- By Eric Jaffe
- June 14, 2013
New York-based tech company Percolate, a small marketing firm that helps businesses create content pegged to social media, takes pride in promoting an active employee lifestyle. The company sponsors a variety of health and fitness clubs started by workers — running, bike riding, yoga, and cooking, to name a few. Earlier this month a handful of employees rode bicycles anywhere from 30 to 155 miles out to Montauk, on the eastern tip of Long Island.
"The goal of all these things is to be very mindful of the fact that we're working with talented people in a high-intensity start-up culture, and more than anything we want to make sure we're keeping them healthy," says co-founder James Gross. "That's not just making sure they don't have diabetes or heart attacks — we mean are they mentally healthy, clearing their minds and getting out and doing active things."
So when Gross and business partner Noah Brier first heard about Citi Bike, New York's new bike-sharing system, they figured it was in keeping with the Percolate spirit to cover the annual fees for any of their 47 staff members who wanted a membership. After announcing the benefit at a meeting ...
- By Ritchie King
- June 14, 2013
You would think disability would be the reason most workers take disability leave. Turns out, that may not be the case.
A recent German study shows that a middle-aged worker who develops arthritis is much more likely to take a disability pension and retire early if she is feeling depressed than if she is struggling physically to perform her job but isn’t suffering mentally. Overall, musculoskeletal disorders such as arthritis are the most common cause (pdf) of early retirement in Europe.
- By Mark Micheli
- June 13, 2013
It wasn’t too long ago we had the pleasure of reporting Congress is less popular than the likes of root canals, colonoscopies, cockroaches and Nickleback. Today, we return to once more examine the public's hate-hate relationship with Congress.
According to Gallup, Americans’ confidence in Congress decreased by 3 percent this year, falling from 13 percent in 2012 to 10 percent in 2013—ranking last on a list 16 American institutions for the fourth year in a row. How does that compare to other times in history? I’ll let Gallup take it from here:
This is the lowest level of confidence Gallup has found, not only for Congress, but for any institution on record.
Ouch. Congress withstanding, what public institutions are Americans feeling confident in? Good news for the defense community (and the upcoming launch of GovExec’s new defense publication, Defense One) more than three-fourths of Americans (76 percent) feel pretty darn confident in the military.
The full rankings are in order below:
Anything here surprise you?
Image via Gary Blakeley/Shutterstock.com
- By Dr. Francis Collins
- June 13, 2013
To celebrate the 10th anniversary of the completion of the Human Genome Project—a 13-year endeavor that I had the privilege of leading—the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History in Washington, DC is launching an absolutely fantastic exhibit called “Genome: Unlocking Life’s Code.”
The exhibit goes way beyond basic biology—what DNA looks like, what it’s made of, and how it works—and reveals how your genome affects your life, and your past, current, and future health.
You’ll be able to see how scientists make connections between genes and traits and diseases. And you’ll see how we can personalize your medicines and drug therapies according to your genes.
There are plenty of interactive activities to capture your interest and imagination. For example, you could do a little detective work using DNA samples. Or you might choose a physical trait and explore the genes that contribute to it—where, for example, is one of the major genes for eye color? If you’re a history buff, you might want to trace the ancestry of one of nine characters, using their DNA to peer into their recent and deep history and trace their migration route ...
- By Victoria Grady
- June 12, 2013
Government is challenged by the increasing need to embrace organizational change. All types of change. Organizational change that includes attracting (and retaining) new talent at your agency, creating (and managing) new strategy to optimize performance/maximize effectiveness, weeding out duplicative programs and, maybe the most pressing current challenge, navigating (and surviving) the repercussions of sequestration and furloughs.
Leadership is well aware of the need for change in government, but ironically, often doesn’t recognize the change success prerequisite—proactively managing throughout the change process.
Typical change initiatives are initiated like this, with a leader saying (or even worse, thinking): “We probably don’t need to give this presentation on [insert looming change], we’ll just tell employees the change is coming. They need to be ready to ‘deal’ with the change and adjust accordingly.”
Does that careless line of thinking sound familiar? This is, needless to say, not a successful approach to change management. So, how do you manage change? Here are a few suggestions to get started:
1. Define the Challenge
Change is hard. Take a deep dive to more comprehensively understand the needs of an organization adapting to constant change. Fantastic tools are available to initiate the deep ...