Benefits administrator blog from Delta Dental

Category: Work life (Page 3 of 3)

Stay on top of workplace trends, and get tips to improve workplace culture.

10 scientifically-supported ways to celebrate your employees

3‑minute read

Most businesses organize some sort of employee appreciation event every year. Why do we do it? Because other companies do it? Because social media tells us we should? Or maybe there’s a science behind it?

There actually is some science behind it. Here are ways you can boost employee happiness and productivity while going easy on your budget.

Employees smiling and talking in the office

Pay attention to these four brain chemicals, their positive effects, and some ways to get them pumping:

Endorphins

Endorphins are chemicals meant to ease pain and stress, but they are also proven to boost happiness. Since physical activities help produce endorphins, here are a range of activities that can get your employees moving:

  • Organize an intramural-style sport activity for your company. Popular sports include basketball, softball, volleyball and kickball. ZogSports coordinates leagues in major metro areas, and many smaller areas have local leagues.
  • Encourage members of your team to start a running group and run a race. Bonus points if you’re benefitting a charity or cause!
  • Look into getting a reduced group rate for fitness classes. There are plenty of cycling, strength training, yoga, barre and other studio fitness classes to choose from.

Dopamine

A lift in dopamine can kick-start some serious motivation and productivity, because it targets the reward center of the brain. Low levels of dopamine have been linked to procrastination and self-doubt, which is the opposite of how you want your employees feeling. Some motivation-boosting activities include:

  • Coordinate goal-setting meetings with specific rewards. If you plan out small milestones and celebrate each one, you’re encouraging continuous productivity and rewarding motivated behavior each time. Rewards can be as big or small as you want.
  • Play music at some points during the day, as long as it’s not distracting. Hearing music that you like is proven to boost dopamine levels. And it wouldn’t hurt if your team also got up and moved to the beat!
  • Encourage learning new skills or being creative. Set up a class at a local craft shop, share a video on the basics of drawing, or give your employees access to adult coloring books.

Serotonin

Serotonin is the chemical perhaps most closely linked to your mood. It contributes to feelings like calmness, and a lack of serotonin is linked to anxiety. Thankfully, there a lot of natural ways to boost serotonin levels and improve your employee’s moods, including:

  • Soaking up some sun. Plan your next team event around being outside —organize a team lunch at a local restaurant with a great patio, or simply relocate your weekly brownbag to a picnic table near the office.
  • Think positively and spread positivity. One of the easiest ways to boost serotonin levels is to recall positive experiences from the past. And try creating positive experiences for your employees going forward with a recognition program.

Oxytocin

The “trust hormone” is crucial in corporate culture. It helps us build working relationships and create positive interactions with one another. Here are a few things you can try in the workplace to build relationships and trust:

  • Try a trust- and team-building experience, like an escape room or obstacle course.
  • Give (and receive) small gifts! It’s been proven that giving a gift can often feel just as good as receiving one. Take this CEO for instance, who wrote each of his employees a birthday card (and received cards in return for his!).

Take a challenge and try integrating each of these happy chemicals into your employee engagement strategy throughout the year.

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Barketing: How man’s best friend could boost your business

We love our dogs. No, seriously. Some of us use them as business mascots. Some of us even love them more than most humans.

Woman at desk with dog

They’re cute, cuddly and loyal companions — but they may also be a powerful part of your business strategy. Here are two ways dogs can make a bark of a difference at your organization:

Bring your dog to work programs

Offices have gone to the dogs — literally. Learn about some of the business advantages of allowing dogs in your workspace, including:

  • Increased employee retention with a unique benefit that they may not find elsewhere
  • Positive morale, as being around and interacting with pets can ease stress
  • More physical activity, as employees play with or walk the office dogs

Of course, having pets in the office isn’t for everyone. Look into some of the more complicated aspects of allowing dogs at work, and consider implementing a comprehensive pet policy.

Dog-friendly environments (without letting them inside) 

If dogs in the office doesn’t work for your organization, consider some easy ways to welcome pet owners to your business (especially small businesses!):

  • Place a water bowl at your entryway if you’re located in a popular walking area
  • Stock dog treats at your front desk, countertop, drive-through, etc.
  • Run a pet-centric promotion or giveaway

Check out a full list of dog-friendly ideas for small businesses.

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Life hack: 3 ways to make cyber security a priority

Did you know January 28 is Data Privacy Day? If so, you’re an information security rock star! If not, no worries — we’ve got you covered with some quick tips to bring you up to cyber speed.

Woman using laptop

We’re no stranger to exploring information security — from awareness and compliance to prevention, we’re constantly adapting to an evolving cyber landscape. Here are some ways your business can make data protection a priority, too:

1. Know the impact

As evidenced in the wake of recent data breaches, people aren’t happy when their personal data is exposed in cyber attacks. But did you know that 76% of consumers say they’d abandon a company that experiences multiple breaches?

2. Make compliance cultural

Studies have proven that having a dedicated incident response team in the occasion of a breach can significantly lower the financial impact on an organization. But take it one step further! Share your organization’s prioritization of data privacy with all of your employees — because the more they care, the more likely they are to take care.

3. Do the math

If you’re not sure how your organization stacks up against cyber threats, try plugging some information into this Cost of a Data Breach calculator, provided by IBM and Ponemon Institute.

The calculator takes your organization’s location, industry and security measures into account to a deliver an estimated impact to your bottom line in the event of a threat. Take special note of how some factors, like participation in threat sharing and employee training, can actually lower your estimated costs.

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