Here are the top news stories in talent & organization from this week.

Internships key to closing gender gap

A robust and inclusive internship program can be a gateway to increasing gender and other types of diversity within an organization, argues Joan Kuhl in this ForbesWomen op-ed article. “Businesses need to create a path to success for female employees at all levels,” she writes. “An internship program that targets and cultivates entry-level female employees can lay the groundwork for this success at your company.” Kuhl shares four tips for creating an effective internship program for recruiting and retaining women: 1. Actively seek out female candidates by partnering through organizations that connect diverse students with employers. 2. Invest in training to show female interns they are valued and a part of the company. 3. Connect interns with other employees to provide them with greater insight into the types of career paths available to them. 4. Provide access to C-level executives to give female interns visibility and empower them to reach new leadership heights. “Not only do internship programs give employers access to a large pool of potential hires, they can also leverage current interns and alumnae as brand ambassadors to support recruiting efforts and maintain a steady flow of new talent into the organization,” Kuhl writes.

Millennials worry about the future of employee benefits

According to new research from Prudential, millennials are worried about retirement, healthcare and the possibility of employee benefits going away entirely. Roughly 79 percent of millennials think it’s likely people will no longer be able to comfortably retire in the future, and a similar number (72 percent) are also worried that their employers will stop providing healthcare and retirement benefits altogether, Prudential found. “Many have that longevity disconnect,” Harry Dalessio, head of full service solutions at Prudential Retirement, told Employee Benefit Adviser. “[They] can’t see themselves in retirement, but have to deal with the present. So we see the platform emerging from a financial wellness perspective to include employers offering student loan assistance, to offering emergency savings to get at those core needs.” Prudential also suggests offering benefits such as HSAs, to help manage healthcare costs, and 401(k) matches and savings plans, to help employees take charge of their finances.

How to prepare HR for a successful digital transformation

While digital transformation is at the top of every organization’s agenda, HR tends to lag behind, according to Steffen Maier, cofounder of Impraise. In this HR Daily Advisor blog post, he details four ways to prepare your HR team for a successful culture and digital transformation: 1. Create end-to-end responsibility, where digital transformation comes from the people with the authority to successfully drive it. 2. Remember, data beats hierarchy. Rather than picking and choosing the data that supports what the leadership is looking for, allow it to inform decision-making. 3. Use data to be strategic, not just reactive. “People analytics isn’t just about reporting this year’s turnover rate,” Maier writes. “If HR can learn to collect and make use of people data, it will have a powerful force behind the initiatives it presents to the executive level.” 4. Don’t focus on hiring digital talent. Help your internal HR team develop new digital skills. “Instead of holding HR back, digital transformation should be an opportunity to empower the department with valuable workforce insights. New HR tools provide support for the latter, but revamping the traditional HR mind-set should be the first step in your transformation journey,” Maier concludes.

Nine in 10 workers in the UK affected by mental health

Last week, at This Can Happen, a workplace mental health conference held in London, Accenture’s Barbara Harvey announced the results of a new study that found almost nine out of 10 workers in the United Kingdom are affected by mental health in some capacity. The survey of more than 2,000 workers found two-thirds (66 percent) had personally experienced mental health challenges, and that 85 percent had someone close to them, such as a family member or close colleague, who had experienced them. Of the respondents who reported they had spoken to someone at work about their mental health, 15 percent said they had talked to HR or a wellbeing specialist. This Can Happen conference brought together more than 750 delegates from 120 companies to discuss employee mental health. Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, also attended the conference as a panelist, and spoke about his personal mental health issues experienced while working as an air ambulance pilot. He encouraged more business leaders to speak up and share their experiences of mental health challenges at work. “It’s about setting a culture and environment in the workplace where HR is a door people feel they can go and see,” William said.

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