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Date posted: 08th July 2024

08th July 2024

Top 20 Articles on Workplace Culture: June 2024

Top 20 Articles on Workplace Culture: June 2024

Welcome to the Inspiring Workplaces Top 20 Articles on Workplace Culture for June 2024. 

We want to help inform and inspire you from some of the best content out there. Each month we will consolidate these articles for you to help give you a quick and easy snapshot. To help drive you and your organisations forward. 

The articles will be underpinned by seven key elements that are reflected in our bespoke COMPASS methodology, that also underpin the Top Inspiring Workplaces worldwide. They are: 

  • Wellbeing 
  • Culture & Purpose 
  • Leadership 
  • Inclusion 
  • Employee Experience 
  • Communication & Voice 
  • Society & Sustainability 

 

Key Workplace Culture Learnings for June:  

  • Microinclusions in the Workplace: 
    • Microinclusions, brief instances of positive treatment, significantly boost the sense of belonging and commitment, especially for underrepresented groups like women in tech. 
    • Examples include recognizing contributions, soliciting input, and providing constructive feedback. 
  • AI Adoption and Readiness: 
    • AI usage is rapidly increasing, with 75% of employees using AI at work. 
    • A significant gap exists as 60% of leaders lack strategic AI implementation plans. 
  • Impact of Loneliness on Health and Work: 
    • Strong relationships at work are crucial for mental health and reducing risks of diseases. 
    • Remote work can increase loneliness, emphasizing the need for purposeful, inclusive work environments. 
  • Allyship and Inclusion: 
    • Authentic allyship involves lifelong learning, recognizing biases, and supporting marginalized groups through public actions and empathy. 
    • Performative allyship is ineffective and does not lead to real change. 
  • Purpose and Values in the Workplace: 
    • A strong sense of purpose and organizational values are key to attracting and retaining talent. 
    • Employees are willing to accept lower salaries for more meaningful work, highlighting the importance of a well-defined purpose. 
  • Workplace Culture and Employee Recognition: 
    • Positive workplace culture leads to increased productivity, lower turnover, and higher employee satisfaction. 
    • Recognition programs are essential for motivating employees and fostering a sense of belonging. 
  • Importance of DEI (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion): 
    • Sustaining DEI efforts year-round is necessary for fostering a supportive workplace culture and attracting diverse talent. 
    • Continuous learning, open conversations, and supportive policies are crucial for real inclusion. 
  • Virtual Intelligence (VQ) for Remote Work: 
    • VQ addresses the disconnection felt in remote work, focusing on effectively using digital tools, establishing clear virtual practices, and building trust. 
    • Internal communications play a crucial role in enhancing VQ by facilitating informal bonding and recognition. 
  • Well-being and Work-Life Balance: 
    • Organizations need to invest in well-being initiatives that address DEI and support employees’ mental and physical health. 
    • Recognizing the intersection of identity and well-being is crucial for creating inclusive well-being programs. 
  • Generational Diversity and Communication: 
    • Effective communication across generations is key to a cohesive workforce, with Gen Z requiring clear boundaries, frequent feedback, and inclusive practices. 
    • Leveraging Gen Z’s digital skills and integrating mentorship programs enhance intergenerational connections and innovation. 

The articles are as follows… 

 

Microinclusions improve women’s workplace belonging and commitment 

Source: Phys.org
Author: University of Washington
IW COMPASS point: Inclusion

Key Takeaways 

  • Microinclusions Definition: Brief instances of positive treatment, especially from dominant group members, helping employees feel valued and affirmed in their workplace. 
  • Impact on Belonging: Microinclusive behaviors significantly increase the sense of belonging for both men and women, but are most beneficial for women in tech companies who face underrepresentation and negative stereotypes. 
  • Enhancing Commitment: Women experiencing microinclusions show increased commitment to their company and reduced concern about negative stereotyping. 
  • Examples of Microinclusions: 
    • Recognizing contributions (e.g., “Building on what Jane said…”) 
    • Soliciting input (e.g., “I would like to hear what Jane thinks”) 
    • Providing constructive feedback to support and develop ideas. 
  • Distinction from Niceness: Microinclusions are not merely about being nice; they are about validating contributions and helping employees grow and succeed. 
  • Focus Group Insights: Women, especially women of color, report challenges in contributing due to others not allowing them to participate, critiquing simplistic “lean in” solutions. 
  • Broader Implications: While not a standalone solution, microinclusions are crucial in the broader effort to debias organizations and improve workplace inclusivity. 
  • Recruitment and Recommendation: Women treated with microinclusions are more likely to recommend their company to other women, indicating a positive cycle of increased representation and belonging. 

