Monthly Archives: July 2016

What Do Millennials Want? Fresh and Healthy Options.

HR Focus: Engaging Millennials in the Workforce

For the past decade, attracting and retaining Millennial workers—those born between 1981 and 1997—has been the focus of HR departments across the country and even the world. According to The Center for Generational Kinetics, Millennials enter the workforce later, prefer to communicate and work electronically, demand purpose from their work, and expect a decent work-life balance.

Mary Faulkner, head of talent at Denver Water, notes that rather than measuring “employee satisfaction,” as they used to, HR departments are now more interested in measuring “employee engagement.” This emphasis on engagement reflects concern about Millennials’ loyalty and their willingness to jump ship to find a better or more fulfilling job. A recent Deloitte survey found that a majority of Millennials expect to leave their companies before 2020, and a 2014 Gallup poll found that Millennials are the least engaged group of employees in the workplace.

But how to create engagement? The Deloitte survey found that work/life balance is the most important aspect that would make Millennials stay at a job, but for HR professionals, it can be challenging to provide this balance in a cost-effective way. USConnect’s Bistro To Go!™ fresh food kiosks, with their easy connectivity to the USConnectMe app, provide the kind of lifestyle complement that Millennials crave. Fresh, healthy food choices are a must for most Millennials, and USConnect’s The Right Choice… For a Healthier You™ program makes sure these options are front and center. To satisfy Millennials’ craving for connectivity and visual learning, USConnect’s staff nutritionist provides interactive videos on issues relating to health and wellness.



What Did 50,000 Steps at #SHRM16 Look Like?

At the Society for Human Resource Management’s (SHRM) annual conference last month, the SHRM Foundation teamed up with the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) What did 50,000 steps at SHRM look like?and Fitbit to host an epic step contest. In honor of the SHRM Foundation’s 50th anniversary, participants were challenged to walk 50,000 steps in three days.

What makes the SHRM Foundation’s Step Challenge so exciting and exemplary is its inclusivity. Although fitness-tracker company Fitbit was a partner in the challenge, participants did not need a Fitbit device to participate. Those who had one could use it; others could download the free Fitbit Mobile Track, and anyone who had their own device could use that and report their results. This flexibility allowed a greater number of people to join in the challenge: a whopping 3,500 participants!

Ashlee Smith, director of development for the SHRM Foundation, notes that it wasn’t the number of steps that mattered; it was the camaraderie and how participants felt supported and encouraged. For companies looking to increase employee health and wellness, such a step contest provides an excellent model for how to get and keep people involved. Smith notes three factors for success that any organization can replicate:

Ensure that everyone can participate

Choose a challenge that doesn’t exclude people who don’t have a specific product, and consider setting different step goals, so that everyone can participate.

Encourage and build a community

The Step Challenge hash tag, #SHRM16Steps, gave all participants an opportunity to talk about the challenge and celebrate their hard work. Additionally, participants using the Fitbit app were added to a team where they could chat with other teammates and encourage each other. This type of camaraderie is crucial to encouraging a sense of teamwork and fun competition.

Plan the celebration(s)

Every step (pun intended) of the SHRM Foundation Step Challenge was meant to be fun and encouraging. Participants could pick up badges and ribbons to show their completion of 15,000 and 30,000 steps, and then all participants received a Step Challenge medal at the end of the challenge. Company-wide challenges could end with a victory party featuring healthy foods and some sharing of ideas for healthy living.

USConnect is proud to help HR professionals promote a healthy workplace. For more on “Making the Connection: Healthy Food, Healthy Workforce,” check out our staff nutritionist’s new video!

Happy stepping!


4 Tips for Eating Healthier in the Summer

Healthier Food Options for the Summer

It’s summertime, and the living is easy. Maybe a little bit too easy, especially for vacationers who tend to throw all caution to the wind and eat whatever they want when they are away from their routine. While the danger of summer weight gain is especially sharp for children, adults, too, can be at risk for packing in the calories during the summer months. Here are some tips and tricks to keep you healthier—but still happy—this summer.

4 tips for healthier eating this summer

Don’t Eat: Mayonnaise-laden potato or pasta salad. Mayonnaise packs a fat wallop: 10 grams of fat and 90 calories per tablespoon.

Replace with: If you’re craving the starchy goodness of potato or pasta salad, replace the mayonnaise-based dressing with an olive oil-based one. To retain a creamy consistency, try adding some Greek yogurt to the mix.

Don’t Eat: Fried clams. This  beach-town favorite contains 500 calories and 26 grams of fat for just ¾ of a cup!

Replace with: Steamed clams. Clams are a great source of protein and vitamin B12, so you should still eat them—just avoid the deep fryer. Steamed clams are traditionally served with drawn butter (melted butter), which should obviously be consumed sparingly.

Don’t Eat: Ice cream sandwiches. An unknown New York (genius) pushcart vendor invented the ice cream sandwich in 1899 when he served vanilla ice cream between two graham crackers. The treat has evolved since then, and it’s often a behemoth of two chocolate chip cookies surrounding a full serving of full-fat ice cream. These delicious sandwiches can contain 500 calories and loads of saturated fat.

Replace with: Make-your-own ice cream sandwiches. By choosing smaller portion sizes and healthier ice cream and cookies, you can create a frozen treat that won’t break your diet. Graham crackers, the original “bread” of the original ice cream sandwich, make a great choice!

Don’t Drink: Sodas or sugar-laden juices and teas. As we’ve previously discussed, sodas are across the board unhealthy, and many juices and iced teas are loaded with sugar.

Replace with: Reach for water or unsweetened tea, especially during the hot summer months when dehydration threatens.