August HR News Roundup

hr news roundup august 2018

This month's roundup of HR news features information on a new Starbucks program that lets employees devote half their time to volunteering, "breadsharing," employee career paths, and more. Take a look!

Getting Paid to Volunteer

Did you know that employees who are given the opportunity to volunteer outside of work feel an improved sense of wellbeing and, therefore, tend to perform better in the office? According to a recent CNN Money article, coffee giant Starbucks is testing a new program that will allow employees to spend at least 20 hours per week working at Starbucks, and up to 20 hours per week volunteering at a local nonprofit. When employees are "engaged in communities and they feel connected, they're going to stay with Starbucks longer," Virginia Tenpenny, vice president of Global Social Impact at Starbucks and executive director of The Starbucks Foundation, told CNN Money. Out of 200 employees who applied, 36 fellows were chosen for the pilot program, and there are hopes to expand the program in coming years.

Working Dads: The "Breadsharers"

Unfortunately, gender bias is still alive and kicking. And if you associate the word "career" with males...and "family" with females, you're not alone. According to a recent Forbes article, Harvard's Project Implicit study found that 76 percent of participants do, too. The workforce needs to make a shift toward gender equality how can we give working dads more time to spend with their newborns and working moms a better chance at climbing the career ladder post-baby? Millennial dads might be the answer. They're already leading the way they "subscribe more readily to the concept of 'breadsharers' instead of breadwinners and typically live in dual-income households," wrote the author, "which affect their perception of gender roles, both in and outside the home." Supporting working fathers and encouraging them to take full advantage of their parental leave will help make that leave more common (and accepted!) for both men and women. And, ideally, it will narrow the gap and make the return to the office easier on everyone.

Lay the Career Path

You've found great employees and, most of the time, they seem happy in their roles. But according to a recent HR Dive article, they might be confused about career path nearly half (47%) of U.S. employees ages 35 - 44 aren't sure what it should look like. How can you point them in the right direction...and give them a reason to stay with your organization? First, start the conversation talk about mobility within your department and the company as a whole. Tailor training to each employee's needs and his or her long-term goals. And finally, help employees see where they each fit into the organization's overall plan and continue to keep them loyal and engaged. And remember "upskilling" your current employees is a whole lot easier than finding external candidates who meet your every need.

Six Moms Changing the Back-to-Work Landscape

For new moms, going back to work can be tricky think pumping, flexibility, stalled careers, and more. Not every organization is set up to accommodate working mothers' needs. But according to ABC News, six moms have set out to change that. After an awkward pumping experience of her own, Stephanie Conduff created Leche Lounge, which provides companies with portable suites for pumping and nursing. These suites feature breast pumps, USB chargers, fans, mirrors, calming wipes, and even refrigerators (when requested). To help moms step back into the workforce without starting from scratch, Jenny Galluzzo and Gina Hadley co-founded The Second Shift, a company that matches women who have over 10 years of experience in marketing, finance, web design, human resources, and legal with companies that need temporary and project-based help. Annie Dean and Anna Auerbach co-founded Werk to tackle the flexibility debacle - the startup is focused on changing the structure of the workday to help everyone work better. And Teresa Tanner, an executive at Fifth Third Bank, launched a maternity concierge program that's free for all employees. The program helps them do just about everything grocery shop, find a breast pump, research kid-friendly vacation rentals, plan birthday parties, and more.

The Four-Day Work Week

If your organization is like most in the U.S., you likely have a five-day work week. But, CNBC says that a four-day work week might be on the horizon. "Savvy employers are catching on to the fact that employees are increasingly demanding better work-life balance and the opportunity to get work done at non-traditional places and times," Jim Link, chief human resources officer (North America) at global recruitment agency Randstad, told CNBC. "The four-hour workweek is a perfect example of that." Some organizations have already made the switch, including a Colorado school district and New York-based computer software company Cockroach Labs. Of course, common concerns range from whether it will affect wages to whether it'll mean higher employee stress for those four days. How can you make it work? According to Lindsay Grenawalt, head of people at Cockroach Labs, it's critical to invest in hiring and find people who actually want to be at your company; consolidate meetings to ensure team meetings and group work are restricted to certain days; and remove distractions by offering things like noise-cancelling headphones.

Written by: Jeannie Krill

About the Author

Jeannie Krill at Bright Horizons

As a former Bright Horizons preschool teacher, Jeannie has seen what child care means to clients firsthand. She also offers a view from the Millennials camp, cluing us into what’s challenging today’s largest demographic, and what they really want. She holds a BA in Psychology from Valparaiso University.