives in our office. Exactly. Or at least I do.


[00:20:04] Yes. Right.


[00:20:05] So, you know, I think it is important for organizations to come forward and say not only is your productivity important to us, but your health and well-being is right. And so I know here, you know, we have a great solution here. And we have everything from a homegrown, simple solution to a very detailed, heavy scale solution. And I and we have a great partner for that where to get them on a future episode. So to talk about, you know, they're literally awarding four different tasks that you can take on a mammogram, could be a colonoscopy, could be your annual checkup. And then you actually get points for that, just like you would other great behaviors.


[00:20:45] You do a world of safety because that's said that's a safety issue. If you think about it, if I'm not feeling good and I come to work, you know, feel like I'm about to pass out. I haven't done a blood pressure check or I don't know what my sugar levels are in terms of diabetes, then you're not going to be safe and an alert as you would if those things were happening.


[00:21:05] You're constantly worrying about your health. All right. You're not going to be the all-in employee. Exactly. That we're talking about and that what this show is built about. Right. So I think when it comes to recognition, all-in recognition really should include wellness. And, you know, you talked a little bit about, you know, not just the physical, but even the mindfulness is very important because, you know, I'll give you a...I know Zappos, which I've been able to tour their facility out in Vegas. Do you know that at one time, I don't know if they still do it, But I knew at one time they actually had onsite life coaches. Nice. And that was something they offered their employees. So you could just go get advice and get help. And, you know, and I loved that. I thought that really showed that they truly placed an importance on that employee's well-being outside of the office. Right. And that's what it kind of says to me, is that, you know, that that I'm investing in you. But I want you to be well. Now, of course, you know, we wanted to perform great that we don't want you to be well, I don't want to help you be well in the best way that I can. And so some exciting news is on our next episode. We have a mindfulness expert. Yeah. And she is a good friend of CA Short as well. She's done a few articles for us. She'll be doing some more. Her name is Sheree Lucas, looking forward to that, and she is at shereelucasconsulting.com. If anybody wants to check her out and I'm very excited to have Sheree. She's pleasant. She is smart, funny but truly likes to bring out the best in people. And really likes to just kind of bring you up and lift you up and let you look at your inner self and find those moments. And we have a great story about how we met. OK. It's gonna be a really good story.


[00:22:47] Don't give it away. Now, I'm not going to give it away. I'm not going to give it away.


[00:22:50] But, you know, that's a part of that coming out of the Dark Ages. You know, we talked about in our previous segment Industrial Revolution versus, you know, 21st century practices. And mindfulness is definitely has been around for, you know, thousands of years. Of course, it didn't just pop up all of a sudden, but it has been dusted off and rebranded a bit. But employers who are doing that, you are really walking your people into the new century that we are in. And where are you taking care of your people so they can help take care of your bottom line? And so I'm looking forward at Sheree. I'm looking forward to it as well.


[00:23:24] I think we've got a great show. It's been a great show. Looking forward to the next one. I know it.


[00:23:37] Thank you for joining us on the CA Short all-in employee podcast. Scott and I will see you next time.



R Scott Russell, CRP, CEP

About the Author
R Scott Russell, CRP, CEP

R Scott Russell is a video host, public speaker, and a sought-after thought leader in the world of employee engagement and recognition. At C.A. Short Company, he is responsible for producing engaging content, helping clients maximize the effectiveness of their programs, and providing ongoing training and education.

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