HR News Roundup - November 2017

organizational culture

Our November HR news roundup includes information on financial wellness, employee referral programs, the quest for employee engagement, and more. Dive in!

The High Cost of Money Problems

The latest financial wellness report is out - and it's not so rosy. Willis Towers Watson's just-released 2017 Global Benefits Attitudes Survey shows employees are increasingly worried about money. In 2017, barely a third are satisfied with their financial health, down from nearly half just two years ago. Why should you care? Financial worries cost money - namely, the employer's. And the costs in the study were clear, showing financial-wellness-related dings to productivity, engagement, and absenteeism. Not surprisingly, more than half of employees would welcome tools from their organizations. "Employers understand that financial worries, which are linked to stress, can have a negative impact on their employees' personal and work lives," says Willis Towers Watson's Shane Bartling, who says helpful tools exist. "The research provides powerful clues as to why many of these approaches are under-utilized and how we can do better."

How to Get People to Make Employee Referrals

Great employees can help you recruit great employees. Yet employee-referral programs are collecting dust. Why? They're too hard to use. "The No. 1 reason people don't use a company's referral program is that employees get frustrated with the lack of communication and engagement from the company," Kara Yarnot, executive consultant and strategy practice leader at HireClix, told SHRM. How can you turn the tide? Make it accessible, says the SHRM article. Keep the program top of mind with your employees by sharing job postings internally, giving desirable rewards to the employees making referrals, and making it mobile friendly. Most of all - keep it simple.

Give a Little, Get a Little

Want to put a little more happy in your company holiday? Get your team together and give a little back. So says a new study showing that social responsibility pays dividends...and in more than just warm fuzzies. "People want to support and work for companies that help their communities," said Tim Hird, executive director of talent firm Robert Half Management Resources, the organization behind the study. How powerful is group service? So powerful that surveyed CFOs overwhelmingly said philanthropy boosted everything from brand awareness to recruitment. Still, it takes more than just a good idea to make it work; to do it well you need to let employees have input, and provide them the resources, the space, and the time. Bottom line: successful businesses don't just pay it lip service, says Mr. Hird. They "make philanthropy a part of their corporate culture."

Stop Trying to Make Employees Happier

Employee engagement is critical to a satisfied, productive workforce. Many companies still struggle with this, though, and have turned to perks, benefits, and a flexible work environment to boost engagement. But these things often have the opposite effect - disengagement. And according to a recent Entrepreneur article, resilience - not happiness - is key to employee engagement. "Happiness is fleeting for most people," wrote the author. "Instead, we should be treating the root causes of disengagement by providing our employees with the mental and emotional tools to control their thoughts, feelings, attitudes and emotions, AKA resilience." Think: clear work expectations, communication from leadership that indicates the company is thriving, meaningful career development opportunities, and opportunities for employees to develop positive relationships with their colleagues.  

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.