Read the full article here 

 

2024 Microsoft Work Trend Index shows shifting workplace dynamics

Source: Forbes
Author: Melody Brue
IW COMPASS point: Employee Experience

Key Takeaways 

  • AI Adoption and Readiness: 
    • 75% of employees use AI at work, a rapid increase in recent months. 
    • 79% of leaders see AI as a business imperative, but 60% lack strategic AI implementation plans. 
  • BYOAI Concerns: 
    • 78% of employees use personal AI tools without company approval. 
    • Risks include data security, privacy issues, and compliance challenges. 
  • Workload and Burnout: 
    • 68% of employees struggle with work pace and volume; 46% feel burned out. 
    • Majority spend time on communication (60%) rather than productive tasks (40%). 
  • AI and Job Security: 
    • 52% of AI users are reluctant to admit using it for key tasks due to job security fears. 
    • 53% worry AI use makes them appear replaceable. 
  • Labor Market Trends: 
    • High demand for AI skills, with 71% of leaders preferring candidates with AI expertise. 
    • Only 39% of global AI users have received company-sponsored AI training. 
  • AI Training and Investment: 
    • 45% of U.S. companies are not investing in AI tools or training. 
    • Importance of aligning AI training with strategic business goals and day-to-day tasks. 
  • AI Power Users: 
    • Power users benefit most from AI, with improved creativity, focus, and motivation. 
    • They exhibit experimentation and resiliency in using AI. 
  • Strategic AI Integration: 
    • Organizations should align AI implementation with strategic goals. 
    • Encourage a culture of experimentation and tailored AI training programs. 
    • Track productivity data to measure AI’s impact on work. 

Read the full article here 

 

5 ways to promote your work accomplishments — without the ‘ick’ factor

Source: MSNBC
Author: Selena Rezvani
IW COMPASS point: Communication

Key Takeaways 

  • Mindset Shift: Recognize that self-promotion is essential and beneficial for you and your team, helping to highlight contributions and inspire others. 
  • Share Creative Problem-Solving: Emphasize unique solutions to problems, highlighting your creativity and problem-solving skills while focusing on the process and teamwork involved. 
  • Highlight Improved Customer-Client Outcomes: Share how your solutions have led to better results for clients, showcasing your commitment to continuous improvement and client satisfaction. 
  • Share a Timely Insight Promptly: Seize the moment to share relevant insights or quick wins, demonstrating your engagement and proactivity, which can have immediate positive impacts. 
  • Share Positive Progress: Keep managers and teams informed about positive developments, boosting morale and reinforcing progress, contributing to a culture of transparency and celebration of successes. 
  • Highlight a Key Discovery or Learning Moment: Share learnings from experiences, both successes and failures, showing your commitment to continuous improvement and helping others benefit from your insights. 

Read the full article here 

 

How the modern workplace affects loneliness 

Source: Forbes
Author: Tracy Brower, PhD
IW COMPASS point: Wellbeing 

Key Takeaways 

  • Prevalence of Loneliness: Up to half of people struggle with loneliness, according to the U.S. Surgeon General. 
  • Work’s Role in Loneliness: Remote and hybrid work increase loneliness due to reduced human interaction. 
  • Health Impact of Relationships: Strong relationships improve mental health and reduce risks of heart disease, cancer, and dementia. 
  • Decreasing Work Connections: Less connection at work, with fewer people feeling cared for or knowing coworkers personally. 
  • Superficial Interactions: Even brief interactions, like chatting with a barista, improve mood and happiness. 
  • Reduced Community Interactions: Increased convenience leads to fewer social interactions in daily life. 
  • Workplace as a Social Hub: Workplaces can provide meaningful interactions and a sense of community to combat loneliness. 
  • Purposeful Work: Work that feels impactful and acknowledges contributions reduces loneliness. 
  • Engagement through Work: Collaborative and engaging work environments help employees feel seen and valued. 
  • Sense of Belonging: Workplaces fostering inclusivity and respect reduce loneliness and improve fulfillment. 
  • Facilitating Connection: In-person interactions and coordinated office schedules enhance relationships and mental health. 
  • Learning Opportunities: Workplaces offering growth and learning opportunities alleviate boredom and enhance well-being. 
  • Moving Forward: Addressing loneliness through purposeful, engaging, and inclusive work environments improves overall health and happiness. 

