Whitney Trent

Whitney Trent

Whitney is the Wellbeing and Engagement Strategist at Gibson and is responsible for designing and overseeing health and wellbeing strategies for Gibson’s clients. Whitney assists in the presentation and implementation of wellness initiatives and consulting to clients. She is a licensed Thriving Workplace Culture Consultant™. Prior to joining Gibson in 2016, Whitney worked in fitness management, most recently with the National Institute for Fitness and Sport. Read Whitney's Full Bio

Recent posts by Whitney Trent

2 min read

To Gather or Not to Gather

By Whitney Trent on Dec 22, 2020 7:15:00 AM

Holidays are synonymous with traditions. Beyond the traveling, heading home and famous family recipes, the holidays have a way of reminding us of memories and times spent with family.

This year has presented us with many challenges, cancelled events, and other setbacks. This spring, few would have imagined we would be where we are today. At this point, most of us have been looking forward to something to celebrate for weeks.

With concerns of COVID-19 cases rising in the coming weeks and larger gatherings showing increased rates of getting or spreading the virus, how can we safely continue these traditions?

This year there will be no licking of spatulas or taking the edge of the frosting off the dessert or bumping your cousins’ elbows under the table. Most recommendations centralize on wearing masks, maintaining safe distances, limiting the number of guests, and taking precautions on food preparations and changing how we traditionally sit down to eat, or celebrating at home with immediate family only.

Topics: Holiday
2 min read

Student Loan Repayment Plans Under The CARES Act

By Whitney Trent on Apr 8, 2020 3:00:00 PM

Landmark legislation was passed by U.S. Congress which includes exciting news regarding student loan contributions.

Topics: Schools Employee Benefits
3 min read

Do You Have A Best Friend At Work?

By Whitney Trent on Oct 30, 2019 6:30:00 AM

 

Do you have a best friend at work?

I heard this for the first time three years ago. I’d just started at Gibson and was becoming familiar with employee wellbeing and engagement surveys. I came across this question from the Gallup Q12 survey and remember thinking how strange I thought it was. Honestly, I’d never thought about it before.

Many people have the same reaction. In surveys, some employees comment that they already have a best friend and they don't need to spend extra time with the people they work with outside of work.

Having a best friend at work simply relates to having someone at work that you can confide in or share an experience with.

Turns out… it can be one of the most important factors in employee engagement and happiness at work. Having a best friend at work can lead to increased:

  • Job Satisfaction
  • Performance
  • Productivity

Let’s consider the impact this can have beyond employee satisfaction and employee engagement. What if your “best friend at work” was your saving grace when it comes to your mental health? Sometimes, we struggle sharing details of personal relationships or personal challenges with our closest friends out of fear of judgement or not wanting to feel like a burden, but at times a work friend can be the best person to open up to. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, nearly one in five U.S. adults live with mental illness. More workdays are lost to mental health-related absenteeism than any other injury or illness. A study from the “Mental Health in the Workplace Summit” found mental illness is the leading cause of disability for U.S. adults aged 15 to 44.

Know What To Look For

Recognize the signs. It is important for managers/team leaders and co-workers to know and recognize the common signs listed below:

  • Arriving late
  • Missing deadlines
  • Mood swings
  • A reliable co-worker suddenly is disappearing for hours or days at a time.
  • An unkempt appearance or lack of personal hygiene.

No one should, or has to, handle a mental health challenge on their own. You may be all the help they need or may be the one who can encourage them to get more help. Here’s how:

  • Talk To Them & Show That You Care. Do not force a conversation, but say you are available if they want to talk. Saying that you are there can let them know they are not alone.
  • Stay Calm. Speaking calmly and slowly helps set the tone for them to do the same.
  • Listen. Sometimes, just being there and giving the person the chance to talk is the best help you can provide.
  • Show Empathy. You don’t need to have ever experienced what they are going through or don’t need to tell them you are sorry for them. Recognize their feelings for what they are, such as “I can see how frustrating that is” or “you must be really upset”.
  • Take Care Of Yourself. Helping others can be tiring. Know the limits of what you can do. You can help and listen as a friend, but you can’t do everything on your own.

Given the prevalence of mental illness, you can expect that employees at your organization are experiencing mental health challenges. That’s why it’s important for your organization to create a culture that supports employees’ mental health. While this may sound complicated, creating a workplace that is supportive of mental health is easier than it seems. Here are five simple ways that your company can support employees and their mental health.

  • Promote mental health awareness and destigmatizing it in the office
  • Offer flexible scheduling
  • Address workplace stress
  • Evaluate your benefit offerings
  • Provide mental health training for managers

When you openly talk about mental health, the ways you support mental health, and communicate the resources available,  employees are more likely to feel comfortable and ask for help if they’re struggling.

If you are struggling with suicidal thoughts, talk about how you are feeling with someone you trust. Do not be ashamed to admit you need help. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is always staffed and ready to listen at 1-800-273-TALK(8255).

 

 

Topics: Wellbeing HR Solutions
2 min read

Workplace Wellbeing: Updated Blood Pressure Health Guidelines

By Whitney Trent on Dec 19, 2017 6:30:00 AM

Recently, two national health organizations, the American Heart Association (AHA) and the American College of Cardiology (ACC), updated hypertension guidelines. The previous guidelines for high blood pressure diagnosis were 140 mm Hg/90 mmHg while the new guidelines for high blood pressure are 130 mm Hg/80 mmHg. What does this mean for your employees? Does it impact your workplace wellbeing efforts?

Topics: Employee Benefits Health Risk Management
3 min read

Workplace Wellbeing: The Rise Of Wearable Devices

By Whitney Trent on Jun 21, 2017 6:30:00 AM

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that adults get 150 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity each week. Research shows, and most individuals would agree, that engaging in regular physical activity, such as walking, enjoy the benefits of:

  • Reduced blood pressure
  • Lower blood cholesterol
  • Increased cardiovascular endurance
  • Improved bone strength
  • Burn calories and weight maintenance

What if there was a device available that could help someone measure their activity or send hourly reminders to get up and move to increase daily physical activity levels? And what would this mean for workplace wellbeing?

Topics: Employee Benefits Health Risk Management
3 min read

6 Tips For Preventing Sleep Deprivation

By Whitney Trent on Apr 12, 2017 6:30:00 AM

I’ll sleep when I’m dead.

Maybe you’ve used that phrase or heard a colleague or friend utter it. In the midst of our busy lives, sleep often falls by the wayside. But the reality is - sleep isn’t an option. A recent British survey revealed that people who sleep less than six hours a night have a 13% higher mortality rate than those sleeping at least seven hours.

Many factors contribute to sleeplessness such as family worries and financial concerns, but one factor that stands out above others: work. The work we do can affect the quality of sleep we get. It can impact how much free time we have, how anxious we feel, and how tired we are.

Topics: Employee Benefits Health Risk Management
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