Career Advice, Leadership

You’re doing it wrong: How to lead millennials the right way

Awhile back, I had a telling conversation with a millennial who recently quit his job. When I asked the young man why he left his employer, his response was, “My boss.” After probing a bit more, I discovered he didn’t feel connected to his supervisor or his work. At one point in our conversation, he passionately said,

“My supervisor was very task-focused and always told me what to do. The problem was, he never told me why I was doing what I was doing. Anytime I asked my boss to connect the dots, he would get aggravated and tell me it wasn’t my job to understand the full process. I eventually realized I was never going to learn and grow as a leader under his management style.”

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Human Resources

How your benefits strategy can boost employee engagement

As a human resource professional, attracting, retaining and motivating talent is a big part of your job. While this responsibility is by no means an easy feat, offering employees a meaningful benefits program can help make the task easier. The next time you review your company’s benefits program, here are some things to keep in mind.

Health care and retirement programs matter most

According to research conducted by leading global professional services firm Towers Watson, retirement and health care programs are extremely important to employees because many are worried about rising health care costs and retirement security. The Towers Watson 2013/2014 Global Benefits Attitudes Survey found:

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Human Resources

Why workplace wellness programs are worth the investment

One of the biggest challenges we face as office workers is staying active. Like a ball and chain, we’re tied to our desks and meeting chairs from 9 to 5, and by the time the evening hits, all we want to do is kick our feet up and relax. The bad news: this lifestyle keeps us still, inactive and more susceptible to health issues.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, less than 48 percent of all Americans are meeting the country’s physical activity guidelines. A sedentary lifestyle has been linked to a weakened immune system, obesity, heart problems, depression, bone loss and even death.

Fortunately, employers and the government are coming up with new and creative ways to help us get moving and out of our unhealthy lifestyle ruts. Here are a few of my favorites.

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Human Resources

Are parental work benefits a double standard for childless employees?

As a working mom, juggling both family and office demands can be challenging and sometimes impossible. For me, the hardest part about being a working parent is not being able to be with my son for all of his key milestones. I struggle with finding a balance and admit that at times I feel overwhelmed and guilty when I can’t be at two places at the same time. So it’s great to see that companies are recognizing the importance of work-life balance for working parents on a mass scale.

This year alone, employers have been extra generous with their parental benefit offerings starting with Netflix’s announcement in August to offer unlimited parental leave for the first year of a child’s life. Adobe and Microsoft followed suit with extended parental leave allowances. And they’re not the only ones supporting this growing trend.

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Management

Good or bad, lack of feedback is hurting employee engagement

When managing employees, giving feedback is one of the most important aspects of your job. Feedback gives your team members the opportunity to better their individual performance while keeping them engaged, aware and feeling valued.

Despite the many benefits, it’s not happening nearly as much as it should. In fact, 65 percent of employees say they want more feedback. While there is a variety of reasons why managers aren’t giving enough feedback, I believe the anxiety of giving corrective critique tops the list.

Where managers’ fears lie

As a people manager, I know firsthand how difficult it can be to muster up the courage to give someone constructive criticism. On many occasions, I have found myself concerned that my employees may not be receptive to my feedback or that our conversation may discourage or demotivate them.

In the past, this fear has gotten the best of me and has caused me to avoid corrective conversations I should have had.

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