Read the full article here 

 

The role of allies and allyship at work 

Source: People Matters
Author: Rubi Khan, PhD
IW COMPASS point: Inclusion

Key Takeaways 

  • Definition of Allyship: 
    • Lifelong learning, recognizing biases, and acting publicly to create lasting inclusion through systemic change. 
    • Involves building a diverse, equitable, and inclusive workplace by leveraging privilege to support non-dominant groups. 
  • Importance of Allies: 
    • Essential for creating an inviting and welcoming space for all. 
    • Engage in supportive and collaborative relationships, acts of sponsorship, and public advocacy to drive systemic change. 
  • Characteristics of Allyship: 
    • Begins with self-education and learning about biases. 
    • Focuses on social awareness, motivation, accountability through public action, transparency, and sustainable change. 
    • Lifelong process of building supportive relationships with underrepresented groups. 
  • Behavior of Allies: 
    • Demonstrate empathy in everyday interactions. 
    • Consistently perform small, meaningful gestures to nurture inclusion. 
    • Actively engage in frequent and consistent behavior rather than performative acts. 
    • Create platforms for marginalized voices and lift others. 
  • Performative Allyship: 
    • Seen in actions like changing profile pictures or posting on social media during specific awareness events. 
    • Often characterized as inauthentic and inexpensive actions that do not lead to real change. 
    • Driven by motivations to improve public image, gain popularity, or protect high status. 
  • Authentic Ally Behaviors: 
    • Being Inquisitive: Keen interest in understanding diversity and intersectionality. 
    • Authentic Reflection: Learning and accepting one’s biases. 
    • Acknowledgement and Acceptance: Recognizing privilege and admitting unfamiliar challenges. 
    • Empathetic Conversations: Engaging in listening and asking questions to uncover biases. 
    • Open to Vulnerability: Forming a trusted circle to provide feedback on biases. 
    • Consistency: Ensuring marginalized voices are heard and included consistently. 
  • Organizational Role: 
    • Allyship should be an organizational value and a priority for leadership. 
    • Leaders can promote allyship by sharing their narratives to create authenticity. 
    • Allies should grow as a community to promote support, collaboration, and inclusion. 

Read the full article here 

 

Building a purpose-led and values-driven culture to retain talent 

Source: Middle East Economy
Author: Emilio Pera
IW COMPASS point: Culture & Purpose 

Key Takeaways 

  • Importance of Purpose and Values: Purpose and values have become critical differentiators in attracting and retaining talent in a competitive employment market. 
  • Impact of the Great Resignation: The pandemic and subsequent ‘great resignation’ led organizations to rethink workforce policies, emphasizing flexibility and job satisfaction. 
  • Employee Engagement and Flexibility: Balancing employee engagement and remote work flexibility remains a challenge. 
  • Linking Purpose to Organization: Employees’ sense of purpose is closely linked to the organization’s purpose, providing direction, meaning, and motivation. 
  • Meaningful Work: A significant number of employees are willing to accept lower salaries for more meaningful work, highlighting the importance of a well-defined purpose. 
  • Enhancing Brand Reputation: A strong purpose can improve brand reputation, guide strategic decisions, and contribute to long-term success. 
  • Importance of Values: Organizational values unify employees and transcend cultural boundaries, building trust and guiding decision-making. 
  • Trust and Consistency: Trust is built through consistent ethical behavior and reinforcing commitment to values. 
  • Collective Action and Disruption: Technology will disrupt lives, but prioritizing common purpose and values will empower individuals to navigate changes. 
  • Competitive Advantage: Purpose and values act as competitive advantages, attracting young and experienced professionals. 
  • Leadership’s Role: Leadership acknowledges the role of purpose and values in recruiting and motivating talent. 
  • Small Acts Matter: Acknowledging contributions, embracing diverse ideas, and providing safe spaces for dialogue enhance employee authenticity and engagement. 
  • Embedding Purpose and Values: Organizations should integrate purpose and values into their structure to retain passionate employees, attract loyal customers, and drive business performance. 

