Today’s smartest employers are thinking more creatively about how to attract talented workers and encourage them to stay. Many are partnering with large landlords to include next-level amenities in their workspaces. Here are 5 things progressive employers are focused on to attract and retain the best talent today.
(BPT) - A recent report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics revealed that U.S. employment is projected to grow by 8.4 million jobs from 2018 to 2028. At the same time, employers are battling an ultra-competitive job market, in which candidates are being wooed by increased pay and enhanced medical benefits.
Today’s smartest employers are thinking more creatively about how to attract talented workers and encourage them to stay. Many are partnering with large landlords to include next-level amenities in their workspaces.
Today’s employers are focused on:
A well-located workplace is a major selling point for attracting potential employees and retaining existing ones. Employers with a central location, easily accessible by public transportation, already have an advantage. For example, The Legacy Town Center office in Plano, Texas, boasts transit drop-off and pick-up at the building.
For environmentally minded employees who bike to work, secure bike storage is a real plus. The office tower at 201 Spear St. in San Francisco anticipates the needs of the area’s environmentally conscious workforce with bike storage and EV car charging stations, plus easy access to light rail.
Accenture Tower in Chicago sits above Ogilvie Transportation Center, one of the main suburban train stations connecting downtown Chicago to the suburbs, providing direct access to city trains, buses and expressways. The first two levels of the property are composed of 80,000 square feet of retail space, with more than 45 stores and restaurants.
Beyond providing competitive healthcare plans, employers are seeking new ways to encourage and support employees’ health-related activities — a focus that contributes to less absenteeism and greater productivity. For example, Park Place Village in Leawood, Kansas, has massage therapy on-site for all of its tenants.
Many major office owners are adding state-of-the-art fitness centers. 3001 Washington Blvd. in Arlington, Virginia, features workout studios offering barre, yoga and HIIT performance classes in its eight-story, LEED Gold-certified Class A office building. And at Accenture Tower, the building includes a two-level fitness center spanning 14,000 square feet, with a basketball court, group exercise classes and new tenant lounge with air hockey, shuffleboard and wine lockers.
For employees with busy schedules, it can be tough to find enough time in the day to take care of necessary errands. Workers are especially drawn to locales that provide day-to-day services everyone needs without even having to walk outside.
Some office buildings go a step beyond. For businesses at RBC Plaza in Minneapolis, employees can use the U.S. Postal Service, on-site bank, a sundry shop and even a shoe repair/shoe shine service. But it doesn’t stop there. Other services offered in the building include a car wash and detailing service, and private wine lockers. And in the Carillon office tower in Charlotte, North Carolina, there's an on-site daycare for parents.
Beyond location and service-based amenities, today’s employees are increasingly demanding a workplace with a beautiful atmosphere, which often includes access to outdoor spaces. Building designers are taking note, providing more open spaces, skylights and/or atriums for a lighter, more welcoming work environment.
For example, The McEwen Building in the Cool Springs submarket of Nashville, Tennessee, offers employees and visitors an outdoor sitting area complete with a fountain and plush landscaping, while 3003 Washington Blvd. in Arlington, Virginia, has a rooftop terrace with stunning views of Washington, D.C.
5. Employee engagement
With Generation Z workers about to enter the workforce, today’s employers also understand the power of creating engagement within their team, especially among young professionals. Next-level office amenities can increase employee satisfaction and deepen their connection to their employer.
For instance, RBC Plaza in Minneapolis offers a billiards lounge, as well as a cafe and coffee shop, while Preston Commons in Dallas, Texas, and 201 Spear St. in San Francisco both have on-site bars, giving office workers places to unwind and congregate after work.
KBS, one of the largest owners of office buildings in the nation, has partnered with many of America’s companies to support recruitment and retention by buying well-located offices and infusing them with state-of-the-art amenities. To learn more, visit kbs.com.
Advice for Employers for Recruiting and Retaining the Workers of Generation Z
(BPT) - The U.S. workforce is in the midst of an influx with 65 million workers from Generation Z beginning to look for jobs, according to BridgeWorks Consulting. This group of workers, born after 1997, do not remember a time without the internet and have grown up in a post-2008 recession era of financial responsibility, meaning what motivates them differs greatly from previous generations.
The combination of Gen Zers’ financially savvy, entrepreneurial spirit and their deeply rooted relationship with technology means employers need to reassess and diversify the ways they interact with and what they offer candidates. This also creates challenges in identifying the groups’ reason for choosing a field or job, placing the pressure on the hiring business or brand to stand out as an attractive experience.
