No matter how many times you go through an interview there’s always going to be that feeling of nervousness within you every time you walk into the room. Grant it the first few are bit more terrifying than the rest that follows. Although the feeling is not as strong it doesn’t fade away completely. Its human nature to feel a bit nervous before a milestone that decides the next step in your career. We tend to say some elaborate partial truths that we prepare for ahead of time. From the very first, “how are you today?” “Great!” the rest of the interview is usually pre prepare answers that sometime turn out to be some elaborate truths or just plain lies. And although we are under the impression that we are fooling the interviewer its fair bet to say that it’s not the first time that persons hears the same story.
Think about the best boss you've ever known. Here are 20 things I'll bet he or she never stopped doing.
BY BILL MURPHY JR. Executive editor, TheMid.com, and founder, ProGhostwriters.com@BillMurphyJr
Think about the best boss you've ever had.
Maybe you're fortunate, and we're talking about the person you call your boss today. Maybe it's someone you recall fondly from years ago. (Maybe you don't have a boss--good for you!--but I'll bet you've had one at some time in the past.) Regardless of who this person is, I'm confident I can describe him or her. That's because highly respected bosses often have a lot in common with one another. Here are 20 of the key things they do almost every day.
1. They share their vision. The most important thing a leader can do is provide his or her team with a goal that is worth their time. Granted, the boss doesn't always get to set the agenda, but a great one will advocate for something worthy, and ensure that he communicates it effectively and often.
BY PETER ECONOMY The Leadership Guy@bizzwriter
The average employee spends about 25 percent of their workday dealing with email. Why not get it right the first time?
A new problem of our super tech-savvy world is email communication. When do we send them? How often? And, most worrisome of all, what do we say? Studies show that the average employee spends about 25 percent of each workday simply sorting through, responding to, and creating their email messages. Yet, despite all the time we spend writing electronic notes, very few people actually know how to send good emails.
In order to execute emailing successfully, you have to master grammar and punctuation--as well as know when to switch from being overly formal to carrying more casual conversation on the web. In her book, The Essentials of Business Etiquette, career coach Barbara Pachter reveals some email etiquette tips to keep you from looking unprofessional.
Moving on from a bad career starts with a clear plan for a better one.
BY J.T. O'DONNELL Founder and CEO, CareerHMO.com@jtodonnell
You've finally come to the conclusion that your career isn't right for you. You're ready to move on. Easier said than done. How do you get out of a career path you've been on for a while?
Step 1: Get clear on your pivot. You need to choose a new career direction based on the facts. What problems do you want to solve? What skills do you want to leverage? How do you want to provide value to an employer? The more specific you can be about your new career direction, the easier it will be to connect the dots and get a new job doing what you want.
There are many different personalities that we come across at work. Some become our best friends some our enemies and some acquired tastes where it’s only limited to an occasional “hello” in the hallway. No matter how unbearable or pleasant these personalities are, you are stuck with them until you leave the office. In reality we all enjoy these personalities as they bring life and flavor to what could be the possibly the most boring hours of your day.
After spending a good amount of time thinking of what creative names one could use for these different personalities the best approach, were Disney characters. It’s not too harsh, and its one thing we all associate with the most wonderful time of our lives, our childhood. So what will it look like when the Disney characters head to work?
A study finds that leaders who underrate their own performance are ranked higher by their employees.
Staff writer, Inc.@WillYakowicz
As a leader, you need to be self-aware. Unfortunately, recent studies have found that's a trait too many leaders painfully lack.
Jack Zenger and Joseph Folkman of leadership development consultancy Zenger/Folkman write in Harvard Business Review about their studies that compared how employees rank leaders with how leaders rank themselves. Zenger and Folkman studied 360-degree feedback reports on 69,000 different managers from 100 different companies. After crunching the data, they write, they found this telling nugget: "Leaders' views of themselves generally don't fit with how other people perceive them."
The duo compared a manager's self-assessment with an average of all the feedback from the manager's co-workers, to see how self-aware the managers were in regard to their performance. The answer? Not very.
Next they looked into whether the managers' inaccurate self- assessments were overrating or underrating their abilities. It turns out they were doing both. Then Zenger and Folkman plotted the leaders' effectiveness, based on the feedback of their superiors and subordinates, along with their own self-assessments.
"Surprisingly, the most effective leaders did not have the highest level of self-awareness. Indeed, the more they underrated themselves, the more highly they were perceived as leaders," Zenger and Folkman write. "We assume this is caused by a combination of humility, high personal standards, and a continual striving to be better."