Read the full article here 

 

The Fierce Kindness principle: How HR should manage difficult workplace relationships 

Source: Unleash
Author: Nick Robinson
IW COMPASS point: Leadership

Key Takeaways  

  • Fierce Kindness Principle: 
    • Combines compassion and courage. 
    • Essential for HR leaders managing toxic workplace cultures and difficult relationships. 
  • HR’s Multifaceted Role: 
    • Strategic: Guide overall culture and relationship frameworks. 
    • Tactical: Proactively address relationship breakdowns. 
    • Operational: Build strong relationships to be the go-to resource for strained relationships. 
  • Components of Fierce: 
    • Self-Discipline: Role-model desired behaviors. 
    • Assertive Communication: Clearly and respectfully state thoughts and needs. 
    • Boundary Setting: Establish and maintain limits for well-being and productivity. 
  • Components of Kindness: 
    • Listening Properly: Give full attention to understand others’ perspectives. 
    • Demonstrating Empathy: Acknowledge and validate others’ feelings and experiences. 
    • Offering Support: Encourage collaboration and mutual problem-solving. 
  • Balancing Fierce and Kind: 
    • Practicality: Assertiveness and empathy allow for open, considerate conflict resolution. 
    • Cultural Impact: Builds trust and openness, encouraging difficult conversations without fear. 
    • Collaboration: Enables effective, sustainable problem-solving through mutual respect. 
  • Dynamic Nature of Fierce Kindness: 
    • Requires adaptability and responsiveness in real-time situations. 
    • HR leaders must constantly balance when to be assertive and when to be empathetic. 
  • Fierce Kindness in Practice: 
    • Mediating conflicts by emphasizing mutual respect and understanding. 
    • Initiatives promoting a no-blame culture and learning from mistakes. 
    • Championing cross-functional collaboration to tackle persistent issues. 
  • Conclusion: 
    • Fierce Kindness is crucial for managing difficult workplace relationships. 
    • HR leaders must choreograph this balance to foster a productive, collaborative work environment. 

Read the full article here 

 

Pride Month ’24 Marks an inflection point for DEI. Here’s how organizations can sustain LGBTQIA+ Inclusion 

Source: HR Grapevine
Author: Veronica Calderon
IW COMPASS point: Inclusion 

Key Takeaways 

  • Inflection Point for DEI: Pride Month 2024 highlights a critical moment for diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in the workplace, with a clear divide between organizations committed to DEI and those that are not. 
  • Value of LGBTQIA+ Inclusion: LGBTQIA+ individuals bring significant value to the workplace. By 2030, the majority of America’s workforce will be non-white, emphasizing the need to engage diverse talent, including LGBTQIA+ individuals. 
  • Challenges for LGBTQIA+ Workers: Studies show many LGBTQIA+ workers face unaccepting environments. 26% of LGBTQ+ workers and 36% of transgender and nonbinary workers have searched for new jobs due to these issues, with 37% leaving jobs for that reason. 
  • Culture of Belonging: Real inclusion requires a culture where employees can be their true selves without fear of discrimination. Year-round DEI strategies that foster inclusivity and belonging are essential. 
  • Supportive Policies and Benefits: Organizations should implement meaningful policies and benefits tailored to LGBTQIA+ needs, such as increased access to mental health resources, 24/7 counseling services, and wellness programs. 
  • Continuous Learning and Conversations: Inclusive workplaces should foster open discussions about personal experiences and current events. Managers should be trained to handle sensitive topics constructively to build understanding and empathy. 
  • Regular Feedback: Continuous feedback from LGBTQIA+ employees is crucial. Establishing business resource groups (BRGs) and conducting regular surveys can help organizations understand and address the needs of LGBTQIA+ employees. 
  • DEI Beyond Pride Month: Sustaining DEI efforts year-round is necessary for attracting top talent and fostering a supportive workplace culture. Allyship should be embedded into the organization’s culture beyond just Pride Month. 

