millennial employees

This month, our HR news roundup covers the stress Gen Z employees are facing, workplace culture, artificial intelligence as part of the employee recruitment process, and more. Dive in!

Gen Z Stress is Already High

People who are part of Generation Z are just beginning to enter the working world...but research says they're already stressed. A recent Forbes article reported American Psychological Association survey data that shows 77 percent of Gen Z adults cite work as a cause of their stress much higher than 64 percent of adults overall. Why? The competition, working beyond 9-to-5, meeting tight deadlines, increased screen time, less downtime, and overall perception.

"They feel this very public awareness of their success," Jess Watts of ad agency RPA told Forbes. "It's not a personal professional journey to them the stakes are much higher and accelerated. You have to be the best, as soon as possible, and you need others to see it and know it."

What can you do?

Address it now before it affects engagement and productivity...and empower your Gen Z employees by giving them tasks to own, helping them embrace their passions, supporting positive recognition, and more.

The Etsy Example

Wondering what to do about your workplace culture? Follow Etsy's lead. According to a recent Forbes article, which includes insights from Raina Moscowitz, SVP of People, Strategy, and Services at Etsy, the creative powerhouse follows a few important guiding principles. First, they believe that all are equal. They collect feedback regularly via anonymous surveys to stay in tune with employee satisfaction. And even with nearly 1,000 employees around the world, the company focuses on each individual...and it works. "Part of what makes Etsy so special is how talented and passionate our employees are both in and out of the workplace. Our learning & engagement program empowers, guides, and connects employees with tools, knowledge, and each other so they can continuously strengthen their skills," Moscowitz told Forbes. And, not to mention, their work environment is just downright creative, with "crafternoons," classes run by employees, and many different, interesting places to hold meetings.

Make Way for AI

Is artificial intelligence (AI) the future of recruiting? Many of your potential employees hope not. Employee Benefit News recently reported that 51 percent of job seekers believe that AI isn't advanced enough for employee recruitment. Some companies feel the same way Amazon did away with it when they realized that it was favoring potential male employees over females. Other companies, however, think that AI gives them a leg up. "It's key in today's tough hiring market to prove that your company is a forward-thinking environment," Reid Rasmussen, co-founder and chief executive of benefits consulting firm freshbenies, told Employee Benefit News. "How do you show that during the hiring process? I'd brag about where we used tech whether in screening, research or web/app interfaces I'd call it out as proof of how we look to the future. Make it part of your brand." What do you think?

Should You Ditch the Holiday Party?

Is your organization trying to decide whether to host a holiday party this year? According to a recent SHRM article, some companies have opted out due to the liability risk. You might be wondering what else you can do to celebrate and bring everyone together. Consider doing a group project that will help your organization give back, such as hosting a food or clothing drive, volunteering at a local organization, or doing a service project. "One idea is to distribute toys to underprivileged and needy children in the community," Jim Bell Sr., president and founder of Abel HR, told SHRM. "I always recommend choosing a local organization to partner with to have an impact where employees live and work. When employees end their workday at noon and spend the rest of the day together having a light lunch and wrapping presents for others, it becomes a team-building activity while increasing the holiday spirit."

Be Holiday-Inclusive

If you do decide to host a holiday party, make sure that your celebration is inclusive. During the holiday season, many people equate the "holiday" aspect with Christmas. But there are so many other celebrations that occur throughout November and December and the rest of the year for people of many different religions. According to a recent SHRM article, holiday celebrations can leave employees feeling excluded...and that can have a negative impact on their engagement and productivity. What can you do to create a celebration for everyone? Make sure the planning committee is diverse, check to make sure your date doesn't interfere with any holidays, make it voluntary, provide a variety of food options, be mindful of decorations, and more. Or, refer to the suggestions above for party alternatives.

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.