May HR News Roundup

hr news diversity

Our May HR news roundup focuses on the benefit of flexibility, diversity in the workplace, employee engagement, and more. Take a look!

Flexibility for Everyone

Does your organization tout flexibility as a stand-out benefit? If so, it's important that your policies are fair for all employees...not just for working parents. How? Even though your employees' reasons for needing flexibility might be different, your guidelines should be the same. Offer a variety of flexible work options (flexible schedules, remote work, job shares, and more), don't ask for work-from-home reasoning (unless you start to notice missed deadlines or disengagement), allow employees to actually take advantage of flexible hours, and set clear boundaries.

Diversity: Less Talk, More Doing

In today's working world, you likely hear a lot about diversity and inclusion. And while it's important to talk about these topics, it's even more important to take action. According to a Silicon Valley Bank study, diversity especially lacks progress in the startup space where many companies still have a board of directors made up of all men, and many lack any female executives. "Focusing on hiring-numbers alone may get more women or minorities in the room at your company," wrote the author, "but without ensuring that their voices add to the conversation, you'll pretty much be running in place."

Boosting Employee Engagement

You've eyed the "Best Places to Work" lists year after year, wondering if adding things like ping pong and foosball tables to your office will increase engagement and land you on those lists, too. According to a recent Forbes article, increasing employee engagement has everything to do with the employee experience. As Mark Levy, former head of Employee Experience (EX) at Airbnb, told Forbes, "Anything that sets employees up for success or improves our culture should be a part of EX." And that doesn't include a game in the office. Instead, it's all about giving employees a say in office design; providing constructive, regular feedback; and sending out surveys to give them a chance to be heard.

Avoiding the Summer Slump

With summer fast approaching, your employees might be preoccupied, trying to find care for the kids, planning a family vacation, or simply staring out the window, longing to be outside. In fact, according to a study cited in a recent SHRM article, sunny days lead to lower employee productivity. What can you do to avoid the summer slump? Encourage vacation your employees will feel cared about and will be more motivated. And hold more company-wide events make them fun and give employees opportunities to get outside during the work day (think: picnics, outdoor meetings, volunteer work, sporting events, and more).

The Office Temperature Battle

Do you turn on the AC, only to have your employees bundle up in their office sweaters? Or, do you have an employee who's always warm...when you feel like you're working in a walk-in freezer? A recent HR Dive article reported that nearly half of respondents from a CareerBuilder survey are unhappy with their office's temperature, 15 percent have argued with a co-worker about it, and just over half say they're less productive when they're cold at work. With AC season on the horizon, keep your employees' needs in mind, encourage outdoor breaks, and try to find a compromise when it comes to the thermostat.

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.