Read the full article here 

 

How Virtual Intelligence can nurture a digital workplace culture 

Source: h&h
Author: h&h
IW COMPASS point: Communication 

Key Takeaways 

  • Importance of Virtual Intelligence (VQ): 
    • VQ is essential to maintain connection and culture in a digital workplace. 
    • Emotional intelligence (EQ) is insufficient alone; VQ addresses disconnection in remote work. 
  • Incident Highlight: 
    • A mug incident highlighted the disconnection felt by remote workers. 
    • Symbolized the loss of workplace culture and community in a hybrid work environment. 
  • Three Themes of the VQ Model: 
    • Know Your Stuff: 
      • Digital tools must be known, understood, and effectively used by employees. 
      • Internal communicators should provide ongoing education and updates about digital tools. 
      • Consistent use of digital tools reinforces their utility and familiarity. 
    • Adopt the Actions: 
      • Establish clear and consistent virtual working practices to reduce confusion. 
      • Internal communications should influence and guide virtual working behaviors. 
      • Promote visibility (e.g., status updates) and common courtesy (e.g., meeting punctuality). 
    • Trust is Everything: 
      • Build both relational trust (personal connections) and competence-based trust (reliability). 
      • Encourage social interactions and recognition of achievements to strengthen trust. 
      • Internal communications should facilitate opportunities for informal bonding and highlight successes. 
    • Practical Applications: 
      • Use straightforward, action-based approaches tailored to the organization’s needs. 
      • Regularly assess and measure the effectiveness of VQ initiatives through surveys and feedback. 
      • Continuous improvement and adaptation based on feedback ensure ongoing development of VQ. 
    • Role of Internal Communications: 
      • Crucial in enhancing VQ by informing, educating, and creating a connected work environment. 
      • Enable employees to effectively use digital tools, adopt consistent practices, and build trust. 
      • Support a hybrid work culture that values both remote and in-person workers equally. 

Read the full article here 

 

Is a “covering culture” undermining your organization’s well-being efforts? 

Source: Deloitte Insights
Author: Jen Fisher, Sameen Affaf, Amy Fields, Corrie Commisso
IW COMPASS point: Wellbeing 

Key Takeaways 

  • Impact of Work on Well-Being: The blurring lines between work and life significantly affect personal health and well-being, prompting organizations to invest more in well-being benefits. 
  • Current Well-Being Initiatives Falling Short: Despite increased investments in well-being initiatives, many employees report their well-being has either worsened or stayed the same. 
  • Need for DEI Integration: Effective well-being initiatives should address organizational culture issues, including diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), recognizing the intersection between identity and well-being. 
  • Covering Culture and Well-Being: Many employees feel the need to “cover” or downplay certain identities to fit in, which negatively impacts their well-being and overall organizational health. 
  • Five Indicators of a Covering Culture: 
    • High levels of emotional fatigue or burnout, especially among marginalized groups. 
    • High turnover rates, particularly among marginalized populations. 
    • Decreased job performance and productivity due to energy spent on covering. 
    • Fewer promotions for individuals from marginalized groups, impacting perceptions of growth opportunities. 
    • C-suite and executives struggling to model authenticity, increasing covering among employees. 
  • Disrupting Covering Culture: 
    • Create Common Language: Develop a shared understanding of covering and its implications based on organizational values. 
    • Audit Benefits and Policies: Ensure inclusivity in benefits, programs, and policies to avoid reinforcing covering. 
    • Empower Allies: Encourage everyone to be an ally and counteract covering behaviors. 
    • Enable Authentic Leadership: Leaders should model authenticity to foster psychological safety and encourage others. 
    • Connect Organizational Efforts: Integrate DEI, well-being, and employee engagement efforts to enhance intentionality and impact. 
  • Conclusion: Inclusion is essential for employee well-being and organizational success. Embracing authenticity and disrupting covering culture can lead to better well-being and thriving organizations. 

