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Blue @ Work

How employee brain power = healthy business

Why it matters.

Meetings, meetings after the meetings, note-taking, follow ups, coffee breaks — the list goes on. Your employees may start to feel as if there isn’t enough time for dedicated focus or creativity to get their job done. Most importantly, get the job done well and not rushed.

Twenty-four hours. Each one of your employees has the same amount of time to accomplish anything they set their mind too. They also have the same amount of time as successful individuals like Elon Musk, Rosalind Brewer, and Jeff Bezos. While these high performers may have teams (big and small) helping them reach this level of success, they choose to maximize every second, minute and hour of their day.

Here’s how they leverage their brain power to full capacity External Site and maximize creativity in the work they do each day:

  • Focus on the task until it’s fully complete. Yes, that means no multitasking.
  • Learn when to say no.
  • Get rid of excessive meetings (unless essential).
  • Make quick decisions.

Employee productivity, creativity and brain power is key to a healthy business

According to Inc.com External Site, the average worker is only productive for two hours and 53 minutes per day.

Distractions are everywhere, and quite frankly, inevitable for employees who are either in the office, or working remotely.

While some of the greatest minds of all time like Bezos and Musk try to eliminate as many distractions as possible — we realize that may not be feasible for all, which is why we’ve rounded up a few ways you can help your employees stay productive, creative, and focused throughout their work week.

7 tips to improve brain power in your workplace

  1. Encourage hydration.

    According to Medical News Today External Site, even being dehydrated as little as 2 percent may impair your employee’s ability to perform tasks that involve laser focus, creativity, or motor skills. While it’s no easy task to get your employees to stay hydrated throughout the day, we’ve provided some ‘hydration inspiration’ for you to share with your employees. Everything from flavor-infused water recipes, to workplace hydration challenge downloads.
  2. Get your employees moving.

    Your employees don’t need to carve out two hours at the gym. Instead, it’s all about getting 20–30 minutes of movement in to get the blood flowing. When employees go for walks, stand at their desk, or do chair yoga, they will see in an increase in focus, productivity, and creativity.
  3. Adopt work-life balance policies.

    The soon-to-be largest generation of your workforce will be millennials. This generation grew up in households where both parents worked full-time jobs — either to make ends meet or save up for college tuition. They suffered secondhand stress of the workplace through their parents. Which is why this generation seeks out employers who encourage balance in the workplace. If work-life balance policies aren’t put into place, your workplace may suffer the consequences of unhealthy, and disengaged employees.
  4. Provide healthy balanced snacks.

    Proper nutrition has a powerful impact on your employee’s overall health and well-being. At work, it can contribute to happier, healthier, and more focused employees. Consider these ideas for encouraging healthy eating within your workplace, or for an employee who is working from home.
  5. Offer meditation classes.

    According to the American Institute of Stress, work-related stress causes 120,000 deaths and results in $190 billion in health care costs yearly. Meditation Opens in a new window is a powerful way to help your employees reduce anxiety and stress. Research also suggests that regularly practicing focus and deep breathing techniques can drastically improve your employee’s mood, brain function, and even lower blood pressure.
  6. Help your employees set small goals each day.

    While having big goals are great, it can seem daunting. When thinking about the bigger, long-term goals, the mind can become overwhelmed and distracted. Try encouraging your employees to start setting small, daily goals. By doing so, they can focus on what needs to be done in any given day, in turn setting them up for success. According to Forbes.com External Site, small daily goals will wire your employee's brain for success and trigger the reward mechanism, which releases dopamine when a goal is accomplished.
  7. Consider 15-minute meetings.

    More companies are shifting to shorter meetings or nixing them all together. If your workplace isn’t quite ready to give up meetings, consider altering them to 15-minute standup meetings. The Muse.com External Site recommends that everyone on the team give brief updates on the following questions:
    • What did you complete yesterday?
    • What’s in progress for today?
    • Is there anything blocking you from completing something?

Not to mention, standups require your employees to be — you guessed it — standing! Which ensures both good posture, and better focus than when they’re sitting down.

Kick employee's productivity and brain power into high gear

Want even more inspiration to share with your employees? We’ve rounded up a few TED Talks that will make your employees even more productive and use brain power to their full potential.

  1. Paolo Cardini: Forget Multitasking, Try Monotasking External Site
  2. David Grady: How to Save the World (or at Least Yourself) From Bad Meetings External Site
  3. Nilofer Merchant: Got a Meeting? Take a Walk External Site
  4. Dan Pink: The Puzzle of Motivation External Site

Keep your employee's whole health top-of-mind

At Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield, we’re here to help. We have insights and data on your employees that you may not have in-house. Our team of employer health and well-being consultants can serve as an extension of your workforce and provide expertise in creating engaging solutions to meet the unique needs of your employee population.

Learn more, get connected and receive a complimentary consultation Opens in a new window with one of our employer health and well-being experts. Once you complete the form, you'll receive a copy of our Well-being that Works guide. From there, we will be there every step of the way, our team can be your go-to source for finding the right combination of solutions — because one-size doesn’t fit all.

If you are interested in learning more about how we can support your organization and your employee’s health and well-being next year and beyond, contact your authorized Wellmark account representative, or email us at blueatwork@wellmark.com Send Email.

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