Instead of projecting an air of infallibility, you want to be humble in the eyes of your employees. Why would people want to take orders from someone who believes they are better than they really are? Zenger and Folkman say leaders who overrate and underrate themselves both have blind spots, but truly effective leaders know they must strive to better themselves and continue to learn.
Another popular television series by Shonda Rhimes that revolves around the journey of surgical interns that gradually transform into trained surgeons. The lives of these interns and residents unfold within the walls of the Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital. The happy, the sad, the romance and the heart breaks of their lives take its course with its ups and downs as they go about saving the lives of others. One could say that sometimes they save lives when their own lives are sinking. The story gives an up close and personal look into the lives of surgeons while giving the viewers a front seat pass to an O.R.
But is the show really about handsome male and stunning female surgeons? Well that’s definitely a treat to the eyes but look closer, at the HR of Greys Anatomy.
Dr. Miranda Bailey
A dedicated surgeon with absolutely great bedside manner but when it comes to her role as a leader, she takes a much different approach as she is often known for her tough personality and blunt attitude. And that why many referred to her as “The Nazi”. She isn’t a mean personality but her attitude towards the job is so strong that she expect everyone to be of the same. A supportive and loving personality on the inside but puts up a tough exterior to maintain the she deserves from respect from her subordinates and colleagues. We all have manager that are a bit tough on the outside but are lovely personalities once you really get to know him/her. It is their love and dedication to the job and the amount of discipline that they experienced, that has made them practice tough love towards others. So if there is someone who make you think of bailey, don’t take it personally, cos there’s a lot to learn from people who has that much dedication and love towards their job.
Dr. Richard Webber
A delightful father like figure that has more experience than anyone in the hospital. He enjoys teaching and loves taking trips down memory lane with all the insightful stories that make excellent teaching moments. He is strong leadership figure that is just the right mixture of mature and fun and is the most approachable one among all. A soft spoken personality who has a pleasant relationship with everyone around. Someone who treats people kindly and fair and always stands up for those who are mistreated. His passion and love for the subject is portrayed with every word spoken. This is a management personality that we all have had the opportunity to meet at least once in our lifetime. A strong fatherly personality who always knows what to do. A well experiences manager who enjoys passing down the torch to the new generation.
Dr. Meredith Grey
The most complicated and distant personality in the show, her long history with the hospital and her childhood has made her become very distant from the world. She is not your typical touchy feely friend. She is approachable but isn’t the most emotionally connected person out of all the characters. Her leadership methods are more neutral, she is a confident leader who always stands up for herself. A straight forwards personality that isn’t afraid to voice her opinion. Someone who understands people and knows the value of keeping a secret. Although these leaders are not those that will give you a hug when you’re having a bad day but someone that might give you the right amount of space that you might need. Distant yet focused. Often misunderstood as rude and uncaring when in reality they are the ones that are genuinely caring enough to understand the situation.
This character enters later during the show and grabs the attention of the viewers instantly. At first the he does seems a little on the bossy side but as the show goes on we see a whole new personality emerge. Looking from a distant perspective the character appears very tough, someone that does not flinch at anything. And he is that, but to sum up his personality would be that he is someone who has a good grip in life. A survivor who has been through the worst of the worst. Someone who can make a decision within a split second, willing to take a challenge and grab charge of the situation no matter how bad it might be. A responsible person who doesn’t back down at any cost. This is definitely a rare leadership character that only a few may have the opportunity to meet once in a life time. Someone who is willing to listen and care yet has a strong mind that can keep everyone around him grounded.
A strong character that grabs your attention with her unique personality. Her hard and straightforward personality is what makes her one of the toughest out of the team. The strong love and passion she has towards cardiology, becomes her drive that makes her the crème de la crème of all cardiologists. She is definitely not the most loving and caring leadership role that you will meet but she is someone who will be straightforward enough to tell you the truth about the situation. Her policy of life is very different to the rest of us as she stands on her own and what people might think or feel about her doesn’t concern her. A very strong minded personality, with a heart that can withstand the worst of situations. A coat of sugar can cover up a lot of things and we sometimes need a dose of bitter to cut through the sweet and Christina is just that. As a leadership personality this is one in a million. Although a little difficult to handle, definitely a great source of knowledge, discipline with a touch of reality.
