UNLEASH Conversations: Getting Comfortable with Wellbeing and Gen Z Trends

Hosted by

Trish Steed

CEO and Principal Analyst, H3 HR Advisors


Mervyn Dinnen

Analyst, Author, Commentator & Influencer

About this episode

UNLEASH Conversations: Getting Comfortable with Wellbeing and Gen Z Trends

Host: Trish Steed

Guest: Mervyn Dinnen

Today on the HR Happy Hour Show, Trish Steed is joined by Mervyn Dinnen to chat about employee wellbeing and Gen Z in the workplace.

– HR technology evolution

– Trends in technology and remote work at the UNLEASH global conference

– Workplace well-being and digital well-being

– Mental health and workplace support

– Candidate experience with a focus on Gen Z


Thank you for joining the show today!  Remember to subscribe wherever you get your podcasts!

Transcript follows:

Trish 0:29
Hello, and welcome to the HR Happy Hour. We’re here live at UNLEASH. And I’m with my co-host, Mervyn Dinnen. Mervyn, good to see you.

Mervyn Dinnen 0:36
Good to see you too. Trish.

Trish 0:38
We have been doing this I feel like every single week, right? It’s just It’s nonstop travel season.

Mervyn Dinnen 0:43
It feels that way at the moment. Yes.

Trish 0:46
It’s a pleasure to see you. We’re here in Paris. I know you just got in I got in last night. The buzz is just audible.

Mervyn Dinnen 0:53
It is incredible. Just when I first walked in is kind of like, wow.

Trish 0:59
Yeah, I have to ask you, I’m gonna go way back because I was trying to think the first time it wasn’t even called UNLEASH, it used to be, you know, HR tech world, right. In London. I mean, how long have you been coming to this event in one form or another? It’s been a long time, right?

Mervyn Dinnen 1:15
2011 would have been my first. I’ll tell you actually, it was 2013 was my first time.

Trish 1:21
Wow. So how has it evolved? I mean, just as some because I think a lot of people might think this has been just, you know, around for a couple years, it’s really evolved.

Mervyn Dinnen 1:32
It has evolved. It’s, I think it’s now a global. So this way, we’re now on leash is a global kind of conference that happens twice a year, where possibly it was a bit you’re focused. The first one or two, lots of sessions. Now it’s more about the vendors, I think, and you’ve got all the major vendors are here. And all have got kind of new trends to talk about. They’ve got new things to show. So I think that there’s been a proliferation. And I think, post COVID, where we had two years. So where there were no gatherings like this, you couldn’t get 3000 people together in one space. And I think there’s no one energy people are kind of having had that, where everything was remote, I think now is now going back to the whole remote working thing is there’s a real energy when people get together.

Trish 2:27
There really is I mean, we’re in a in a large room recording and the buzz outside the room and the expo hall is just, it’s amazing. Well, you mentioned I want to touch on trends a little bit, because not only have you been traveling, right, you’re hearing all different things, right. we’ve sort of seen a lot of the 2023 trends that have been out starting to you know, you’ve been here about 2024 trends. What is it that you’ve been talking about hearing about find intriguing, that people who are listening should be thinking about for the coming year?

Mervyn Dinnen 2:58
I think that is definitely an increase in the conversations around well being. That is being raised all the time. And it’s not being raised as a kind of It’s a box, we’ve got to tick. So it looks like we’re listening to people it’s yet we care about this is important. And I’ve heard it from from places or organizations, you know, over the last two, three months that you wouldn’t normally so I think I’ve been to mainstream Yeah, I’ve been talking all year about supporting people, enabling them, as opposed to managing them. And I think that that I see really coming through, nearly everybody’s talking about that. Last, the event we were at last week, there was stuff about digital well being as well. And in a session that I did, where we’re looking at European trends, obviously there are some European countries who are trying to legislate against, you know, out of office emails and rather out of hours, emails and stuff. Whereas, you know, we could have an always on culture, and that might not be good for, again, for wellbeing long, longer term. But I think there’s there’s definitely an openness, I think there’s definitely an increase in interest in talking about things. And I think employers as well are beginning to open up and just say, Look, you know, this isn’t right, or I don’t feel this is right, I’m not comfortable with this. Or, you know, they, I mean, I was involved with some research earlier in the year where it showed that something like two thirds of people if their mental health is bad day, that and they don’t feel they can show up to work. They’ll make an excuse. They won’t say it but in the space of a year or you know, I’m hearing about people who aren’t happy to not happy to say but I mean, open enough to say actually, I’m just not in a good space today. I really would like a couple of days out, and then I can really come back energized and stuff. Yeah. So I think that is happening a lot more.

Trish 5:07
I’m glad you mentioned that, because I think it’s it’s becoming more normalized that we can feel comfortable doing. So Right. Obviously, it’s still challenging in some workplaces, maybe to have that conversation, but I am seeing a trend that way, myself, and I’m even more comfortable. That was something you know, people of our age weren’t necessarily we were told to avoid it, if anything, right. So I’m glad to see there’s some support from technology to for companies who are trying to make that positive change. One other question for you, I know before we get back out there into the busyness of the day, yeah, I know you have a panel coming up later today, I’d love you to maybe just highlight what you’re talking about that because it’s such an important topic.

Mervyn Dinnen 5:48
It is I’ve got a panel of Gen Zed, and the candidate experience. And we’re going to be looking, I mean, I’ve done a lot of research over the years into candidate experience. And I’ve written a lot about it and spoken a lot about it, how the we never get it right, and whatever we try and do. But I think we Gen Zed, that there are definitely expectations now of how they are treated, how they are made to feel. And the kind of, I suppose the kind of approach that ta teams might have used in the past where it was all about, you know, we’ll get back to you if we need to say anything.

Trish 6:28
If you don’t hear if you don’t hear, which is horrible.

Mervyn Dinnen 6:32
If you haven’t heard within 14 days, we’re not interested in.

Trish 6:36
I mean, it’s awful when you’re on the receiving end of that, too. Yeah, the waiting,

Mervyn Dinnen 6:40
I go back to my days as an agency recruiter, and it was like, you’ll get feedback from a client say No, not for us. Well, what feedback would you like me to give? So well, that’s up to you, but just don’t, don’t say anything that makes them then ring us up to ask what we mean. Right. So as I found somebody else, but now I think, you know, that organizations I think are increasingly aware that the experience they give is reflected in how they are as an employer how people view them. You know, it’s online. I mean, if somebody has a bad experience, they can go on LinkedIn say, Yeah, Gen Zed aren’t scared to say that I interviewed x y Zed, and they were all for Yes. Never got back to me asked me questions that were irrelevant. And so it’s I think that hopefully, we’re going to be hearing some good examples tomorrow things companies are doing to really embrace and give an experience here.

Trish 7:39
Good. Well, I’m excited to hear it myself tomorrow from you and the team that you’ll be there with for anyone listening, where can they find you connect with you? Listen to your podcast, obviously on the HR Happy Hour Network, but maybe you’ll cover this and more right after next week.

Mervyn Dinnen 7:55
I hope so. The podcast is called HR Means Business and is part of the HR Happy Hour Network. People connect with me on LinkedIn, it’s Mervyn Dinnen,I’m on X. I’m still on it. Maybe not as much as I used to be but it’s my my X handle is my name. Contact me, message me.

Trish 8:24
People should. Well listen, thank you for for having a chat with me today Mervyn, it’s been great. We’ve been co-hosting all morning here so this has been fun for everyone. Thank you for listening to the show and please check the archives if you haven’t listened to HR Means Business. There are a ton in the archives there and we will catch you next time on HR Happy Hour Show.

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

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