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The importance of nutrition and a balanced diet

25Oct

The importance of nutrition and a balanced diet

Nutrition is vital for your body and all of its systems to function properly, by having good nutrition it will help you maintain a healthy weight, reduce body fat, provide your body with energy, promote good sleep and generally make you feel better. This has been proven through many scientific studies and is now well documented. By having good nutrition it has been proven that you are less likely to develop many of the present-day diseases.

What is a balanced diet?

The Foods Standards Agency defines a balanced diet as having ‘a variety of foods, basing meals on starchy foods and eating at least 5 portions of fruit and veg a day.’ They also recommend having moderate amounts of fish (2 portions a week one being oily) moderating the amount of protein you have and having small or occasional amounts of food high in fat or sugar.

If you follow these guidelines do you then have a balanced diet?

The guidelines are there to inform the general public of what constitutes a balanced diet in the eyes of the Food Standards Agency. If you follow these guidelines it does not mean you are eating a balanced diet.

For example the guidelines state that you should have small amounts of food high in fat or sugar. This is quite a vague statement, what is a small amount of high fat or sugary foods? People will interpret this differently, some people will believe this means they can eat sugary foods daily whilst others will think it means they can have some sort of sugary food weekly.

The guideline to base meals on starchy foods, is one that we have adopted in the UK, most people have diets that are predominantly made up of carbohydrates focusing on these foods: Bread; pasta and potatoes. The problem with this is the amount and quality of the carbohydrate people are consuming.

White pasta, bread, rice or any processed (refined) foods should be avoided because they usually have been bleached to turn them into the white colour we see in the supermarket (more appealing for the general public) it is during this bleaching process that the grains lose all of their nutritional value and our bodies cannot utilise these foods for energy.

Having high amounts of processed carbohydrates in the diet is a reason why as a nation we are becoming overweight.

What defines a balanced diet?

A balanced diet should be one based on eating a variety of different foods, and eating foods that have not been processed. This means trying natural unprocessed foods.

People should look to eat 5 portions or more of fruit and vegetables a day, to reduce the amount of processed food they eat, to ensure they drink at least 2 litres of water a day, to have a balance between the amount of carbs, fats and protein they consume, to eat oily fish weekly, to reduce the amount of table salt they have (below 6g) and to reduce the amount of sugar in their diet.

what are the benefits of staff training?

25Oct

what are the benefits of staff training?

Improved employee performance – the employee who receives the necessary training is more able to perform in their job. The training will give the employee a greater understanding of their responsibilities within their role, and in turn build their confidence. This confidence will enhance their overall performance and this can only benefit the company. Employees who are competent and on top of changing industry standards help your company hold a position as a leader and strong competitor within the industry.

Improved employee satisfaction and morale – the investment in training that a company makes shows employees that they are valued. The training creates a supportive workplace. Employees may gain access to training they wouldn’t have otherwise known about or sought out themselves. Employees who feel appreciated and challenged through training opportunities may feel more satisfaction toward their jobs.

Addressing weaknesses – Most employees will have some weaknesses in their workplace skills. A training program allows you to strengthen those skills that each employee needs to improve. A development program brings all employees to a higher level so they all have similar skills and knowledge. This helps reduce any weak links within the company who rely heavily on others to complete basic work tasks. Providing the necessary training creates an overall knowledgeable staff with employees who can take over for one another as needed, work on teams or work independently without constant help and supervision from others.

Consistency – A robust training and development program ensures that employees have a consistent experience and background knowledge. The consistency is particularly relevant for the company’s basic policies and procedures. All employees need to be aware of the expectations and procedures within the company. Increased efficiencies in processes results in financial gain for the company.

Increased productivity and adherence to quality standards – Productivity usually increases when a company implements training courses. Increased efficiency in processes will ensure project success which in turn will improve the company turnover and potential market share.

Increased innovation in new strategies and products – Ongoing training and upskilling of the workforce can encourage creativity. New ideas can be formed as a direct result of training and development.

Reduced employee turnover – staff are more likely to feel valued if they are invested in and therefore, less likely to change employers. Training and development is seen as an additional company benefit. Recruitment costs therefore go down due to staff retention.

Enhances company reputation and profile – Having a strong and successful training strategy helps to develop your employer brand and make your company a prime consideration for graduates and mid-career changes. Training also makes a company more attractive to potential new recruits who seek to improve their skills and the opportunities associated with those new skills.
Training can be of any kind relevant to the work or responsibilities of the individual, and can be delivered by any appropriate method.

The employee of the Month Criteria: What Should You Measure?

25Oct

The employee of the Month Criteria: What Should You Measure?