So on a typical day at work, stop and look at all the different leadership roles that you might find. Some that you interact with on a daily basis and some that you have had a love hate relationship for very a long time. These are character might come into your mind while you go about your day.
Meaningful collaboration between people and machines must not subvert human creativity, feeling and questioning over speed, profit and efficiency
When I think about the future of human-machine interactions, two entwined anxieties come to mind.
First, there is the tension between individual and collective existence. Technology connects us to each other as never before, and in doing so makes explicit the degree to which we are defined and anticipated by others: the ways in which our ideas and identities do not simply belong to us, but are part of a larger human ebb and flow.
This has always been true – but rarely has it been more evident or more constantly experienced. For the first time in human history, the majority of the world’s population is not only literate – itself an achievement less than a century old – but also able to actively participate in written and recorded culture, courtesy of the connected devices pervading almost every country on earth.
This is an astonishing, disconcerting, delightful thing: the crowd in the cloud becoming a stream of shared consciousness.
Second, there is the question of how we see ourselves. Human nature is a baggy, capacious concept, and one that technology has altered and extended throughout history. Digital technologies challenge us once again to ask what place we occupy in the universe: what it means to be creatures of language, self-awareness and rationality.
Our machines aren’t minds yet, but they are taking on more and more of the attributes we used to think of as uniquely human: reason, action, reaction, language, logic, adaptation, learning. Rightly, fearfully, falteringly, we are beginning to ask what transforming consequences this latest extension and usurpation will bring.
I call these anxieties entwined because, for me, they come accompanied by a shared error: the overestimation of our rationality and our autonomy. In asking what it means to be human, we are prone to think of ourselves as individual, rational minds, and to describe our relationships with and through technology on this basis: as isolated “users” whose agency and freedom are a matter of skills and reasoned options; as task-performers who are existentially threatened by any more efficient agent.
This is one view of human-machine interactions. Yet it’s also an account of human beings that gives us at once too little and too much credit. We know ourselves to be intensely social, emotional, intractably embodied creatures. Much of the best recent work in economics, psychology and neuroscience has emphasized the degree to which we cannot be unbundled into distinct capabilities: into machine-like boxes of distinct memory, processing and output.
Neither language, culture nor a human mind can exist in isolation, or spring into existence fully formed. We are interdependent to an extent we rarely admit. We have little in common with our creations – and a nasty habit of blaming them for things we are doing to ourselves.
What makes all this so urgent is the brutally Darwinian nature of technological evolution. Our machines may not be alive, but the evolutionary pressures surrounding them are every bit as intense as in nature, and with few of its constraints. Vast quantities of money are at stake, with corporations and governments vying to build faster, more efficient and more effective systems; to keep consumer upgrade cycles ticking over. To be left behind – to refuse to automate or adopt – is to be out-competed.
As the philosopher Daniel Dennett, among others, has pointed out, this logic of upgrade and adoption extends far beyond obvious fields such as finance, warfare and manufacturing. If a medical algorithm is proven to produce more consistently accurate diagnoses than a physician, it’s both unethical and legally questionable to refuse to use it. As self-driving or semi-autonomous cars become more affordable and road-legal, it’s hard to argue against the ethical and regulatory case for making them obligatory. And so on. Few fields of human endeavour are likely to remain untouched.
Machines, in other words, are becoming stunningly adept at making decisions for us on the basis of vast amounts of data – and getting better at this at an equally stunning rate. Forget the hypothetical emergence of general purpose artificial intelligence, at least for a moment: we’re handing over more and more of what happens in our world, today, to the speed and efficiency of unthinking deciders.
It’s precisely because our present machines can neither think nor feel that this matters. We call them “smart” and marvel at their powers; we paint pictures of a world in which they, not we, are determining what we do and how. We can’t help ourselves: we see purpose, autonomy and intent everywhere.
Yet in ascribing agency and intentions to our tools that they don’t possess, we misunderstand several fundamental points. Humans aren’t slow, dumb and heading for the evolutionary scrapheap; machine efficiency is a very poor model indeed for understanding ourselves; and cutting people out of every possible loop – the better to assure speed, profit, protection or military success – is a poor model for a future in which humans and machines equally maximise their capabilities.
Our creations are effective in part because they are unburdened by most of what makes humans human: the broiling biological pot of emotion, sensation, bias and belief that constitutes the bulk of mental life. We are biased, beautiful creatures. Technology and intellect allow us to externalise our goals; but the ends pursued are those we chose.
