I’m sure you definitely have heard of it. Chances are too you probably have one in your wallet or purse. Yes, I’m talking about the NETS card. 

With all its convenience islandwide, it’s fast becoming an indispensable card in our everyday lives. Welcome to the world of NETS…the cashless revolution that has transformed our world that very day it was introduced.
 
I remember I first owned a NETS card when I was in junior college. And the same NETS card has kept me company all these years.

Today, I was invited to NETS Singapore to give a corporate wellness training talk for the staff. Billed as a NETS Lunch and Learn Programme, it was heartwarming to see the cozy learning centre quickly filled up with participants.
 
As most of us spend most of our waking hours at work in the new economy, it is easy to see why maintaining a healthy worklife balance is fast becoming increasingly important. In order to have quality performance, we first need to achieve a quality lifestyle. These two actually go hand in hand.

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If you ask me, all companies should take a leaf from NETS Singapore and start to incorporate corporate wellness training talks and programmes to help establish this balance. It’s not difficult to start one. The only challenge is – are you keen to take their first baby step out?

The energy of the group today was great. They asked questions, bonded with one another (coming from different departments), laughed a minute and learned another minute. Life should be lived this way – we learn while having fun and in the company of our colleagues.

There are many benefits of corporate wellness. Let me attempt to share just three of them with you.

Benefit No 1: Corporate Wellness Leads to Increased Productivity 

This is no longer rocket science. Extensive research has shown that corporate wellness leads to increased productivity. Employees who are healthy and happy take fewer medical leave each year. They fall ill less often and are less stressed. The plus side is that they tend to produce a greater volume of work within a shorter period of time. Conversely, if you hate your job or hate your boss, chances of you taking a double slow time to complete the same task is manifested. Add that to the reasons you start to form in your head to feign your ‘illness’.

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Benefit No 2: Corporate Wellness Leads to Increased Retention Rate
 
As an ex-human resource manager, I understand how difficult it is to retain staff, let alone retain talent. People job hop. A well- planned corporate wellness programme is thus the key to enhanced retention of employees.  In this new economy, it’s no longer just the pay that matters. Employees also look at other factors such as staff benefits and concessions. Don’t forget the staff forms the backbone of any organization. 

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Benefit No 3: Corporate Wellness Leads to Stronger Camaraderie With Co-Workers 

One often overlooked benefit of corporate wellness training is that it helps to foster a strong sense of camaraderie with co-workers. By doing activities together, the team bonding gets stronger. Remember the acronym TEAM? Yes, it stands for “Together everyone achieves more”. Whether you are taking part in sports or sweating it out in the gym or having lunch together (like today at my talk!), you are spending time with your co-workers.
 
Let’s face the fact…Some organisations are so huge that you do not even get to see everyone. You may have interacted with another colleague over the phone or via email. Through the corporate wellness training programme, you can finally put a face to that name! Think social support as it is the key to building a great organization. Seeing the happy faces on the staff of NETS Singapore and how everyone encouraged each other when it came to doing the bodyweight exercises put a huge smile on my face.

I really enjoyed myself today. Thanks for the memories! 

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There are many reasons why misunderstandings happen. The chief of them is because there is a miscommunication or breakdown in communication.

Communication is a dynamic process, usually involving two or more people. If it’s me, myself and I, then it’s not communication at all. We call that a soliloquy or monologue. Through this process of communicating with others, we convey a thought or feeling to someone else. How it is received depends on a set of events, stimuli and even past experience of the person. As listeners, we may choose to filter and interpret only parts of the message. 

There is a proverb which I particularly like "Don’t curse the darkness, instead light a candle." Many a times when someone misinterprets our message, we start to blame others and assign fault to them. Have you ever paused to ask yourself if it should have been your responsibility instead? Have you the sender been sending the right message across? And have you the sender asked for feedback from the listener so that a common reality could be established?

Remember, how you say what you say plays an important role in communication. 

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Welcome to this month’s edition of the communication course for Mindef. We are at a new venue this time (yes, we are trying out the Concorde Hotel) having class for the participants. Sharing easy banter with them during the entire day, we have perhaps established the most crucial key ingredient in building future relationships – rapport. Without rapport, communication cannot flow. And without flow, there can be no exchange of further information, goodwill and future relationships.

Building rapport is easy. Let me share 5 simple tips on how you can build rapport so as to communicate with impact with anyone, any place and anytime.

You Need Self-Confidence

Nothing is worse than doubting yourself. Start building up your self-confidence first as this intrinsic motivating factor is the key to your future success in life. When you confident, you tend to be able to overcome challenges better.

You Must Understand People

Different people have different needs. As the saying goes “different strokes for different folks”, we need to understand what makes one tick. Different people have different communication styles. Adjust your communication style to suit the other person so there is better rapport.

You Must Be Enthusiastic
Just like how we tend to last longer when we play our favourite sports or games, so too must we be enthusiastic when we communicate. Don’t communicate for the sake of doing so as you won’t last. And the tell-tale signs are enough to turn others off as well.
 
You Must Make Eye Contact 
 
When you make eye contact with others, you are sending a signal that you are interested in them and what they are saying. It is also a sign of basic respect. The eyes are the windows to your soul. When you connect with the eyes, you are establishing a deep connection with others…one so deep that it touches the soul.
 
You Must Be Interested In Them

Couples get together because there is some unexplainable chemistry between them. Similarly, people communicate because of common ground, interests or directions. Be genuinely interested. Or at least sound interested.
 
Communication happens everyday at all levels. They affect the quality of our lives, whether in the personal or professional realm. Be a great communicator by mastering the art of communication today!

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