Wellness Wednesday Issue #74

The Assist Newsletter
May 28, 2024
Happiness cannot be traveled to, owned, earned, worn or consumed. Happiness is the spiritual experience of loving every minute with love, grace and grartitude. — Denis Waitley

Today’s checklist: 

  • 12 tips for managing underperforming employees
  • The power of trusts & why you need one
  • A tip from Dr. Mimi

🤔 Trivia: What mineral is vital for over 300 enzymatic reactions in the body, including muscle and nerve function, but is commonly lacking in many people’s diets? Find out.

👀 See all of the May 2024 Wellness Wednesday Trivias.


🥘 Cooking: Celebrate Coq Au Vin day with this one-pot recipe.

🛠️ AI Tool: Is this AI presentation maker the future of academic presentations?

❓ Job Seeking: 40+ smart questions to ask at the end of any job interview.

👩‍👦 Motherhood: I was mominfluenced—but not in the way you’d think. Read the essay.

♓️ Astrology: See what Mercury is doing in your chart.


A hand-drawn cartoon style illustration of an Asian female manager talking to a Latina direct report at a desk. The manager is engaged and encouraging, while the direct report looks attentive and motivated. They are discussing a performance improvement plan in a professional and supportive office environment, with elements like a computer, papers, and a whiteboard in the background. The overall atmosphere is positive and collaborative, emphasizing teamwork and support.

12 Tips For Managing Underperforming Employees


As a supervisor, addressing an underperforming employee is a challenging yet critical task that directly impacts team productivity and morale.

Effective management of such situations involves a structured approach that identifies root causes and fosters an environment conducive to improvement.

Here are some key strategies to help supervisors manage underperformance effectively:

  1. Identify the Root Cause: Begin by understanding why the employee is underperforming. Determine if the issues stem from skills deficits, unclear job expectations, personal challenges, or motivational factors. This step is crucial for developing an effective response.
  2. Self-Evaluation: Before taking action, reflect on your own role in the situation. Consider asking yourself questions such as, “Did I contribute to this situation through the hiring process, lack of support, or the culture I’ve fostered in my team?” Self-evaluation can reveal important insights that may improve your management approach and prevent future issues.
  3. Set Clear Expectations: Often, underperformance is linked to unclear expectations. Ensure each team member understands their role and responsibilities. Regularly update and communicate job descriptions and performance standards.
  4. Provide Constructive Feedback: Constructive feedback is essential. Offer specific, actionable advice rather than personal criticism. Schedule regular meetings to discuss performance and ensure feedback is timely and relevant to observed behaviors.
  5. Develop a Performance Improvement Plan (PIP): If feedback does not lead to improvement, consider implementing a formal performance improvement plan. Set achievable goals and deadlines, and work collaboratively with the employee to outline clear expectations and the steps required to meet them.
  6. Offer Support and Resources: Make sure the employee has access to the necessary tools, training, and resources to perform their job effectively. Sometimes, performance issues are the result of external factors rather than a lack of effort or competence.
  7. Monitor Progress: Continuously assess the employee’s progress against the performance improvement plan. Adjust the plan as necessary and provide ongoing support to guide the employee towards satisfactory performance.
  8. Foster a Supportive Work Environment: Promote an atmosphere of respect, collaboration, and open communication. Encourage your team to support each other and share knowledge, which can enhance motivation and overall team performance.
  9. Recognize and Reward Improvements: Acknowledge and reward any improvements in performance to reinforce positive behaviors. Recognition can range from verbal praise to more formal rewards, such as bonuses or promotions.
  10. Consider Role Realignment: If performance does not improve with support and training, assess whether the employee might be more effective in a different role. Role realignment can help match an employee’s strengths with organizational needs more effectively.
  11. Make Tough Decisions When Necessary: If performance issues persist despite all efforts, it may be necessary to make difficult decisions, such as demotion, reassignment, or termination. Handle these situations with fairness and respect, following all legal and ethical guidelines.
  12. Maintain Privacy: When managing underperformance, respect the employee’s privacy. Keep discussions confidential and focus on the issues at hand without disclosing them to the wider team, unless absolutely necessary.

By incorporating these strategies, including a critical look at one’s own management practices, supervisors can more effectively manage underperforming employees, leading to improved team dynamics and increased productivity.


Information Silos: A Nosy Girl’s Worst Nightmare


Some call us nosy; we prefer well-informed.

There’s nothing wrong with wanting to know what’s going on in other departments.

In FACT, your information flow should encourage it 🕵️‍♀️.

Sequestering information in one department or team often means documents are duplicated, inaccurate or out of date information is touted as true and finding what you need is difficult, to say the least 📄.

So, if you’re a nosy girl (like me) and you want to keep your ear to the metaphorical door, join us on May 30th at 12 PM PT/3 PM ET for a webinar on breaking down information silos.

