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3 Ways to Uncover Genius. Photo © Sergey Nivens - Fotolia.comA recent study found that the U.S. lags behind other countries in improving disease prevention and life expectancy. America’s weak link? The workplace, according to the study. But it’s also one of the easiest to strengthen, and the workplace provides a unique platform for engaging people to adopt healthier habits. In particular, the still-evolving field of behavioral economics provides opportunities for employers to use evidence-based strategies to improve the health of their workforce.

Jesse is joined by Dr. Derek Yach from the Vitality Institute, to discuss the reasons for this health care gap – and what your company can do to engage your workforce for better health and productivity. Their conversation includes three components of behavioral economics to help employees – despite everyone’s irrational-but-natural inclination to choose short-term gratification even if it has negative long-term consequences – take healthier actions:

  • Financial incentives (such as discounts, lotteries, rewards, etc.)
  • Choice architecture (especially a healthy “default” if no choice is taken)
  • Tools to make healthful choices easier than unhealthy choices.

The study by the Vitality Institute, was recently published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine. The Vitality Institute is an action-oriented global research organization working to strengthen the evidence base about what works and what doesn’t work in health promotion and disease prevention. As described by National Public Radio, the Vitality Institute “finds ways to pay people to do healthful things” like eating more vegetables or exercising. In doing so, it helps health plans around the globe (including its parent company Discovery Limited, South Africa’s largest health insurance company) save on health care costs.

Derek Yach has focused his career on advancing global health. He is Senior Vice President (SVP) of the Vitality Group, where he leads the Vitality Institute. Previously, Dr. Yach was SVP Global Health and Agriculture Policy at PepsiCo, headed global health at the Rockefeller Foundation, was a Professor of Global Health at Yale University, and is a former Executive Director for Noncommunicable Diseases and Mental Health of the World Health Organization (WHO).

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If you like our show, please rate us on iTunes. That makes a huge difference in helping more people discover it. We love to know your thoughts about this episode. Please submit your comments below! You can also email comments to Jesse at jesse@engagingleader.com, subscribe to him on Facebook, or follow him on Twitter.

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5-choicesNearly half of your company’s payroll is being spent on things that don’t matter to your strategic goals. That’s based on results of a six-year global study of 350,000 people by the firm FranklinCovey. Here’s the good news: You can change your practices and the culture of your team to automatically self-orient around the important things that really make an impact. The 5 Choices: The Path to Extraordinary Productivity is a new book that builds on the latest neuroscience plus decades of experience and research in the time management field. According to Kory Kogon and her co-authors, the result is time management redefined for the 21st century.

Kory Kogon is the Global Productivity Practice Leader for FranklinCovey. She joins us to discuss the 5 choices:

  • The first two choices are focused on decision management.
    • Act on the important, don’t react to the urgent.
    • Go for extraordinary, don’t settle for ordinary.
  • The second two choices are focused on attention management.
    • Schedule the big rocks, don’t sort gravel.
    • Rule your technology, don’t let it rule you.
  • The last choice is focused on energy management.
    • Fuel your fire, don’t burn out.

Resources Mentioned in This Episode

Subscription Links

iTunes Stitcher RSS

Your Feedback

If you like our show, please rate us on iTunes. That makes a huge difference in helping more people discover it. We love to know your thoughts about this episode. Please submit your comments below! You can also email comments to Jesse at jesse@engagingleader.com, subscribe to him on Facebook, or follow him on Twitter.

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107: Four Seconds: Quick & Counter-Intuitive Ways to Get the Results You Want | with Peter Bregman

March 2, 2015

The things you and your team want most—peace of mind, fulfilling relationships, success at work—are surprisingly straightforward to achieve. But habits and behaviors often trip up our best efforts. Let Peter Bregman help you learn quick, counter-intuitive actions that save time, boost energy, and increase productivity to get the results you want. To thrive in […]

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WHE20: Does Your Company Make These 6 Common Wellness Mistakes? | with Beth Bierbower from Humana

February 24, 2015

Today, more than 80 percent of large and mid-size employers offer wellness programs, and more than two-thirds offer financial incentives to take various wellness steps. However, a large percentage of employers don’t believe their wellness programs are working. In its 2012 national survey, Kaiser/HRET found only 52 percent of employers believed their wellness program was […]

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Plan Effective Leadership Communication with the Target Outcome Scope [video]

February 19, 2015

The target outcome is something that will change as the result of your words and/or actions. It’s the end result you hope to achieve. To get laser-focused, I use a tool I call the Target Outcome Scope. It’s like a scope on a rifle or crossbow, to help make sure my communication is aimed at […]

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106: 4 Storytelling Frameworks to Lead Change | with Amanda Marko

February 15, 2015

Storytelling is a key tool for leading change. In episode 102, “Storytelling for Leaders,” Amanda Marko joined us to discuss why it’s such a powerful tool and provided tips for putting it to work. In this episode, Amanda returns to talk more specifically on the “how” of storytelling for leaders, and she explains four storytelling […]

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105: Best Place to Work: The Art and Science of Creating an Extraordinary Workplace | with Ron Friedman

February 1, 2015

As a leader, how can you create a great place to work that not only attracts great people but also promotes smarter thinking, greater innovation, and stronger performance? As you probably already know, there’s a popular annual survey about great places to work that boils everything down to trust. But is there more to it […]

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WHE19: Transitioning to Tobacco-Free Workplaces | with Laura Higginbotham from Owens Corning

January 27, 2015

Tobacco-free workplaces have become the norm, but what if your company still has older facilities that have permitted smoking and tobacco products for years? You may face serious resistance from employees, unions, and even local management to transition the facility to a tobacco-free workplace. How do you effectively engage employees and leaders to support the […]

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104: Rookie Smarts: Why Learning Beats Knowing | with Liz Wiseman

January 15, 2015

Is it possible to be at your best even when you are under-qualified or doing something for the first time? And after decades of experience, can you keep your skills from becoming obsolete and irrelevant, and recapture the curiosity and fearlessness of youth to take on new challenges? With the right mindset, you can. For […]

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103: How to Use Bach Remedies to Become a Balanced Leader

January 6, 2015

On Engaging Leader, we talk a lot about who you need to be and what you need to do to be an engaging leader. But what if you keep catching yourself doing the wrong things? For example, you know you shouldn’t practice command-and-control management or act like the smartest guy or gal in the room. […]

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WHE18: Redefining Chronic Disease Care | with Scott Wallace from Dartmouth

December 23, 2014

Chronic medical conditions drive more than 75% of health care spending. However, people with a chronic condition typically get care through a health system designed for acute care — fragmented, episodic care triggered by an adverse health event. This episode discusses how employers can better engage the sicker portion of their employees and family members […]

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102: Storytelling for Leaders: How to Influence, Engage & Inspire | with Amanda Marko

December 15, 2014

Storytelling is an effective leadership tool for change management, engagement, and bringing the business strategy to life. We discussed this tool back in episode 52, “How to Use Stories to Engage People.” Today we’ll dig deeper, with the help of someone whose been teaching the art and science of storytelling to leaders from across the […]

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