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.
Healthy Food Options Are Crucial to ROI on Wellness Programs.
Workplace wellness programs have come a long way since their post-WWII introduction. Initially offered only to the executive suite, wellness programs expanded exponentially after Johnson & Johnson showed how their wellness program improved their company’s bottom line in the early 1980s. In the past several decades, more and more companies have implemented wellness programs to reap the benefits that Johnson & Johnson first saw: reduced healthcare costs, increased productivity, better retention, and higher employee satisfaction.
Implemented properly, a corporate wellness program can indeed have positive results. Quantifying those results, however, can be difficult. In fact, proof of return on investment (ROI) has become something of a holy grail for many HR professionals: elusive and possibly mythical evidence that may or may not exist. That’s why many organizations now try to go beyond simple ROI to a more holistic understanding of the full value of their wellness programs.
In most cases, wellness programs bring a host benefits that are less tangible than just reduced healthcare costs. Successful companies cite “a culture of health” or “the employee positivity factor” to identify the way broad-based wellness programs improve their organizations. The Health Enhancement Research Organization (HERO) released a report in 2015 that showed that business leaders saw the following priorities as influenced by health:
- Employee engagement or morale
- Benefits cost reduction
Most successful wellness programs include a nutrition component. For the best results, the programs need to inform employees to help them make healthier eating choices and also make those healthier eating choices available. USConnect’s Bistro To Go!® kiosks keep fresh foods in stock at all times, prepared with the freshest ingredients at one of our regional culinary centers. Employees are encouraged to make healthier food selections by choosing The Right Choice … for a Healthier You™selections, which have been designated by USConnect’s in-house nutritionist.