Exercise as a prescription for depression: Here’s how it works
Melissa Healy, Los Angeles Times: “Their findings, published Thursday in the journal Cell, not only illuminate the link between chronic stress and depression; they help explain how a known anti-depressive agent — in this case exercise — works to prevent or mitigate the debilitating mental condition. That’s more than can be said for many antidepressant medications, which clearly help many with depression, but whose mechanism of action is not all that well understood.”
Related: How exercise may protect the brain against stress-induced depression
6 questions for companies changing a dress code
Suzanne Lucas, aka Evil HR Lady: “Walmart’s (WMT) recent decision to enforce a new dress code for employees by the end of September has put a spotlight on the issue and raised some thorny questions. For instance, what’s the difference between a dress code and a uniform? Plus, the move has many Walmart employees upset because buying new clothes is an expense many either don’t want or can’t afford. / However, dress codes aren’t unusual at all. In fact, the company you’re working for probably has one. / Still, as Walmart is showing, when making a decision to change a dress code, it can be fraught with consequences. That’s why companies in that situation should first think about these six things…”
Mediating When Communication Breaks Down Between Coworkers
Dianna Booher, Huffington Post: “When coworkers are caught in conflict, do you know how to re-open the lines of communication without getting trapped in the fallout? Do you care–or do you just stay clear? As a leader, here’s what you can do to help minimize the grumbling, reduce the stress, and resolve the issue.”
Do personality tests pass the ADA-compliance test?
Jon Hyman, Ohio Employer’s Law Blog: “The ABA Journal (hat tip: Overlawyered) is reporting that the EEOC is investigating whether several well-known companies are violating the ADA by using pre-employment personality tests to screen applicants … The use of personality tests raises complex legal and business issues, even more so now that this issue is on the EEOC’s radar. If you are considering using personality tests to screen applicants or current employees, tread carefully and not without the input of your employment counsel.”
Making virtual teams productive
Wally Bock, Three Star Leadership: “When you’ve got a virtual team member, you have to work harder to have those encounters that build relationships. That’s important. Researchers at MIT studied what great business teams look like and how virtual teams differed from co-located teams. They found that all great business teams have some things in common, but that building relationships is much harder in a virtual environment.”
Lack of corporate training to blame for ‘skills gap’ says new study
HR BLR: “Are employers doing enough to close the so-called skills gap? According to a survey of employed and unemployed Americans by Mindflash, the answer is “No.” While some employers have partnered with academic institutions and federal and state agencies to help equip workers with the skills needed to fill available jobs, survey respondents pointed to lack of corporate training as the top reason for many Americans remaining unemployed and many jobs remaining unfilled, according to the survey. Also, 31 percent of survey respondents said that employers are unwilling “to train new hires for the specific skills they need.”
Knowledge of “touchy-feely” plant manager means negligence liability for sexual harassment
Brandi O. Brown, J.D, Walters Kluwer: “One of the workers testified that when she told them about the manager touching her, they told her to look for another job and also told her that they did not believe her. They told another one of the workers that they had cameras at the facility and that if she did not like her job, that she should find another one. They told yet another that they were not going to prefer her over the plant manager. Further, the translator purportedly refused to translate one of the worker’s complaints because he did not believe her.”
Communication Mistakes to Avoid at All Costs
Lolly Daskal, INC.: “Communication is at the core of almost everything we do. If you want to build better communication skills, a good first step is identifying and avoiding these common problems.”
Employers Who Prohibit Use of Company Technology for Non-Business Purposes Have Dodged a Bullet—For Now
Benesch, JDSupra Business Advisor: “As a result of the Board’s punt in Purple Communications, Register Guard remains controlling law. And until the NLRB revisits the issue (most probably after midterm elections in November), employers may continue to operate as if they have a property right in their email systems and may therefore lawfully prohibit employee use of such systems for non-business reasons.”
The complete guide to stress relief at the office
Jeanne Kim, Quartz “Called the “health epidemic of the 21st century” by the World Health Organization, stress is a factor in nearly half of work-performance issues and costs US businesses an estimated $300 billion a year “through absenteeism, diminished productivity, employee turnover and direct medical, legal and insurance fees,” according to the American Psychological Association.”
Brief Takes

esi.JPG Want to ensure a winning team in your organization? In addition to help for your employees, ESI EAP offers a full suite of tools for supervisors and managers, including our ESI Management Academy. Trainings cover compliance issues, management skills and more. If you want to learn more about how ESI can provide more employee EAP benefits and more employer services, call us at 800-535-4841.


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