In partnership with Collabogence and perfect for HR and Internal Communications pros, we’ll look at how to ensure and encourage a culture of collaboration and sharing 🤝.

Register for free today!


A couple crunches numbers while baby plays and dog naps, blending responsibility with homey vibes.

The Power of Trusts And Why You Need One


My great-grandparents arrived from Spain with little to their names but a robust work ethic and a dream to build wealth.

They were the epitome of the old-school immigrant ethos: frugal, perpetually prepared for economic hardship, and staunch believers in buying things outright with cash.

In contrast, my parents deviated from this financial conservatism, leading to a childhood mixed with low-income experiences and middle-class privileges solely afforded by the support of my grandparents.

Today, as the property manager and executor of the trust originated by my great-grandmother, I’ve witnessed the gamut of familial dynamics around this trust: everything from peaceful family passings to Game of Thrones-style familial sabotage, and even tense standoffs with the IRS when a relative dodged their tax duties.

Here’s what these 30+ years across varied financial terrains have taught me about the importance of trusts—a concept I once naively associated only with the wealthy:

  1. Trusts Aren’t Just for the Wealthy. Trusts are a wise choice for anyone, regardless of income. They offer a structured way to manage your assets—consider listening to this insightful podcast on trusts for more information.
  2. Prepare for the Unexpected. Life’s unpredictabilities—divorce, bankruptcy, tax liens, lawsuits—can strike anyone. Having your assets in a trust can provide a critical safety net, safeguarding your financial future.
  3. Safeguard Future Generations. An irrevocable trust can be a strategic tool to minimize estate tax liabilities, protecting your property for future generations. When downsizing or gifting, trusts can enable your heirs to bypass the estate, directly benefiting from the trust without the burden of hefty taxes.
  4. Avoid Legal Hassles and Costs. Probate is a legal process triggered by the absence of a will at death, often cumbersome and costly. For example, without a will, settling a $500k estate could cost your heirs $15k in legal fees alone. Creating a trust circumvents this process entirely.
  5. Maintain Privacy. A trust shields your property details from public databases like Zillow, reducing susceptibility to scams and enhancing your privacy.
  6. Protect Your Assets. For instance, if you own a business and face potential lawsuits, an irrevocable trust can protect certain personal assets from creditors. By transferring ownership into a trust, these assets effectively become shielded from legal claims.

Having navigated the complexities of trust administration, where failures to plan have led to messy and costly aftermaths for families, I can’t stress enough the importance of being proactive.

I know! It might seem tedious to set up a trust, but the security and peace of mind it offers are invaluable.

Here’s a challenge for you: In the next 30 days, make an appointment with a trust administration lawyer or use a free service like getdynasty.com to create your own trust.

To give you more motivation, I reached out to getdynasty.com and secured our TA readers 50% off the 1st year of their paid subscription. Use code: THEASSIST.

Trusts aren’t just a financial tool for the elite; they’re a practical strategy for anyone interested in securing their financial future and legacy.

Headshot of Thania, Content Mgr

Thania (TA Content Mgr)


A vibrant display of various customizable swag items from Swag.com, including branded mugs, water bottles, notebooks, socks, and a box labeled "OMG." The items are arranged on a bright pink background, showcasing the diversity and quality of products available for team gifts and corporate branding.

Swag They’ll Brag About


Ditch the boring corporate gifts—it’s bad for morale and the environment.

Swag.com offers high-quality, customizable products that your team will be proud to show off.

You can customize your own swag box here, or you can steal our swag box ideas below:

🧘‍♀️ For The Zen Master:

☕ For The Coffee Addict:

✈️ For The World Traveler:

🎁 Create your own swag box here.


From Dr. Mimi


A testimonial graphic featuring Dr. Mimi Lois. The graphic includes her photo on the left, and her quote on the right. The quote reads: "Try to not drive with a full bladder. If you happen to get in an accident (hopefully never) and have a full bladder, the seatbelt could press on your bladder to the point of it bursting open—and you’ll need surgery. I have seen it happen many times!" The background is light blue, and the text is in black.
⭐️ Share your wellness tips with our community here so we can get better together.


Stuff We’re Loving This Week


🤖 Have you already heard about the #1 AI Course Creator for HR and L&D professionals? Try it for free.

🎧 The GaryVee Experience—Thania is obsessed with him and gets all her marketing, consumer behavior, and leadership strategies from this entrepreneur and business guru.

🛏️ Help stretch the neck after a long day of poor posture with this spine & neck pillow.

🌐 AnyTopic is the perfect site when you need to learn about a particular topic but don’t have a ton of time.


A sticky note reads: How to professionally say "fuck around and find out." Answer: "Please, test that assumption and then take note of the results."


🚨 Job Alerts


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