February HR News Roundup

employee meetings

Our February HR news roundup features the latest on engaging millennial employees in their benefits, onboarding programs, the relationship between health benefits and employee retention, and more!

Fix the Meeting Problem

Are your workdays consumed by meetings? Are your employees in conference rooms more often than they're at their desks? According to a recent Harvard Business Review article, companies spend over $37 billion dollars each year on meetings...and 71% of senior managers find these meetings unproductive. How can you fix the meeting problem? Require employees to clearly define the scope of their meetings they'll need to hone in on a few key areas, set responsibilities, and create agendas. Push them to evaluate each meeting's frequency and establish a cadence if one meeting depends on the next. Figure out who will have something valuable to contribute, and, therefore, who should be included, versus who should be updated after the fact by a meeting attendee.

How to Engage Millennials in Their Benefits

If you're finding it hard to get millennials engaged in your company's benefits offerings, you're not alone. But there are three things you can do to make a difference, according to a recent Employee Benefits News article written by millennials themselves. First, understand where they're coming from. They may not be familiar with HMOs and PPOs...and they might not know how to choose a health plan that's right for them. Consider their reliance on technology; they'll shy away from anything they can't access from one of their devices. And be sure to send messages across different channels think: social media, text messages, email, and more.

Onboarding is Key

For new employees and for employers hoping to retain them onboarding is critical. According to Kronos survey data reported in a recent SHRM article, just under half of HR leaders say their onboarding program leads to successful employee retention...and 24 percent say they don't have an onboarding program at all. How can you ensure your onboarding program is meeting expectations? Use this time to immerse new employees in your company culture, as opposed to spending it doing new hire paperwork. Think digital...and use technology to automate the process. And don't rush it longer onboarding programs lead to better outcomes.

Health Benefits and Retention Go Hand-in-Hand

You know that employer-sponsored health benefits are a big draw. But did you know that whether or not your employees like the health coverage they get from these benefits can make or break your ability to retain them? According to a recent SHRM article, 56 percent of adults in the U.S. say that their satisfaction with their health coverage factors into whether or not they decide to stay in their jobs. "You have to know your employees and what they want," Paula Harvey, SHRM-SCP, vice president for human resources at Schulte Building Systems, told SHRM. "Don't just sit in your office looking at claims numbers. Get out and talk to your employees, find out what's working for them."

Wanted: Career, Community, and Cause

What motivates employees? That's what Facebook recently set out to identify...and through their workforce survey, they found three main answers: career, community, and cause. And many employees couldn't choose just one 90 percent of employees rated at least two out of the three with equal importance. In a recent Harvard Business Review article, Facebook executives reported that those answers career, community, and cause stayed consistent among people of different age groups, in different job functions, in different locations.  "When it comes to an ideal job, most of us are looking for a career, a community, and a cause. These are important motivators whether you're 20 or 60, working in engineering or sales, in Lulea or Sao Paulo or Singapore or Detroit. We're all hoping to find a what, a who, and a why," wrote the authors.

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.