How Many Downward Facing Dogs Does it Take to Fix a Toxic Work Culture?

management policy Jun 05, 2023

By Shanna B. Tiayon


How many downward facing dogs does it take to fix a toxic work culture?

How many liters of water does an employee have to drink to increase psychological safety in their department?

How many steps must an employee walk to be recognized for their contributions?

When you read these questions they sound silly, right? But no more silly than what’s common practice in many organizations – wellness washing.

I recently learned the term “wellness washing” – the promotion of corporate wellness activities like yoga, water challenges and mental health classes without organizational investment in addressing workplace factors that lead to poor employee mental (and sometimes physical) health. The term articulates perfectly the contradiction of corporate wellness programs that place the onus for change and improvement exclusively on employees, without corporate level introspection and commitment to address key structural issues....

Continue Reading...

Is Your In-Office Workday Becoming Mechanical?

management Apr 04, 2023

Press play on the video blog to explore if your organization may need a new game plan for its hybrid work arrangement. 

Continue Reading...

Psychological Safety is Not a Grassroots Movement

management Mar 06, 2023

By Shanna B. Tiayon


Although popular, as of late, the term psychological safety is a nebulous one. Few organizations understand what it is or how to achieve it. At Wellbeing Works, borrowing from academic research and our own research findings over the past several years, we define psychological safety as:  An employee’s capacity to show up authentically, make mistakes, push back and ask for support without fear of negative consequences.

One thing we know for sure is that psychological safety is not a grassroots movement, whereby those in the lower levels of the organizational structure rise up, and create a psychologically safe work environment. Sounds great for a movie, but not a reflection of reality.  Sure, all employees have a part to play in contributing to psychologically safety, but leadership is what creates and maintains it.

Psychological safety is a top down process, meaning it begins with and is reinforced by leadership. And when I say top down, I...

Continue Reading...

Wanting to Help Others Could Make You Happier at Work

workplace behaviors Feb 27, 2023

By Shanna B. Tiayon


Workplaces typically are environments that value traits like individual drive, effort, and innovation, which are recognized and rewarded through promotions, pay, and bonuses. In many jobs, there’s very little incentive for “prosocial behavior”—that is, actions aimed at benefiting others. Yet in most workplaces, we can usually find individuals who seem to have a propensity toward helping others.

What are the benefits of having an inclination toward kind and compassionate behavior at work, and why should workplaces care?

Those are questions tackled by a recent meta-analysis, a type of study that gathers and compares data from many studies in order to identify trends and common results. In this case, the researchers included 252 groups of participants from 201 workplace studies focused on people’s motivation to be prosocial: their “desire to benefit others or expend effort out of concern for others.” Since there...

Continue Reading...

Your Organization May Be Focused on the Wrong Things to Boost Employee Wellbeing

management Feb 06, 2023

By Shanna B. Tiayon


At Wellbeing Works, we work exclusively in the business of employee wellbeing, partnering with clients across industries to create better workplaces through: employee wellbeing data and metrics, strategy development and training. Employee wellbeing impacts key employee behaviors like retention (likelihood to stay at the organization in the next 2-years), talent attraction (likelihood to recommend the organization) and self-advocacy (asking for what you need to be successful in your job).   But employers interested in improving employee wellbeing may be focused on the wrong things. Below are a few trends and recommendations we’ve noticed from our research and work with clients.

Hire for Management Skills and Train Your Management Pipeline:  The employee-manager relationship is central to employee wellbeing. You’re probably thinking, “no surprises here”, but do you know the full extent to which this is true? Our...

Continue Reading...

Four Ways We Can Be Sensitive to Trauma at Work

management Oct 13, 2021

By Shanna B. Tiayon

Before the pandemic, a client hired my employee consultancy firm, Wellbeing Works, to support a team shaken by the abrupt firing of a key member.

In the run up to the firing, we discovered, the team member’s performance had dropped rapidly and he developed tense relationships with colleagues. Though the organization tried a performance improvement plan before termination, we found out that it never addressed the root trouble with the employee‘s performance: depression and anxiety arising from a problem in his personal life.

