May HR News Roundup

Gen Z employee showing her manager something on her computer

This month’s round-up covers technology’s role in benefits communication, what the class of 2019 wants in an organization, zombie-focused wellness programs, and more. Dive in!

Bringing Tech into Benefits Communication

Improving your existing benefits and introducing additional offerings are key to maintaining an engaged, happy workforce. But if you’re lacking the right means of communication, all of your hard work might be for naught. Technology is your solution, says a recent Employee Benefit News article. Paula Cofone, Rhode Island’s deputy personnel administrator who oversees the state’s office of employee benefits, recently helped her organization upgrade their healthcare benefits program. The new program requires each employee to make many more decisions, so Paula knew they’d have to give it a strong, easy-to-understand introduction. “We were looking for a fun, interactive way for employees to learn about the plans and by putting in basic enrollment information and usage information they could get suggestions on our plans,” Cofone told EBN. They ended up using ALEX, Jellyvision’s virtual benefits counselor, and when all was said and done, 86% of their workforce successfully enrolled in a plan online.

What the Class of 2019 Wants from You

You want star employees, but as the class of 2019 descends on the workforce, what will they be looking for from your organization? Fast Company detailed the findings of a recent LaSalle Network report to help you figure it out. First, they want a great culture. “They’re savvy enough to see beyond ping-pong tables and brightly colored walls and look for companies that invest in their people and offer a growth path,” wrote the author. Next, they’re hoping for stability. “Surprisingly, we’re even seeing them ask about things like benefits, including retirement, which is pretty unusual, given their overall age,” Jason Dorsey, president of The Center for Generational Kinetics, told Fast Company. And finally, they want to do meaningful work. “Gen-Z, similar to millennials, are global citizens. They will look for opportunities and companies that follow sustainable business practices, give back to their communities, and know how their work is making an impact,” said Kim Hoffman, director of talent acquisition, products and technologies, at Intuit. Are you hoping to attract new graduates? Put a laser focus on these three main points.

Keeping the “Cult“ out of “Culture”

You just read that an organization’s culture is a main attraction for many prospective employees — and it’s a key retention factor, too — but how can you prevent your culture from becoming a corporate “cult”? A recent Harvard Business Review article says, “A great culture will involve learning from the past, agreeing on core values, finding people who both compliment and challenge one another, engaging in open communication, having fun, and working as a team.” What red flags should you look out for? Too many pep talks, slogans, special lingo, podcasts, YouTube clips, motivational team-building activities, and sing-songs. “Any time there’s a potential for people to feel excluded for how they think or feel, the organization has entered cult territory,” wrote the author. “When a culture ceases to embrace diversity and dissent, it becomes a cult.” Play off of your employees’ strengths and knowledge, encourage their individuality, and let them live their lives — both in and out of work.

Motivating Employees to Exercise…with Zombies?

Looking for a fun corporate health challenge? Check out the Outbreak, a wellness program developed by health tech company FIX Health. Employee Benefit News recently spoke with FIX Health CEO and founder Mike Tinney. “The game is a corporate health walking challenge that encourages employees to get up, move around and defeat some zombies in the process. The number of steps workers take directly correlates to their ability to escape the zombies,” Tinney said. Physical results can take weeks to see, but a game-based approach — and defeating zombies — can offer immediate rewards.

three happy employees working together

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Written by: Jeannie Krill

May 30, 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.