February HR News Roundup: What People are Talking About

HR News

Friday, March 4, is Employee Appreciation Day. While we at Bright Horizons think pretty much every day should be a day to appreciate our employees, this is a great opportunity to do something extra special for your people. Ice cream? Team volunteering? Group outing? Get creative and have some fun. What else made February HR News?

Culture Club

On the work/life front, culture still reigns supreme. While HR leaders rate it as the third highest source of workplace stress, employees put it at #1. And when it comes to culture, it seems one bad apple truly can spoil the bunch.

And in fact, flexible cultures are cleaning up; profits rise with flexibility and Millennials crave it. The key to managing remote workers may lie largely in leaders' thoughts and behaviors, in tracking flexwork's impacts on the bottom line, and in setting very clear expectations.

Retention and Recruitment 

More people quit their jobs in Dec 2015 than any time since Dec. 2006. "As the quits rate rises," wrote SHRM, "employers may need to do more to retain their most valuable talent." Millennials are no exception, with 64% reporting planning to leave their current employers by 2020. Employers in information, finance and insurance, and healthcare and social assistance seem to be struggling most to find qualified workers to fill hiring gaps.

To recruit the best new people, focus on the whys - why do your best people work for your organization, and why do people choose to do business with you?

On the retention front, much has been said about the importance of talent development in hanging on to top people...and the importance of mentorship in developing them. But be sure to understand the roles of sponsorship and mentorship.

Equality at Work... and Your Talent Strategy

Gender issues continue to pop up - for both sexes. Bain & Co.'s latest research shows that "integrating work and personal life isn't just a woman's issue anymore." Bright Horizons' Modern Family Index provides additional ammunition, illustrating some surprises about the modern dad's perspective on work and family.

And of course there's the ongoing topic of equal money. One-in-five HR managers say women at their companies are paid less than men, and yet three-in-four workers think there's no gender pay gap. What's more, three-in-four employees would not apply to work for an employer they believe pays women and men differently. Bucking this trend, Intel (a Bright Horizons client) has revealed that their workforce is now nearly a quarter female (up 5.4% from 2014), and that its female employees' salaries are on par with those of their male counterparts.

Strategic HR

Want your C-Suite to see HR's strategic value? Make it a profit center.

And be mindful of the vendors you choose. You've got a lot riding on those relationships. SHRM's recent cautionary tale inspired one of our own client relations leaders to reflect on what it takes to get the most out of an HR vendor partnership.

And because we know sometimes HR gets a bad rap, we offer some inspiring stories of HR playing hero for their employees. Turns out, the C-suite's new standard for HR leaders just might be super hero.

Work/Life Balance vs Integration vs Fit...What's Happening and What's Next

Finally, under the category of February HR News, we give a big shout out to the New York Times Magazine and its recent exhaustive issue on the subject of work. This very thorough compilation looked at meetings (bad!) and flex time (good!) and the great things that happen when employees are told they can work wherever and whenever as long as goals are met. The results could change the way we manage work and life, and continue the shift towards "work-life fit."

The Times' exploration of "The New Dream Jobs" aligns directly with Bright Horizons' own research on "The Business Benefits of Being a Dream Company." In short, people want to work for employers who care about their well-being, provide opportunities for development, and support work/life balance (or integration, or fit, or whatever you would like to call it).

And to all of the employees out there - Happy Employee Appreciation Day!

Written by: Bright Horizons Blog Editor

About the Author

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The Bright Horizons Blog Editor frequently posts on the real solutions that meaningfully support employees, advance careers, and drive the world’s leading brands. The Editor curates the latest news, trends, and challenges facing HR pros because your time is scarce. Follow the Bright Horizons Blog to receive this insight in your inbox.