Credibility

Respect

Fellowship

Identity

Equality

Work Commitment

Personal Performance

Setting Up Rules to Select the Employee of the Month

Mix it Up

Choosing the Right Rewards

Why Have an Employee of the Month Program?

Implementing a monthly employee recognition program can have a powerful effect on your team. However, it should always be done with clear goals in mind, otherwise, you risk spending a lot of time and money on a glorified popularity contest that will achieve little results and risk alienating some of your team members.

 Employee Of The Month Program – Is it worth it?

So, what are you looking to accomplish? Here are some popular goals:

  • Better employee engagement
  • Increased productivity
  • Improved customer service ratings
  • Higher quality in your products or services
  • Reduction in errors or complaints from customers
  • Faster turnaround times
  • Improved employee retention

Ways to Award the Employee of the Month

Once you have defined the main goal you wish to achieve with an employee recognition award program, it’s time to set up the mechanics for selection.

A very common way to choose each month’s winner is to create a nominating committee composed of managers and executives from all the different departments in the company, including human resources. In this case, the committee meets once a month and each member nominates a person based on the goals set above; then the group discusses the merits of each nominee and proceeds to vote for the winner.

The downside to this approach is that some managers might do a better job at “campaigning” on behalf of one of their team members than others. In some other cases, the committee can fall into the practice of simply rotating from the list of previous nominees until everyone gets a chance to earn the title.

A second way to award the Employee of the Month is by involving the whole company in the nomination process. This can be achieved by using, either simple, low-tech nomination forms and a drop box or more sophisticated online forms, where each nominator can enter the name of their nominee along with a short paragraph justifying their decision.

HOW TO EVALUATE BEST STAFF OF THE MONTH

25Oct

HOW TO EVALUATE BEST STAFF OF THE MONTH

There are many criteria to evaluate how a person fits in the organization and, at Clarity Wave we’ve narrowed it down to seven key dimensions that make up a well-rounded individual:

  1. Credibility
  2. Respect
  3. Fellowship
  4. Identity
  5. Equality
  6. Work Commitment
  7. Personal Performance

Credibility

This dimension measures how the person is perceived in terms of their communication skills, competence, clarity and integrity. A highly credible employee is usually very dependable. They show up on time, do what they say and say what they do. They are honest and straightforward with their coworkers.

Respect

A respectful person is not one who always agrees with everyone but rather someone who values the opinions of their coworkers even when they don’t agree with them. Someone with a high level of respect makes a constant effort not to discriminate or offend others for their decisions or lifestyle. They are always appreciative, polite, considerate and recognize the value in other people’s points of view.

Fellowship

Being a person with a high level of fellowship doesn’t mean being friends with everyone in the office and hanging out with them during happy hour every Tuesday. It means working every day to create a healthy and warm work environment. The best companies to work for usually exhibit a high level of humanity that can only be made possible when there’s a sense of camaraderie and affinity.

Identity

Identity is that feeling of belonging that team members get when they are 100% committed to their job and their company’s success. People with a high level of identity are usually the best brand ambassadors. They promote their company, not only to its clients but also to any prospective employee. They feel proud to be part of something bigger than themselves and they wear the company’s colors every day.

Equality

An employee who treats everyone with a sense of fairness usually helps create a workplace in which politicking and back-door deal-making is seldom the way to get things done. People in supervisory positions are usually easier to evaluate on this dimension however, every single person can follow the Golden Rule and make sure they never do unto others what they don’t want done unto them. People who avoid favoritism or show any kind of bias when dealing with their coworkers are usually considered to have a high degree of equality.

Work Commitment

People who come in to work, not because they have to, but because they are passionate about what they do have the highest level of commitment to their job. These employees will usually do little things like turning off the lights when the conference room is empty or picking up a piece of trash even when no one else is watching them. They come in early and leave late and, for the most part, have positive and optimistic conversations with their teammates.

Personal Performance

Note that this dimension of emotional intelligence has nothing to do with measurable KPI’s but rather how others perceive your professional development within the organization. This dimension closely evaluates how things are done and the co-workers’ perception regarding the employee’s overall attitude. Since goals are usually known only to the employee’s supervisors, the perception of the rest of the team regarding the person’s performance can be very telling.

Setting Up Rules to Select the Employee of the Month

When creating a program like this you must make sure the rules are clear. Here are some things to consider:

  1. Does an employee need to have been working for a minimum period of time at the company before being eligible to win?
  2. Can an employee win back-to-back titles or should there be a break between wins?
  3. Are part-time employees just as eligible as full time ones?

Mix it Up

Depending on the goals of the company you can very well rotate the different dimensions each month and focus on one in particular. For example, one month could be all about Personal Performance and the winner would be selected by picking the person with the highest score in that dimension. On month two you could shift the focus to Credibility, Identity or any of the other dimensions.