Read the full article here 

 

Happy employees, happy customers: Aligning employee and customer experience 

Source: IW
Author: Huler
IW COMPASS point: Employee Experience 

Key Takeaways 

  • EX and CX Linkage: Employee experience (EX) and customer experience (CX) are closely interconnected. Improved EX leads to improved CX, and companies with high EX and CX see nearly double the revenue growth. 
  • Research Findings: Forbes Insight and Salesforce research show 70% of executives believe better EX improves CX. MIT Sloan research indicates top quartile EX companies develop more successful innovations and have higher Net Promoter Scores (NPS). 
  • Employee Treatment: Employees must have a positive day-to-day work experience to deliver excellent customer service. Outdated systems and processes can hinder their performance and motivation. 
  • Innovation and Motivation: Empowered and motivated employees are more passionate about their work, leading to genuine customer interactions that foster loyalty and trust. 
  • Strategies for Alignment: 
    • Authenticity: Ensure EX aligns with employer branding and external marketing promises. Authenticity is crucial. 
    • Technology Utilization: Use technology to ease employees’ workloads and empower them to deliver great customer experiences. 
    • Role Understanding: Help all employees, including those in non-customer-facing roles, understand their contribution to CX by connecting their work to customer feedback and experiences. 
  • Additional Resources: A report is available offering insights, practical actions, tools, and templates to bridge the gap between EX and CX, build a stronger culture, and achieve fast revenue growth. 

Read the full article here 

 

Why ERGs help leading companies succeed 

Source: Spiceworks
Author: David Satterwhite
IW COMPASS point: Employee Voice 

Key Takeaways:  

  • Interconnection of Success and Engagement: Financial success, product innovation, and employee engagement are closely linked, with employee fulfillment driving productivity and motivation. 
  • Evolution of ERGs: ERGs, historically for socialization among similar employees, now focus on networking, learning, inclusion, and community building, enhancing workplace engagement. 
  • Origins and Growth: The first ERG, Xerox National Black Employees Caucus (1970), aimed to support Black employees facing discrimination. ERGs have since expanded to diverse groups (gender, ethnicity, disabilities, etc.), with 90% of Fortune 500 companies having ERGs. 
  • Purpose of ERGs: ERGs promote inclusion, skill development, mentorship, and ensure employee voices are heard. They provide senior executives with insights into employee needs, benefiting organizational strategies. 
  • Benefits of ERGs: 
    • Increased Engagement and Satisfaction: 66% of employees feel ERGs foster community, boosting engagement and job satisfaction. 
    • Innovation: ERGs enable employees to voice perspectives, promoting a culture open to feedback and innovation. 
    • Diverse and Inclusive Workplaces: ERGs support diversity, leading to improved product innovation and ROI. 
    • Recruitment and Retention: ERGs attract talent and increase job retention, with 70% of Gen Z favoring companies with ERGs. 
    • Workplace Culture: ERGs enhance a sense of belonging and community, leading to higher job satisfaction. 
  • Implementation of ERGs: 
    • Clear Objectives: Align ERG goals with company mission and values. 
    • Building Community: Foster inclusivity and open communication among employees. 
    • Tracking Metrics: Measure ERG impact and value through defined goals. 
  • Technology in ERGs: 
    • ERG Software: Centralizes ERG management, enhancing communication and measuring impact. 
    • Video Conferencing: Facilitates virtual meetings, promoting inclusivity for remote teams. 
    • Data & Analytics: Provides insights into ERG engagement, guiding informed decision-making. 
  • Overall Impact: ERGs are crucial for employee engagement and organizational success, fostering growth, innovation, and a supportive workplace culture. Technology enhances ERG effectiveness through improved communication, data-driven decisions, and remote collaboration. 

Read the full article here 

 

Learning to lead effectively in the workplace: 16 tips to success 

Source: Fast Company
Authors: Fast Company Executive Board
IW COMPASS point: Leadership

