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How Top Companies are Elevating Loyalty, Productivity and Innovation in Their Workforce

happy-peopleTreat Your Organization’s Most Valuable Resource
with Care, Says Former Businessman of the Year

When a successful formula is discovered in the business world, it’s copied and becomes part of standard operating procedure throughout entire industries.

The newest SOP trend among leading businesses? – Focusing on employee and family well-being, says Gary Kunath, who was honored nationally as Businessman of the Year and recognized with a dinner hosted by the President of the United States.

“Many think that professional well-being drives personal well-being, but it’s the exact opposite,” says Kunath, a speaker at top business schools and businesses including Lockheed and Marriott, and author of “Life…Don’t Miss It. I Almost Did: How I Learned To Live Life to Its Fullest,” (www.lifedontmissitbook.com).

“The top companies know focusing on employee well-being is critical and serves as the conduit to increasing innovation, emotional loyalty, natural productivity and overall profitability, but they have exhausted the traditional vehicles inside their companies to do this, so they are focusing on impacting their employees lives ‘outside’ of the company.”

Employee well-being is very smart business and everyone wins, he says; it’s the key to elevating associate engagement. According to the Aspen Institute, more than 70 percent of employees today would sacrifice promotions and pay increases for family well-being. Yet only 40 percent of employees feel their employers demonstrate that they care about them, says the American Psychology Association.

Several major corporations have approached Kunath and asked him to build a program that shows their people how to master life balance and maximize the joy and contentment in their lives, he says.

“The results have been tremendous,” he says. “People love that they are cared for just as much when leaving the building as they are when arriving.”

Kunath’s newest three hour seminar for businesses centers on employee life balance and well-being; here he offers five things business owners and employees should consider in achieving life balance:

• Bring humanity back to the workplace: There are simple truths about what motivates employees today and what they want and need from their employers. Employee well-being drives profits and is good for business, he points out. Employers need to allow employees to completely disconnect from work in their off hours – for instance, not expecting them to respond to emails or conference calls after hours. He also points out the “Life Balance Dilemmas” people face, including his own; a former workaholic lifestyle nearly ruined his family relationships before he learned how to develop balance.

• The “Life … Don’t Miss It” approach: According to a Harvard study, we all have the capability to maximize our happiness regardless of the situation we find ourselves in. A large part of how happy you are is determined through intentional activity. There are things you can do to maximize happiness in your life even in the worst of adversities. Giving people a way to elevate their family well-being is critical to top performance on the job.

• Applying Life-Balance secrets: Kunath targets 10 points for Mastering Life Balance. Some of those points are: Money doesn’t make you rich; Express gratitude to others; the power of perspective; relationship refinement (thinning the herd); and Good goes around. “All of these points go to the overall perspective of total life balance and focusing on the areas, and the people, that really matter,” he says.

• Power of Perspective: Why is it that people who have faced death often live the most?  Why must we wait for adversity to teach us to get the most out of life?  The answer is that you don’t. Kunath emphasizes various perspectives on how you can live life to the fullest every day and what the keys are to maximizing employee and family well-being.

• The three greatest gifts you can give your family: For all the importance and effort involved in mastering a worklife to fund a family’s well-being, the three greatest gifts you have to offer are actually free! They are time, memories and traditions. Time is our greatest resource, and it’s also our most scarce, which makes memories all the more important. They give you a place to go for all of your life. Traditions live on after you’re gone; they’re a legacy you leave for your loved ones.

About Gary Kunath

Gary Kunath is the founder of The Summit Group, whichis ranked among the top sales-training companies in the world by Selling Power magazine. His value-creation approach received the “Innovative Practice of the Year Award” by 3M worldwide. He was named Businessman of the Year and was recognized at a dinner hosted by the president of the United States. He has lectured extensively at prominent business schools, and is currently an adjunct professor at The Citadel’s Sports Marketing graduate program. Kunath is an owner of several professional minor league baseball teams along with his partners, Bill Murray, Jimmy Buffet and Mike Veeck. The group is famous for managing its teams around the “Fun is Good” approach.