Do the incentives our tools tirelessly pursue on our behalf include human thriving, meaningful work, rich and humane interactions? Do we believe these things to be unachievable, unknowable or worthless? If not, when are we going to shift our focus?
If we wish to build not only better machines, but better relationships with and through machines, we need to start talking far more richly about the qualities of these relationships; how precisely our thoughts and feelings and biases operate; and what it means to aim beyond efficiency at lives worth living.
What does a successful collaboration between humans and machines look like? One, I would argue, in which humans remain in the loop, able transparently to assess a system’s incentives – and either to influence its direction or debate its alteration.
What does a successful collaboration between humans mediated by technology look like? We have plenty of these already, and they’re characterised by the maximisation of all resources involved: human creativity and questioning; machine search, speed, processing and recall; an iteration involving all parties; and the recognition that efficiency is not an end in itself, but simply a measure of velocity.
Finally, let’s be clear about one thing. Ours is an amazing time to be alive: to be debating such questions together. If there’s one thing our swelling collective articulacy as a species brings home, it’s that people care above all about other people: what they think, do, believe, fear, hate, love, laugh at – and what we can make together.
Our creations are certain to grow far beyond our current comprehension: how far and how fast is perhaps our most urgent existential question. Our best hopes of progress, however, remain deceptively familiar: understanding ourselves better; asking what aims may serve not only our survival, but also our thriving; and striving to build systems that serve rather than subvert these.
This is an edited extract from Tom Chatfields’s address at the launch of the Humanities and Digital Age programme, led by The Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities at Oxford University in the UK, on 21 January. The discussion will be broadcast live on 21 January from 17.30 GMT and some free tickets are available
You landed the interview. Awesome! Now let's seal the deal.
BY JEFF HADEN Contributing editor, Inc.
Maybe you haven't started a business yet. Maybe you're a serial entrepreneur in between startups. Or maybe you're trying to gain additional skills while you launch your venture.
Whatever your reason, if you're interviewing for a job, you want to land the job. And that means preparing to do your absolute best. Here's a guest post from Ryan Robinson, an entrepreneur and marketer who teaches people how to create profitable side businesses. At CreativeLive, he helps the world's top business experts market their transformational online classes.
Interviews can be tough.
If you want to stand a chance of landing the job, you have to be well-versed on the industry and company, and command a deep understanding of the value you're bringing to the table for your potential new employer.
Throughout my career in content marketing, I've spent countless hours researching companies, reading reviews, and asking for tips from current employees before walking into an interview for a dream job.
Despite all the preparation I put into my interviews, I've still had a handful where I left wondering how I could possibly have done any worse. From making no-brainer people-skills blunders to conveying insecure body language, we all know how easy it can be to slip up on your critical first impression.
Now that I've had the opportunity to regularly interview new marketers here at CreativeLive, I'm able to very quickly assess whether or not someone will be a good fit for the job.
Based on my experience on both sides of the interview table, here are my 16 best interview tips to help you land your next dream job.
Before the Interview
1. Research the Company.
Did you know that 47 percent of hiring managers have eliminated candidates after an interview because they had little to no knowledge of the company? Nearly half of professionals are going into interviews without having a well-formed understanding of the company and what they do. Take the time to do your homework on the company's website, blog, social channels, Glassdoor, and Wikipedia, and be sure to check out their competitors and make a mental list of what differentiates them.
2. Find Out Who You're Interviewing With and Research Them, Too. With 43 percent of hiring managers reporting that cultural fit is the single most influential factor in determining which candidate gets the job, how you come across in your interview is a big deal. Based on your research and email conversations ahead of time, be sure you have as clear an idea as possible of how well you're going to relate with the people you're interviewing with, and prepare accordingly.
3. Prepare Creative, Insightful Questions and Craft Your Personal Story.
Sure, some of the standard questions like, "Where do you see the company in five years?" can be useful in some cases, but make sure that the act of asking them doesn't compromise your own credibility. Depending upon your potential role in the company, the person interviewing you likely doesn't want to hear you asking about what the day-to-day activities will be--they want to hire an expert in your field, so act like one. Be sure to refresh your memory on your most relevant recent experience and craft an engaging story that effectively communicates your employment journey. Focus on how your experience will benefit your potential new employer.
During the Interview
Here's an insightful statistic: Over 33 percent of hiring managers say they know within the first 90 seconds of an interview whether they'll make a job offer to the candidate. That makes your interview prep even more important.