Nobody in the organization thought to offer this employee support, Employee Assistance Program information, or grace. Instead, his behavior was viewed based only on impact to work output.

More frequently, our work connects us with clients who want to proactively support their employees. For example, a client in the non-profit sector was about to undergo a large reduction in staff due to funding issues (just before the pandemic hit)...

Continue Reading...

When You Should Help Your Coworkers—and When to Think Twice

workplace behaviors Aug 23, 2021

By: Shanna B. Tiayon


When was the last time you helped a colleague at work?

Helping in the workplace can take various forms—for example, training an intern, comforting a colleague in distress, or taking on extra work to complete a team project.

If your organization has a competitive work culture—or if you’re anything like the 35 percent of working Americans who feel overwhelmed by their workload—helping others in the workplace may not be at the top of your priority list. However, research suggests that more helpful workplaces actually perform better; they produce better-quality products and have increased sales. And helping others at work feels good.

If you can’t recall the last time you lent a hand to a coworker, the three questions below may help you start thinking about your interactions at work and how you could be of more service to others in the workplace.

1. When are you most likely to help others at work?

Are you...

Continue Reading...

How to Avoid Doing Harm When You Discuss Race at Work

workplace behaviors Aug 23, 2021

By: Shanna B. Tiayon


The year 2020 has been a rough one, especially for Black Americans. The global coronavirus pandemic’s disproportional impact, combined with multiple police murders of unarmed Black people, cast a brighter light on systemic racism in the United States. In many instances, the killings were caught on phones and the images repeatedly replayed on social media and the news.

Somewhere around the end of May to early June, corporations sent out public statements en masse in support of Black Lives Matter. Ironically, in the wake of the COVID-19 shutdowns, a couple of months prior, job listings for diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) roles had fallen by 60%, but increased by 50% as Black Lives Matter protests spread. Corporations started to hold DEI dialogues inside their organizations to complement their external messaging—perhaps because 69% of Americans believe that corporate messaging about racism is more about pressure from...

Continue Reading...

Work Before Wellness? Why We Sacrifice our Mental and Physical Wellness for our Jobs

workplace behaviors Aug 22, 2021

By: Shanna B. Tiayon


Throughout my career as a manager and human resources professional, I’ve seen countless examples of employees who sacrificed their wellness for their jobs.

Once, an employee had to have a triple bypass heart surgery. Within a day or two after the surgery they called their manager offering to work remotely during their recovery period!

Another time, I had to intervene when an employee received news that their father passed away, but they still came into work. They were visibly unfit to work, but decided to come in because they didn’t want to miss a deliverable!!

So as not to be the pot calling the kettle black, a few years ago my daughter was born early via an emergency C-section. One of the scariest days of my life. Thank God she was born healthy and is thriving today. Nevertheless, hours after her birth, still doped up on pain meds, I found myself in the maternity wing lobby on conference calls, continuing to work. Why? Because I felt bad...

Continue Reading...

Mental Health Days are a Legitimate Use of Sick Leave

policy Aug 22, 2021

By: Shanna B. Tiayon


This might be a controversial statement but I wholeheartedly believe that mental health days are a legitimate use of employee sick leave.

To be clear a mental health day is not related to leave taken due to serious mental health disorders. Instead, it’s a day taken off from work for the sole purpose of mentally and physically recovering from work related stressors. Thinking of sick leave as only for physical illness or serious mental health disorders misses the original intention of introducing sick leave into employee benefits programs – to facilitate the wellbeing of employees.

Perhaps my perspective on mental health days is skewed, because growing up the concept was introduced to me at a very young age. Starting when I was in elementary school my mother would periodically let me stay home to “play hooky” from school. We called those days mental health days. On those days I spent my time watching T.V., playing games and sleeping;...

Continue Reading...
1 2

50% Complete

Two Step

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua.