July HR News Roundup

Burned out employee working while thinking about financial burdens

This month’s roundup of HR news covers employee burnout, prioritizing joy at work, employee experience and how it impacts culture, and more. Take a look!

Employee Burnout: A Health Concern?

You’ve heard the term employee burnout thrown around, and you know it isn’t a good thing…but did you know the World Health Organization (WHO) now calls it a syndrome? “Burn-out”, wrote WHO, “is a syndrome conceptualized as resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed.” How can you help? Experts weighing in on SHRM say it’s linked to control. “Ask yourself, ‘Are people in the right roles? Do they know what work makes them happy?’” one HR consultant told SHRM. “If I had to pick the biggest adjustment for [alleviating] burnout, it would be helping people understand what they do best and putting them in roles where they can use their strengths.” Let your employees take some of the responsibility, too — encourage them to figure out what type of work is most motivating.

Counting Money Instead of Sheep

Many of your employees are sleep-deprived…but it’s not due to that 4 o’clock cup of coffee. It’s all about money. A BankRate survey shows that money woes are keeping 56% of U.S. adults up at night. They’re worried about saving for retirement, paying for health care, being able to afford education expenses, and more. Not surprisingly, the combination of stress and lack of sleep can drain employee productivity, focus, and overall happiness. But all is not lost — luckily, many are optimistic about their financial situations, with 77% actively working on a solution. Your benefits package can push the envelope and give your employees the confidence and resources they need to face their financial concerns. 

Prioritizing Joy

Wondering how to spark more joy in your workplace? A recent Harvard Business Review article says: start with harmony, impact, and acknowledgement. Unfortunately, research shows that while many expect to feel joy at work (90%), few actually do (37%). But you can give joy a boost by making sure employees feel like they have a voice and are acknowledged for their efforts, creating cross-unit, cross-silo teams, and celebrating the impact that each employee makes. “Crafting business cultures that more consistently engender such experiences can create a much stronger sense of personal interconnection, shared purpose, and heartfelt pride across the organization,” wrote the author.

Culture Depends on Employee Experience

Employee engagement is important, but if you’re trying to create a healthy workplace culture, it might be time to put a stronger focus on the employee experience. According to a recent Forbes article, “Employee experience is a more ambitious and holistic approach to engagement […] it represents a fundamental shift in perspective — looking at the workplace through the lens of the employee and not the employer.” But you won’t know how they view your organization unless you ask. Conduct surveys and consider “stay interviews” (the opposite of the popular exit interview). Encourage work-life integration, invest in your employees by providing opportunities for growth, and cultivate trust with transparency, honesty, and a solid mission and purpose. 

Employees Who Lunch  

What does your office look like at noon or one o’clock? Do employees stick around for lunch or head out for a break? Unfortunately, the “sad desk lunch” is becoming a more frequent occurrence. According to Safety + Health Magazine, 37% of millennials don’t feel empowered to take a lunch break. And 31% of millennials bosses think that employees who do take a regular break for lunch don’t work as hard as their office-lunch counterparts. But, no matter the stigma surrounding them, these breaks are a good thing. Those who lunch are more excited to come to work, more willing to work late or on weekends, and more satisfied with their current job. Avoid having hangry employees…encourage them to take a mid-day break!

Written by: Jeannie Krill

July 31, 2019

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.