“With this generation, the onus is on employers to learn how to relate to and attract their next employees,” said Kristen Wahl, director of the EcoCAR Mobility Challenge, the current Advanced Vehicle Technology Competition sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy, General Motors and MathWorks.
EcoCAR’s recent study of college students participating in the competition revealed two key insights that translate across industries and may help employers of all types better understand who their co-workers and employees of the future will be.
Tech is integral to all aspects of their lives
Gen Z hasn’t known a time without access to infinite information at their fingertips as smartphones debuted when many were infants. Easy access to information has allowed Gen Zers to be curious learners and interact with companies and brands much earlier than generations past.
The study shows job seekers are likely to engage with online articles (62 percent) and videos (61 percent) along with other content on social media, which can be a great starting point for hiring companies to build their relationship with the Gen Z workforce. These insights apply to all companies — from large national companies to local small businesses — and are easily attainable through a variety of online channels.
“Our insights show interaction between Gen Z and employers must start before the next hiring cycle or career fairs,” said Wahl. “Employers of all sizes should be aware how their future employees interact with their brand before they are looking to hire.”
Personal and career growth are imperative
Gen Zers are seen as self-starters that take pride and responsibility for their own career paths with 76 percent believing they are culpable for driving their own career trajectory and 42 percent with hopes of self-employment, according to Concordia University-St. Paul. The entrepreneurial work ethic and concerns of financial security can explain the emphasis placed on professional and personal growth. Our research shows young job seekers agree on the importance of career advancement opportunities (98 percent), competitive wages (97 percent) and personal learning and development opportunities (96 percent). Regardless of industry or job-level, Gen Zers see a link between personal and professional growth and seek employers who share that thinking.
“Employers who can reach prospective job seekers early in their process and then deliver a fulfilling day-to-day experience with proper compensation will be prepared to both attract and retain the incoming wave of young workers,” said Wahl.
Many new parents spend hours preparing for the arrival of a new baby – reading books, seeking professional advice and consulting friends and family. However, in focusing on birth, they may not get to prepare for other big milestones, like the transition back to work. Whether you are preparing for maternity leave, about to return to work after a baby or have already made the transition, consider these important workplace qualities.
Top Tips to Transition Back to Work After Baby
(Family Features) Many new parents spend hours preparing for the arrival of a new baby – reading books, seeking professional advice and consulting friends and family. However, in focusing on birth, they may not get to prepare for other big milestones, like the transition back to work.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, more women are returning to work than ever before – more than 70% of women with children under 18 are in the labor force. However, data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggest new mothers may not be getting the support they need from health care providers, family members and employers to meet their breastfeeding goals.
“Parenthood is complicated on its own,” said Melissa Gonzales, executive vice president of the Americas for Medela LLC. “Adding in a full workload is something that many new mothers take on within weeks after birth. With nearly two-thirds of moms going back to work after baby, there is a clear need to better the return-to-work transition for mothers in workplaces across America. There are easy ways for employers to simplify that process so parents don’t have to choose between returning to work and continuing to provide breast milk to their babies.”
Whether you are preparing for maternity leave, about to return to work after a baby or have already made the transition, the experts at Medela recommend considering these important workplace qualities:
Time and space. Employers are required to provide reasonable break time for an employee to express breast milk for one year after the child’s birth. Employers are also required to provide a place, other than a bathroom, that is shielded from view and free from intrusion from coworkers and the public which may be used by an employee to express breast milk. If you are planning to pump, check to see if your office has a private space to do so, and ensure there are accommodations to allow you to properly clean and sanitize your breast pump.
Travel considerations. If you are required to travel for work, look into your company’s existing policy on breast milk shipping and storage. With more women in the workforce, some companies include breast milk shipping as a benefit for women who have recently given birth who may need to travel.
Supportive resources. Some companies provide educational resources about continuing to breastfeed while working full-time. Ask if your employer provides resources to help you navigate the demands of breastfeeding, or if it provides access to virtual on-demand support such as a lactation consultant. See if your employer can connect you to another mom or parent who can help you or offer advice as you make the transition.
Other accommodations. As breast milk feeding becomes increasingly commonplace, companies are implementing policies to better accommodate working parents. Examples include extended parental leave, flexible hours, on-site child care and access to programs such as March of Dimes’ Healthy Babies Healthy Business program and New Moms’ Healthy Returns, a resource for employers created by Medela and Mamava.