4. Dress for the Job.
Should I wear a suit or play it more casual? The real answer is, it depends on the job you're interviewing for. If you're not dressed for the job you want, you're not doing yourself any favors. A whopping 70 percent of hiring managers say they've eliminated candidates after an interview because they were too fashionable or trendy. Don't be afraid to ask how you should dress ahead of your interview.
5. Bring Two Extra Copies of Your Résumé.
This sounds like a no-brainer, but I'm surprised at how many people show up to an interview without any copies of their résumé--leaving it to chance that the person they're meeting with was given a copy, or had the chance to research them beforehand. Plan for the need to have a résumé for every person you're meeting with and you'll never be caught off-guard.
6. Perfect Your Handshake.
Some 26 percent of hiring managers say they've eliminated candidates after an interview because their handshake was weak. Mastering the art of the perfect handshake is required homework before heading into an interview.
7. Turn Your Phone Off and Arrive Five to 10 Minutes Early.
It may seem like overkill with all of the options we have for silencing ringers and putting your phone on vibrate without actually turning the device off, but there's another reason you need to turn your phone off before an interview: so you won't be tempted to check it. You're at an interview for one purpose, and one purpose only: toland your dream job. Don't allow any distractions to creep in.
Naturally, you don't want to arrive late to an interview. If you're running late, call ahead and be honest as to what's setting you back. Aim for showing up five to 10 minutes early, as anything earlier can really throw a wrench into a busy person's schedule if they feel that they need to accommodate your arrival.
8. Use Confident Posture.
Some 33 percent of hiring managers say they've eliminated candidates after an interview because of bad posture. As you're waiting in the lobby, standing, and walking around the office, be mindful of how your posture looks to the people around you. Are you slouching, or confidently arching your back? Take a launch stance while standing, and keep your back arched while sitting down for conversation.
9. Use the Triple Nod When Listening.
Some 38 percent of hiring managers say they've eliminated candidates after an interview because of a lack of smiling and engagement during conversation. With employers consistently citing having a positive attitude as one of the most important factors in choosing to hire one candidate over another, showing that you're excited and engaged while listening to your interviewer will go a long way in showing off yourstellar people skills.
10. Use Hand Gestures While Speaking.
Within reason, utilizing a healthy amount of hand gestures to illustrate your points will significantly help reinforce your communication skills and show them your confidence in what you're saying.
11. Maintain Eye Contact.
Some 67 percent of hiring managers say they've eliminated candidates after an interview because they failed to make enough eye contact. This is a big one for me, too. I have a difficult time trusting someone who's constantly looking down or around the room instead of confidently communicating with me. According to many studies, people who have strong eye contact are perceived as being more persuasive, a necessary skill that every company places value on.
12. Get the Email Address of Everyone You Speak With.
If you're unsure about the company-wide email naming convention, then be sure to ask each person you interview with for the best email address to reach them at. This will come in handy after the interview.
13. Ask When to Expect a Decision and With Whom to Follow-Up.
If you're interviewing with multiple people, be sure to ask the hiring manager (or last person you interview with) when you can expect to hear back on next steps. There's nothing worse than leaving an interview feeling left in the dark about when the company is looking to make a final decision. If you're paying close attention, how they respond will also tell you a lot about how they felt the interview went.
14. If You Want the Job, Say So!
Don't allow there to be any ambiguity about whether or not you actually want the job. If, by the end of your interview, you're still feeling excited about the opportunity and want to move forward with the company, you need to say it! Never leave anything up to chance with the interview process.
After the Interview
15. Send a Follow-Up Thank You Email.
Before you go to bed on the date you had your interviews, be sure to send a brief, personalized thank you email to everyone you met with earlier in the day. Make sure to mention a small personal detail, mutual interest, or topic point you discussed with each person, and it'll solidify your great impression in their minds. Bonus points for sending a handwritten card, which has become a much-appreciated lost courtesy.
16. Follow-Up If You Don't Hear Back Soon (One Week).
If you don't hear back within four or five business days of your interview, it's completely acceptable to follow-up with either the person who's been your point of contact throughout the interview process or the hiring manager for the position. Keep the follow-up very short and seek to provide value, rather than coming across as pushy or as trying to nudge them toward making a decision.
Will this be the year you land your dream job?
Jiff's platform lets employers use multiple fitness devices and apps in their corporate wellness programs.
BY KIMBERLY WEISUL
You have a Fitbit. Your neighbor is addicted to his Jawbone. Your girlfriend likes the Misfit Shine.
