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FIT AND FAITHFUL: GUIDELINES FOR PEACE OF MIND By Hemda Mizrahi and Maria DiGiuseppe

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FIT AND FAITHFUL: GUIDELINES FOR PEACE OF MIND By Hemda Mizrahi and Maria DiGiuseppe

Fitness coach and personal trainer Maria DiGiuseppe describes her book, “Fit and Faithful,” as “a personal testimony of faith with professional fitness and nutrition guidance.” Identifying Christianity as a major influence in her life, she shares scriptures that provide universal direction for good health, regardless of your cultural affiliations.

Maria suggests, “we need the same principles, commitment and endurance with regard to our physical body as we do to our spiritual body in order to have good health and peace of mind. Living your life honestly and being mindful of how you influence others is one of the greatest contributions you can make.” She further advises:

ENSURE YOUR COMMITMENT TO CHANGE.
“Repentance or metanoia means, “to turn away from.” What modifications do you need to make to create a healthier lifestyle, such as “turning away” from overeating, excessive drinking, and a lack of discipline? Make these changes and write them down. Practically speaking, we can replace old habits with new ones. For example, instead of watching TV at night for two hours, take a one-hour walk around the neighborhood.  How many days a week can you commit to exercising? Make a pledge to yourself to stick to that plan. Beyond changing habits, commitment is about staying on the healthy lifestyle path! When you are steadfast, even if you lose the weight you want, or are in the best shape of your life, in the face of an upsetting experience or difficult challenge you’ll persevere! There is not a quitting option. If you’re going through a stressful event, the progress you’ve already made may help you to handle it better.

DEVELOP A MINDSET OF PERSEVERANCE.  
“If your life has taken a turn and you have to define a new sense of “normal,” that’s okay. Over time, you may be able to do something that you couldn’t do last year. If someone suggests that something you want to do is out of your reach, that you’re too old, or that it’s too late to accomplish your goals, keep in mind: If you can see it and plan it, you can achieve it!

While we live in a world in which so much is permissible, for some even one glass of wine is not a good idea. Addiction doesn’t mean that you do it daily or can’t live without it. It means that you’re doing something that causes you to suffer adverse consequences and yet you continue to do it. I believe this applies to relationships too. If a relationship only causes pain and stress, it’s probably best to put boundaries in place or get away from it all together. Try not to let the world dictate how you choose to live.

Romans 12:2 guides, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” Once you change your patterns and think differently about things, you will start becoming the best version of yourself and live an amazing life!  Pray for direction.”

ENGAGE FAITH AS A STANDARD FOR HEALTH & PEACE OF MIND.
Health is also being able to handle stress. Since some things are out of your control, I’m an advocate of trusting in something bigger than what you can understand. I believed the Bible had all the answers and knew that one day I would get around to reading it, but didn’t realize that I shouldn’t take time for granted. Define your standard today while you have the opportunity. Delineate what you believe. A strong foundation sets norms for how you live spiritually and with regard to good health. As the standard for Christians, the bible offers hope and answers to life’s questions. Matthew 7:7 says, “ask and you will receive, seek and you shall find, knock and the door will be opened to you.”  

I think people can get caught in a vicious cycle. When one bad situation occurs after another, you might feel that your life is spiraling out of control. This is why I think it’s so important to have faith. It’s the umbrella over everything else. Faith according to Hebrews 11:1 is being certain of what you hope for, and confident of what you cannot see. Look for ways no matter how small, to pick yourself up. Suffering without seeking support can lead to disability and depression. Doctors may not have the answers but there may be other resources available to you, such as counseling or family support.  Don’t give up! Eventually you will see the light that is shining in the dark. Psalm 119:105 states: “your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.”  

Maria suggests that following the standard of a “higher power” makes for a disciplined life, much like how athletes train to be their best. She offers the guidance of Corinthians 9:24: “Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize.”

As you construct a foundation through which you can uphold your commitment, a mindset of perseverance, and discipline, Maria urges: “When you lack motivation, you can rely on the purpose that God gives you for your life, “for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose (Philippians 2:13).”

Listen to my conversation with Maria on “Turn the Page” to learn about the four concepts that she sees as essential for physical and spiritual health.

Who Rules Your Life? Is Democracy Scary, and How Can We Make It Better?

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Who Rules Your Life? Is Democracy Scary, and How Can We Make It Better?

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Join us on our blog to continue the fascinating and stimulating conversation about Democracy and how afraid we all are of having to listen to everyone’s feelings and take them into consideration! Share your feelings about who is “ruling” us. Explore how your own childhood experiences have shaped your political beliefs. We’d love to hear from you on the blog and we will respond, so that we can co-create an online community where it’s safe to be real.

CSI: Solving The Employee Retention Mystery By Deanne DeMarco

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CSI: Solving The Employee Retention Mystery By Deanne DeMarco

my jobThe Crime Scene Investigator (CSI) shows on television have become very popular as they uncover the mystery around a homicide. The scientists look for clues and follow the evidence in uncovering the mystery surrounding how and who caused the untimely death of a victim. In the business world, savvy executives realize that employee retention is critical to the long-term health and life of their organizations. Without an adequate number of employees to do the work, organizations could become the victims of an untimely “death.” Successful organizations know that becoming an “Employer of Choice” enables them to retain high caliber employees, and this is a key to bottom line success.