 

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Mastering Life Balance: Achieving Greatness at Home and at Work

balancelifework5 Tips from Former Businessman of the Year

People are overwhelmed with the complexities of their own lives and are desperately seeking a way to maximize happiness in their home and work lives, says Gary Kunath, an entrepreneur, speaker and former CEO who works with some of the world’s top corporations and business schools.

“I used to be caught up in the spin cycle of thinking that net worth automatically afforded me life worth,” says Kunath, a speaker at top business schools and author of “Life … Don’t Miss It. I Almost Did: How I Learned To Live Life To The Fullest,” (www.lifedontmissitbook.com).

“I sacrificed time with my family with the justification that I was providing necessary material things, but at a certain point you realize that money doesn’t make you rich, it just allows you to buy more stuff.”

Priorities for professionals have shifted; now, U.S. workers seek family wellbeing above all else, he says. Companies need to recognize that it’s imperative to positively affect their employees’ lives, both inside and outside working quarters, he says.

“We need to bring humanity back to business,” Kunath says. “Leading corporations are aware that most professionals today – 70 percent – would trade a pay raise for an increase in personal wellness.”

But employers are struggling with that, he says, citing a new American Psychological Association survey released in March in which 48 percent of employees say their employers don’t value a good work-life balance.

More professionals are trying to find a path to life worth, rather than centering their behavior on net worth, Kunath says. He offers five ways career-minded individuals can achieve both:

• Look for signs you’re falling into the net-worth trap: For Kunath, those signs were clear. One day, he says, “it was like someone had smacked me on the head,” when his son, then 12, walked away in dismay after Kunath said he couldn’t play baseball with him because he was too busy working on a business proposal. “The look of disappointment on my son’s face was something I will never forget,” he says. Kunath dropped everything and spent the day with his son. “I promised that would NEVER happen again”. The next occurrence included a mental and physical breakdown after Kunath pushed himself to make an unnecessary business trip while sick.  After a 19-hour ordeal in a delayed flight to Spain, “…I knew in my bones that if I did not draw the line right there … I would ruin every part of my life that mattered to me.”

• Don’t be an employee, be employable: Unless you are self-employed, you are always vulnerable to someone else controlling your professional destiny, and therefore, your life worth. But employees can empower themselves by diversifying their skills so that they can have more choices about where and for whom to work.

• Bad things happen to good people: Adversity finds us all. No one enjoys the worst, most painful moments of their lives. Nonetheless, life events like loss of a loved one, financial ruin, divorce, addictions or illness tend to define us. We need adversity in our lives. Anyone can be a rock star when life is perfect. But when adversity strikes, then the “real” you is revealed. How you face adversity can either extinguish you or distinguish you.

• Believe in something bigger than you: There will be times when you are utterly helpless, with no control over an outcome. All the money in the bank and all the authority at work will do no good when it comes to, for instance, the death of a loved one. Believing in something bigger than you is an important part of having life worth; it helps you maintain your emotional health when you face life’s biggest challenges.

• Don’t Major in the Minors: As Henry David Thoreau wrote, “The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it.” For every evening spent late in the office there are moments professionals miss out on – and can never get back. Many of us spend time on things that ultimately don’t matter. “The three greatest gifts you can give to your family are: Time, Memories and Tradition,” he says. “These are things in life that matter.”

About Gary Kunath

Gary Kunath is the founder of The Summit Group, which is ranked among the top sales-training companies in the world by Selling Power magazine. His value-creation approach received the “Innovative Practice of the Year Award” by 3M worldwide. He was named Businessman of the Year for the United States and was recognized a dinner hosted by the president of the United States. He has lectured extensively at several prominent business schools, and he is currently an adjunct professor at The Citadel’s Sports Marketing graduate program. Kunath is as an owner of several professional minor league baseball teams along with his partners, Bill Murray, Jimmy Buffet and Mike Veeck. The group is famous for managing its teams around the “Fun is Good” approach.

 

 

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