3 Tips for Breastfeeding at Work
Returning to work after the birth of a baby demands organization and prioritization. This is especially true for parents who want to continue breastfeeding. Consider these tips when planning the transition:
Know your legal rights.Educate yourself on your federally protected rights so you can take a stand if your rights aren’t respected. Employers in the U.S. are required to provide breastfeeding moms with a private place and reasonable break time to pump.
Bring a backup. Consider keeping a spare breast pump kit in your car or at your office, just in case you find yourself without the parts you need to pump, like storage bags. You may even consider an extra breast pump to eliminate the hassle of carrying one back and forth.
Reduce unnecessary stressors. Stress can affect your milk supply and make pumping more difficult. It can be a challenge to manage all the stressors, but finding a space at work that feels calm and peaceful can make a difference. Make signs so you’re not interrupted, and schedule time on your calendar so colleagues know you’re not available.
Learn more at NewMomsHealthyReturns.com.SOURCE:
A lackadaisical approach to benefits enrollment could leave you short on coverage or end up costing you more than it should. Gathering information and making time to thoroughly consider your options and needs can help ensure you’re getting the best value from your employer’s benefits package. Approach this year’s open enrollment with these tips in mind.
Get the Most Out of Your Benefits Enrollment
(Family Features) A lackadaisical approach to benefits enrollment could leave you short on coverage or end up costing you more than it should. Gathering information and making time to thoroughly consider your options and needs can help ensure you’re getting the best value from your employer’s benefits package.
Approach this year’s open enrollment with these tips from the experts at Colonial Life in mind:
Take life changes into account. A major event like a birth or marriage makes you eligible to adjust your benefits between enrollment periods, but there are many other factors that may affect your coverage needs. For example, you may not bother with dental coverage for a newborn, but once that child has some teeth and is mobile, it’s a good idea to add coverage in the event a fall damages a tooth.
Be conscious of changes. It’s quite common to allow your benefits to renew automatically when the enrollment period rolls around. This can create problems as plans and coverages often change from year to year. Deductible amounts, office visit co-pays and even categories of coverage can shift from one year to the next. Even if there aren’t changes to the coverage, there may be a new pricing structure or additions to coverage that could benefit you.
Dedicate some time. When signing up for benefits for the first time, most people spend at least a little time reviewing each plan option. If you have your premiums deducted from your paycheck automatically, you probably don’t give a lot of thought to your benefits, especially if you’re relatively healthy. Open enrollment is the time to give them more than a passing thought.
A survey by Colonial Life showed 69% of employees spend less than 60 minutes learning about their benefits choices, but that limited time commitment can ultimately affect overall job satisfaction.
“This can be a huge problem for both employees and their employers, because a lack of engagement with the benefits program leads to lower morale and higher turnover,” said Steven Johnson, vice president of enrollment solutions at Colonial Life.
Instead of a cursory flip through the materials, dedicate some time to thoroughly review all the information and make notes about areas you have questions.
Discuss your options. Benefits can be complicated, and there are a lot of terms and jargon in the insurance world that can make it hard to understand exactly what your benefits will cover. That’s why it’s a good idea to sit down with a knowledgeable benefits counselor to discuss your family and personal financial situation.
Technology may be king for many aspects of life, but the survey found just 11% of employees name the internet as the place they turn to learn about benefits during enrollment each year. However, 76% of employees turn to humans including HR professionals, coworkers, family and friends.
There isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution for benefits, but a one-on-one counseling session can help simplify the entire benefits process. A private consultation may help you understand how each benefit election impacts your paycheck, as well as simplifying complex benefit concepts, answering your questions and walking you through the enrollment process.
Learn more about how to maximize your benefits at ColonialLife.com.
To gain a better understanding of your benefits, these definitions from HealthCare.gov can help you identify and recognize some common terms.
Benefits: The health care items or services covered under a health insurance plan.
Coinsurance: The percentage of costs of a covered health care service you pay (20%, for example) after you’ve paid your deductible.
Copayment: A fixed amount ($20, for example) you pay for a covered health care service after you’ve paid your deductible.
Deductible: The amount you pay for covered health care services before your insurance plan starts to pay.
Flexible Spending Account: An arrangement through your employer that lets you pay for out-of-pocket medical expenses with tax-free dollars.
Health Savings Account: A type of savings account that lets you set aside money on a pre-tax basis to pay for qualified medical expenses.
Network: The facilities, providers and suppliers your health insurer or plan has contracted with to provide health care services.