As the baby boomers (age 40-60) retire, senior executives and managers are starting to realize retention of high caliber employees is becoming a problem in their organizations. The facts tell it all: the Generation X population numbers 44 million people, while the Baby Boomer generation workforce numbered 76 million. The bottom line is simple – there are fewer workers available.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, by 2017 there could be a shortage in the workforce of nearly ten million workers. Employee retention matters! Some economists have stated that perhaps as early as this year companies will begin to feel the pressure of retaining top talent.

Generation X: New Generation of Workers, New Mindset

In the late 1990’s, Generation Xers observed the long hours and work-life of their parents and older co-workers. They are saying that the workaholic lifestyle of their parents isn’t for them. According to a January 2006 article in Fortune Magazine, “ If your [workforce] was born between 1964 and 1977, you probably already know all too well that Generation X, as it’s often called, just doesn’t respond to the same carrots and sticks that motivates its elders.”

Survey results conducted by the Society of Human Resource Managers (SHRM) serve as a timely warning to organizations. According to the survey, HR professionals believe that voluntary turnover will increase 41% to 53% among the Gen X work group. The report also revealed that 64% of employees in this work group said they were extremely likely to increase the intensity of their job search activities in the near future.

Here are three retention strategies that you can take to help keep your key employees.

C stands for Communication: Employees want to be in the know.

When you fail to communicate, you fail the employee and the organization. Employees want strong communication activities, which include feedback, group communication, and corporate communication.

Feedback is communication that is given to an employee or team. Positive feedback often involves telling an employee about good performance. Negative, or what is sometimes referred to as constructive feedback, often involves telling someone about an area in performance that can be improved.

  • Employee surveys continually report the need for one-on-one feedback that is both timely and actionable. Feedback, either positive or negative, needs to be given immediately after the occurrence. All too often an employee receives feedback months after an action occurred, and the facts surrounding the action are obscure. Employees also complain that managers are lax in giving positive feedback – employees need to know what they are doing well.
  • Actionable. Successful feedback includes information or action items that an employee has control over and can do something about.  Effective feedback is specific, and is focused on specific behaviors or actions that the employee can control.
  • The Gen Xers are reporting the need for more group communication. This includes group problem solving and strategic planning. This generation prefers working in teams and likes group involvement and being informed.
  • Employee surveys also report the need for meaningful communication around company issues. Employees what to know about organizational goals, and how their job is relevant to those goals and bottom line success. A very retention- focused company is successfully using employee think tanks to brainstorm ideas around corporate issues.

S stands for Supervision: Managers build teams, manage performance, and develop individuals to help them achieve success on the job.  Employees don’t leave good companies – they leave bad bosses.

The role of manager is changing and is becoming more important than ever. Progressive companies are teaching their managers how to coach employees.  The role as manager-coach requires a different skill set then the previous managerial role. Coaching employees is a results-oriented process of open communication and feedback between manager and employee. The manager-coach acts as a strategic partner in facilitating the employee’s development process. In sports, the coach prepares the team, gives direction and helps troubleshoot problems. It is then up to the team to produce positive results on the field. The same is true with coaching a work team. The manager-coach prepares the team while the employees perform the work. One free source on coaching is from Pocket Resource. This introductory, quick tip e-book was written for managers who want quick tools and tips on coaching. Go to www.pocketresource.com to download the information. The e-book should not be confused with an in-depth business coaching program for managers.

Lastly, employees want visible managers who are out on the floor, developing rapport and working with them. They want managers who vocally appreciate the work and effort they contribute.  Successful managers realize they can’t do the work without the employees, and provide positive feedback on a regular basis.

One sign of exceptional leadership is the ability to retain key employees. Managers with high turnover rates are seriously damaging their companies. If the company is going to succeed it must retain its talent. The heart beat of organizational success hinges on the retention of qualified employees. Organizations today can’t afford to lose good, qualified workers to competitors.

I stands for Interest: Employees want to know they are valued and important.

Employee attitudes have changed. Gen Xers are concerned about their personal quality of life. This can be a challenge for employers. One growing problem is the inability for corporate cultures to support the work/life balance initiatives they’ve put into place. There have been several documented cases when a company has a corporate work/life policy that states a benefit, however when the employee tries to exercise the benefit, he or she is denied. For example, in one company there is a policy that allows a worker to elect a status change from full-time employment to part-time employment. However when a Gen X mother requested the change in her status from full-time to part-time, so she could be at home more with her young children, she was denied. When she reminded her manager and department director of the published benefit, she was denied again and told to seek employment elsewhere.

Solutions come in different shapes and sizes. Some work/life benefits include:

*    Flex-time                                 * Job-sharing               * Vacation

*    Leave (paternity/maternity)    * Work hours               * In-house store /services

*    Four day work weeks             * Childcare                  * Eldercare

*   Celebrations                             * Telecommuting        * Office gym or gym support

The bottom line

Organizations that are adapting to the new work/life balance mindset are experiencing employees who are more loyal and committed to the companies they represent. Organizations that fail to focus on these issues will soon loose their key employees.

For some companies retention is a mystery. However, everyday we hear of another company that has unlocked the key to retention. The workforce may change, but successful corporations still need the same results: productivity, profitability, and a loyal workforce committed to the company’s bottom line.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Deanne DeMarco, MA, RCC, is an award-winning trainer and certified business coach. She partners with business leaders to create corporate cultures where people achieve more and love to work. Deanne is the author of several books including the book “Pocket Resource: Coaching Tips” and “Speaking of Success”.  For more information on her GenXer™    Factor Management Model, coach training, or her keynote speaking, please visit Deanne DeMarco’s Website. Tune into Today’s Inspiring Women on the Empowerment Chanel for current information.

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