June HR News Roundup

Female employee walking and talking with her manager

This month’s roundup of HR news covers how managers play into company culture, why you might want to think about combining customer experience and employee experience under one umbrella, and more.

Hard Workers, Anxious Workers, or Both?

If you have employees ages 16-25, you’re working with Generation Z. And it turns out, they’re a bit of a puzzle. Nearly a third think they’re the hardest-working generation, says a recent Kronos study; roughly the same number said they won’t stand for overwork or denied vacation requests. They also suffer from anxiety surrounding work expectations, their preparedness, and their ability to achieve success. All told, it reflects what the authors call “surprising contradictions” of how they view themselves. How can you find the perfect balance with your Gen Z employees? “They’re looking for leaders who will help them be inspired in their day-to-day work,” wrote the authors, “while encouraging them to try new things and develop professionally over time.”

Engagement Starts with Managers

Is “culture change” at the top of your organization’s priority list? If so, Harvard Business Review says that your managers are the most important factor in building the culture you want. “Too often, the very managers upon whom organizations depend to create better cultures are themselves unhappy and unmotivated at work,” wrote the author. Many are experiencing stress and burnout, and the majority aren’t engaged, so it’s important to start by taking a look at the manager experience. Your managers need to be empowered to develop. They need to be coached and given clear expectations. And they need to be able to recognize their progress and potential. When you improve the manager experience, the employee experience will follow.

Do You Have a Chief Experience Officer?

According to a recent Harvard Business Review article, when customer experience (CX) and employee experience (EX) come together, they can give your organization a competitive advantage. There’s a critical connection between customers and employees that needs to be nurtured, and when it’s not, organizations can miss out on a lot. Those that put a stronger focus on employee experience might end up with great employees who don’t understand good customer service; and those that emphasize customer experience might struggle with employee retention and engagement issues…and waning creativity. Enter: the chief experience officer, or CXO. “The fact is, employees can and will only deliver experiences to customers that they experience themselves,” wrote the author. “By integrating and aligning CX and EX with a single CXO role, a company centralizes the value in its people-centered functions — people outside the company (customers) and people inside (employees). 

Fitness Matters 

Your employees want to be healthy. But do they have the time? Recent survey data reported in a Fox Business article shows that 55% of employees feel that their employers make it difficult for them to stay fit, while 41% say they don’t work out during the week because they don’t have time. And when employees can’t prioritize their wellbeing, it can lead to unhappiness at work. What can you do to help? Consider subsidized gym memberships, employee-led fitness classes, or fitness allowances. Let your employees leave the office at a decent time or encourage longer mid-day breaks a few days a week so they can fit in lunchtime workouts. When your employees have time for their own health and wellbeing, they’ll likely be more engaged and productive when they’re at work.

Has Your Office Gone to the Dogs?

Two weeks ago, organizations across the country celebrated Take Your Dog to Work Day. But for some, every day is Take Your Dog to Work Day. Is your organization dog-friendly…or are you thinking about making it so in the future? Are you wondering how other organizations have modified their offices to work for employees’ four-legged friends? At Amazon’s Seattle headquarters, where as many as 6,000 dogs frequent the office, there’s a dog deck, complete with water stations and a fake fire hydrant. And at Mars Petcare, you’ll find customized pet beds throughout the building, two indoor play areas, and a dog park with WiFi.

three happy employees working together

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Written by: Jeannie Krill

June 27, 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.