Photo courtesy of Getty ImagesSOURCE:
Just when you were getting the hang of having a baby at home, it’s time to go back to work. Beyond the expected changes such as picking work tasks back up and catching up on things you’ve missed, your priorities have most likely shifted now that you’re a parent. To help make the transition back to work as seamless as possible, consider these tips.
Transitioning Back to Work After Baby
(Family Features) Just when you were getting the hang of having a baby at home, it’s time to go back to work. Beyond the expected changes such as picking work tasks back up and catching up on things you’ve missed, your priorities have most likely shifted now that you’re a parent.
It’s normal for parents to feel anxious about transitioning back to work after having a baby, but they don’t have to do it alone. Most new parents have built-in support systems of friends and family, but if their child will be attending daycare, that structure can provide additional help through the transition.
To help make the transition back to work as seamless as possible, consider these tips from infant teachers at KinderCare, which has been caring for children for almost 50 years.
Going back to work after having a baby is a huge step to take, but it’s not impossible. For more tips to make the transition easier, visit KinderCare.com.SOURCE:
To the delight of animal lovers everywhere, awareness of the physical, mental and emotional toll taken by stress is leading progressive employers to create take-your-pet-to-work programs.
(BPT) - If you’ve ever felt tense, anxious or simply unable to relax while performing your job, you’re far from alone.
A recent survey by the American Institute of Stress found 80 percent of U.S. workers across industries have felt stress in the workplace; nearly half say they could use help dealing with it and 42 percent said their co-workers could use some relief.
To the delight of animal lovers everywhere, awareness of the physical, mental and emotional toll taken by stress is leading progressive employers to create take-your-pet-to-work programs. For example, for the past 20 years Purina has encouraged its associates to bring their pets to work, and in a typical week hundreds of dogs and cats enjoy spending time with their owners at the pet food maker’s St. Louis campus.
"Pets bring a wealth of benefits — both physical and emotional — to pet owners and their families, so it's no surprise those same benefits also apply to the workplace and employees," notes Dr. Kurt Venator, Purina's chief veterinary officer. "Whether a pet helps provide a calming sense during a challenging situation or encourages employees to take a walk during their lunch break, here at Purina we experience the benefits of pets at work every day, and want others to as well."
As more and more companies adopt a pets-at-work policy, consider these facts based on a recent Purina report about the many advantages of such programs:
* They can benefit health: Pet-employee interaction has been shown to reduce the employees' blood pressure and cholesterol levels in addition to alleviating anxiety.
* They can improve employee retention: Sixty-three percent of employees in pet-friendly workplaces say they’re very satisfied with their work environments — nearly twice as many as those in other workplaces. In fact, respondents rank the option of bringing pets at work as the second most-valuable employee perk — more valuable than free coffee and parking. Overall, three in five survey participants wish their workplace would institute a pet-friendly policy.
* They can alleviate loneliness: Eight in 10 employees who can bring pets to work say that activity makes them feel more happy, relaxed and sociable. That's partly because talking about pets can be an ice breaker, making it easier for people to approach co-workers and get to know them better.
* They can promote physical activity: Many employees spend breaks and lunchtime playing with their pets or taking them for walks, boosting their own aerobic activity at the same time.
* They can increase pets’ happiness: Rather than staying home waiting for their owners to arrive, pets get to socialize with new people, play with other pets and enjoy more activity. Nearly nine of 10 people in the survey agree that bringing their pets to work strengthens owner-pet bonding.
In light of the proven benefits, Purina encourages other employers to consider allowing pets in the workplace. A toolkit with tips and information is provided at Purina.com.
“Our goal with our report is to continue to raise awareness of the benefits of taking pets to work and to arm employees and employers with insights that can help facilitate pet-friendly environments within their companies,” notes Dr. Venator.
Although women are making strides in the corporate world, there is still work that can be done to level the landscape. If you’re looking for ways to promote change in your workplace, explore these five steps that can help build a work environment where everyone can advance and succeed.
5 Ways to Promote Gender Equality in the Workplace
(Family Features) Although women are making strides in the corporate world, there is still work that can be done to level the landscape.
Research from Catalyst, a global nonprofit focused on empowering and accelerating women in business, shows the needle is moving, albeit slowly. In nearly 10 years, the number of women in senior roles in the United States increased just 1 percent. At Standard & Poor's 500 index companies, overall women’s representation is far behind: 5.2 percent CEOs, 11 percent top earners and 26.5 percent senior-level officials and managers. Less than 5 percent of senior level positions are held by women of color. Men still lead more than 95 percent of the most powerful companies in the United States.