There's certainly no shortage of enthusiasm for technology aimed at improving health and fitness. Yet most companies have been slow to get on board--their efforts to help their employees in those areas, and to thereby keep health care costs down, have been sporadic, not fun, or both. Who wants to have a nurse call during dinner to ask about diet?
To entrepreneurs, that shortfall spells opportunity. "This explosion in consumer devices, apps, and services has transformed the way people think about their health," says Derek Newell, the co-founder and CEO of corporate wellness technology providerJiff. Now startups are looking at ways to help companies deliver wellness programs through those consumer technologies, and at games and challenges that will help employees meet their wellness goals.
Jiff, with about $50 million in venture capital behind it, is one of the leaders in the field. But it's a crowded field, with companies such as Limeade, Welltok, Red Brick, EveryMove, Keas, and Virgin Health vying for a piece of a corporate wellness market that researcher IBISWorld expects to grow 8.4 percent annually to $12.1 billion in 2020. "There is such a frenzy at the moment," says Soeren Mattke, a senior scientist at the Rand Corporation.
That's also part of the reason that a few companies, including Jiff, are trying to separate from the pack by becoming platforms for wellness programs, providing a way to integrate offerings from multiple vendors, rather than focusing solely on serving up wellness services themselves. A company might partner with Fitbit, but what if lots of employees are using another device? How can the company manage those programs across multiple devices and apps, and get comparable data from each? The answer, says Newell, is what he refers to as an enterprise health benefits platform.
"At scale, no employer is going to contract with 20 direct-to-consumer companies to create disaggregated crazy experiences," says Newell. Instead, an employer can allow any sort of device to connect to Jiff's back-end system, and Jiff will create a social and gamified experience that works across the devices. With employees' permission, Jiff then pulls all the resulting data together. That lets employers see which devices are working and worth possibly paying for, and which aren't. It could be, for example, that everyone who's using MyFitnessPal is happy and getting fit, while everyone at Weight Watchers is struggling. "They can say, 'I don't want to subsidize that one anymore--it's low satisfaction and nobody's losing weight,'" says Newell.
Pivot, then pivot again.
Jiff was founded almost by accident. Newell, who had been running a patient-monitoring company, understood that mobile technology was going to change the way health care was delivered, but was having trouble raising money for a company that would capitalize on that. James Currier and Stan Chudnovsky had been successful game developers, and wanted to apply their expertise to health care, but they weren't getting funded either. Then, by chance, all three visited the same partner at Aberdare, a venture firm in San Francisco, in the same week. "He said, 'If the three of you team up, I'll give you money to just figure out an idea,'" says Newell.
They started with a tool to help doctors and patients communicate better. Next came Circle of Health, designed to allow patients, their caregivers, and their families to communicate and store medical information and records on a HIPAA-compliant platform.
Then, in June 2013, Jiff announced the development of a back-end platform for digital health applications, as well as a partnership with consulting firm Towers Watson. Unlike the previous products, that one stuck. Jiff got its first enterprise customer at the end of that year, and Newell says that 20 of the 500 largest companies in the U.S. now use the product. Clients include Qualcomm, RedBull, and Johnson & Johnson.
Surprisingly, employers don't seem to be using Jiff primarily to cut health care costs, which was the original promise of corporate wellness programs. "It's incredibly difficult to correlate wellness programs with dampened health care spending," says Newell. "There are so many different variables, especially at companies with high turnover."
Activision Blizzard, a Jiff customer, is using the platform, among other reasons, "to make this a higher-value place to work," says Milt Ezzard, Activision Blizzard's senior director of global benefits. He says that in the case of pregnancy, it's relatively easy to make a business case for wellness programs, since a premature birth can be so expensive and distressing to employees. Compared with the company's previous wellness program, Ezzard says, Jiff's pregnancy tracker has tripled the number of women who track their pregnancies. Still, he says, "do we really know if an employee delivered a healthy baby because she tracked her baby through the healthy pregnancy tool? We'll never know that."
Perhaps as a result, benefits other than reduced costs are getting a lot more attention. "It's not hard to see productivity gains and cultural gains and affinity gains" from wellness programs, says Newell. "It's not hard for HR people to measure those and see them and appreciate them." Jiff costs companies from one to five dollars per employee per month; Newell says that 80 percent of employees on the Jiff platform report that it has given them a stronger affinity for their employer. The way he looks at it, "Employers' interest in this is never going away."