March HR News Roundup

Two colleagues shaking hands in an office

Our March HR news roundup dives into employee development, employee wellness and condition management programs, internal communications, and more. Take a look!

Employee Development Isn’t One-Size-Fits-All

Your employees want to grow. In fact, a recent Harvard Business Review article cited Gallup poll data that shows almost 90% of Millennials value career growth and development opportunities. Managers are essential to these experiences, and personalization goes a long way. “They don’t just track the big learning opportunities granted to their employees,” wrote the author. “They also understand the nuances of how people are growing week by week and month by month and adjust their actions accordingly. As a result, they keep their teams engaged and excited.” You can help your managers do this by encouraging them to engage in ongoing interactions with their employees and create a spreadsheet with each employee’s development information, such as key motivators, goals, opportunities for growth, and more. Managers should update their spreadsheet on a weekly basis, dive into more detail every three months, and use it when writing annual performance reviews.  

Going Beyond Employee Wellness

Are you doing enough for employee wellness? Targeted programs are a step in the right direction, but an Employee Benefit News article says it’s time to go even further and amp up personalization. The author suggests adopting and promoting condition management programs for employees ranging from at-risk to sick, which would focus on those who account for the majority of the national healthcare spend. “A good condition management program includes guidance on nutrition, exercise, sleep and stress management, but how those areas are prioritized should depend on the individual,” wrote the author. Helping your employees lead healthier lives starts with addressing their specific needs. And programs that do so will have higher engagement and better outcomes. 

Marketing vs. Internal Communications

Marketing and internal communications tend to use many of the same platforms and technologies, so they should go hand-in-hand, right? According to Keith Kitani, CEO and co-founder of GuideSpark, the answer is no. In his recent Benefits Pro article, he said, “Internal communicators should go beyond their marketing relatives in relevance, response rates and impact.” The two disciplines share the goal of capturing an audience’s attention and influencing how they feel and what they do, but internal communicators have a leg up when it comes to relevance. They share a culture with those they’re trying to communicate with. “While internal communicators should feel comradery with marketers and learn from them, let’s not mistake our shared tools and tactics for shared purposes. We make life better for employees by being advocates of great employee experiences, not by being marketers,” said Kitani.

Don’t Forget About Gen X

These days, everyone is so focused on Millennial and Gen Z employees that Gen Xers are often overlooked — even though they still make up one third of the U.S. workforce. Recent survey data reported in a Benefits Pro article shows that they’re less financially secure than their Millennial counterparts and, therefore, less engaged at work. Not to mention, they feel less empowered and less respected. “With record unemployment and employers competing in a war for talent, those who can understand their workforce’s pain points will be best positioned to both attract and retain experienced, highly skilled workers,” Todd Katz, executive vice president, Group Benefits at MetLife, told Benefits Pro. What can you do? Appeal to Gen X’s needs — consider adding financial wellness tools and education and career development opportunities to your benefits package.

A Pay Day Alternative

Typically, pay days occur on the 15th and 30th of every month or every other Friday. But who’s to say they can’t happen each day? Sprinkles Bakery recently rolled out DailyPay, which gives employees instant access to their accrued wages. Why? According to a recent Employee Benefit News article, they’re hoping to help employees get a better handle on their finances and any unexpected expenses, reduce turnover, and increase retention. And according to DailyPay’s research, the instant pay app should make it easier for Sprinkles to reach those goals. They found that companies that instituted a daily pay benefit filled open positions 52% faster and reduced turnover by 41%. Cha-ching!

Finally – notice anything different about today? No? Maybe that’s because there are no goldfish in the water cooler. Happy April Fool’s Day – or as it might be known in your office, April 1. Following an edict from at least one high-tech giant (and after years of unfortunate pranks and subsequent tweeted apologies), it looked like the grand-scale April Fool’s joke might be going the way of the Snipe Hunt. We knew there would be diehards. So just in case – beware of staplers encased in Jell-O.

Written by: Jeannie Krill

April 1, 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.