If you’re looking for ways to promote change in your workplace, explore these five steps that can help build a work environment where everyone can advance and succeed:
Engage in programs that celebrate women of color. Tap into resources that honor women in leadership and foster growth for aspiring women leaders from racially and ethically diverse backgrounds, such as those available through Catalyst. The nonprofit offers a host of ongoing workshops, programs, trainings and consulting services designed to promote inclusive workplaces, along with events around the world. For example, the “Catalyst Skyline Takeover,” which is a visual realization of the international business community’s commitment to greater diversity, inclusion and gender equality in workplaces around the world, features dozens of global companies “lighting up” their buildings with the female symbol.
Assess and formalize pay scales. As numerous studies indicate, wage disparity is one of the most obvious signs of inequality in the workplace. A fair pay scale outlines specific responsibilities and corresponding compensation rates, and can be applied to roles across the board regardless of race, gender or other potential discriminatory factors.
Ensure growth opportunities exist. Leveling the pay scale is an important step, but ensuring equal access to the positions at the higher end of that scale is an essential supporting move. Simply saying you’ll pay a woman the same as a man in the same job falls short if all candidates, regardless of gender, race or ethnicity are not given the same chance to compete for more senior positions.
Implement mentorship programs. Positive role models can give future leaders the vision to dream big and the guidance to make those dreams a reality. Putting aspiring women leaders in close contact with other women who have attained success in their field helps set a course toward achievement. It also helps men to advance and develop unbiased leadership. Since the majority of business leaders are currently men, change for women can only be accelerated if all those in leadership positions work together.
Support parental involvement. Historically, the issue of parenting and the workforce has been dominated by discussions around maternity leave policies, but more recently that dialogue has evolved. Men, too, desire more time with their families, and through equal parental leave policies, workplaces can allow women and men within all types of family structures to thrive in their careers and at home.
Find more resources and recommendations for promoting workplace equality at catalyst.org.
Photo courtesy of Getty Images (woman in conference room)SOURCE:
(BPT) - Does your employer consider community service part of a job well done? If you're wondering whether you should take advantage of your employer's offer to pay you for volunteer time, keep in mind employee volunteerism benefits everyone involved - your company, the organization you'll help and you!
Approximately 21 percent of employers now give workers paid time off for volunteering, according to the Society for Human Resource Management. Sponsoring volunteerism can help a company boost employee morale, enhance recruitment efforts and even improve the business' standing in the community. Volunteering can also benefit you emotionally and in your career.
For example, through the Investing in America's Health initiative, employees of Blue Cross Blue Shield's 36 community-based and locally operated companies (BCBS) volunteered nearly 400,000 hours and provided more than $10 million in donations in 2015. BCBS workers volunteered and provided financial support to programs and organizations involved in improving public health.
Workers involved in the BCBS initiative reported experiencing many of the benefits commonly associated with volunteerism, including:
* Emotional rewards - Multiple studies have shown that volunteering makes people feel more socially connected and emotionally fulfilled, and can reduce feelings of loneliness and depression.
* Enhanced camaraderie with co-workers - Employees who volunteer together consistently report feeling more connected to their co-workers and their communities. Volunteering together can be a fulfilling and effective team-building activity.
* Improving their community - Because employer-sponsored volunteer programs take place at a local level, when you participate you're directly improving your own community.
* Add depth to professional credentials - Current and future employers don't just want people with job skills, they want to know they're hiring compassionate, caring and well-rounded individuals. Participation in employee-sponsored volunteer programs enhances your overall appeal as a professional.
If you would like to become involved in volunteering through an employer-sponsored program, here are some ways to get started:
* Talk to your human resources department about your company's program to better understand how it works. For example, does the company have an established volunteer relationship with a charitable or community organization? Or will your employer support your volunteerism with any qualifying organization? Will you receive paid-time-off for volunteering, and if so, how many hours per month? Does your employer also offer cash donations or a donation matching program to support charitable contributions?
* If your employer has a policy that allows you to volunteer anywhere, identify the group you want to volunteer with. Be aware of any standards your employer may have established for qualifying organizations. Look for a volunteer opportunity that allows you to do something you're passionate about and that supports your local community.
* Gather information from the volunteer organization on what you need to do in order to take part as a volunteer. For example, will you need to participate in any specialized training? Will you need to agree to a background check if you'll be working with children?
If your employer doesn't yet have a program, take the initiative and suggest they start one. This can be as simple as identifying your worthy cause and asking your employer for support in volunteering.
To learn more about how BCBS companies are improving the health and wellness of members and their communities, view the report at www.bcbs.com.
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