Key Takeaways 

  • Establishing Followership: Build trust and integrity to gain support for the leader’s vision, fostering collaboration and productivity. 
  • Putting People First: Prioritize valuing employees’ work, show authenticity, and create a culture where mistakes are seen as learning opportunities. 
  • Creating Real-World Experiences: Emphasize practical experience and frequent visits to team members, especially in global teams. 
  • Presenting a Clear Vision: Ensure everyone understands their role and foster a supportive environment for shared leadership. 
  • Proactive Customer Engagement: Meet customers during off-peak times to build strong relationships without undermining the team’s access. 
  • Hiring for Cultural Fit: Make early investments in hiring people aligned with the company’s culture, mission, vision, and goals, and maintain transparency. 
  • Fostering Trust and Transparency: Create an open communication culture to motivate employees and align them with organizational goals. 
  • Setting Clear Expectations: Communicate clearly and set attainable goals, removing team members who fail to communicate effectively. 
  • Explaining Vision and Fit: Help team members understand the organization’s vision and how they contribute to it, building trust and satisfaction. 
  • Practicing Patience: Recognize that building an organization takes time and avoid rushing to prevent leaving team members behind. 
  • Demonstrating Empathy: Combine empathy, motivation, and rewards to effectively lead and care for employees. 
  • Shifting Perspectives: Adapt to different perspectives and levels of seniority to better understand stakeholder needs and generate solutions. 
  • Celebrating Wins: Acknowledge and celebrate both large and small successes, recognizing all contributors. 
  • Allowing Flexibility: Offer flexible work schedules to improve productivity and employee satisfaction. 
  • Identifying and Removing Bad Actors: Be vigilant about negative influences, practicing “trust but verify” to maintain a positive environment. 
  • Fostering Inclusivity: Embrace diverse perspectives to enrich decision-making, strengthen team cohesion, and enhance organizational culture.

Read the full article here 

 

Creating a workplace culture in which people want to work 

Source: Psychology Today
Author: Joyce Marter LCPC
IW COMPASS point: Culture & Purpose 

Key Takeaways 

  • Importance of Workplace Culture: 
    • Crucial for attracting and retaining top talent. 
    • Leads to increased productivity, lower turnover, and a happier, more committed workforce. 
    • Satisfied employees produce 23% higher profits. 
  • Recognition and Employee Satisfaction: 
    • Employees acknowledged by managers are five times happier. 
    • Recognition programs are essential for employee motivation. 
  • Strategies for Positive Company Culture: 
    • Define and Communicate Core Values: 
      • Clearly define and consistently communicate core values and behavioral expectations. 
    • Lead by Example: 
      • Managers should embody organizational values and be held accountable for their behavior. 
    • Inclusive Hiring Practices: 
      • Implement blind resume reviews, structured interviews, and diverse hiring panels to minimize biases. 
    • Cultivate an Inclusive Culture: 
      • Embrace diversity, equity, and inclusion at all levels. 
      • Promote respect, empathy, and psychological safety. 
    • Encourage Open Communication: 
      • Create safe spaces for employees to share thoughts and concerns. 
      • Foster an environment welcoming of differing perspectives. 
    • Collect and Act on Employee Feedback: 
      • Regularly seek and act on employee feedback to identify and address areas for improvement. 
    • Promote Work-Life Balance: 
      • Provide flexible schedules, generous paid time off, and wellness initiatives. 
      • Support mental health and create a culture of psychological safety. 
    • Implement Wellness Programs: 
      • Encourage healthy behaviors and reduce absenteeism through wellness programs. 
    • Promote Professional Growth and Development: 
      • Offer training, mentorship, and career advancement opportunities. 
      • Invest in employees’ personal and professional growth. 
  • Ongoing Effort: 
    • Creating a desirable company culture requires continuous effort and commitment from both employers and employees. 

Read the full article here 

 

Four questions to improve the hybrid workplace 

Source: Chief Executive
Author: Anne Chow
IW COMPASS point: Employee Experience

Key Takeaways 

  • Thoughtful Onsite Meetings: In the hybrid work model, it’s crucial to be intentional about why and how onsite meetings are conducted to make office days valuable and engaging. 
  • Hybrid Work Statistics: Only a small number of U.S. chief executives prioritize full-time office returns, recognizing the risk of losing talent. 
  • Engaging Office Experience: Design office days to be as appealing as offsite events, focusing on making in-office time engaging and worthwhile. 
  • Considerations for Meetings: 
    • Necessity: Evaluate if a meeting is essential for advancing team goals or if it can be handled via other communication tools like Slack or email. 
    • Attendance: Limit meetings to necessary participants to avoid inefficiencies and ensure productive discussions. Apply the “two-pizza rule” to keep meetings small. 
    • Modality: Decide the best format for meetings, whether in-person or virtual, and utilize tools that maximize productivity and engagement. 
    • Leadership: Ensure meetings have a clear agenda, defined roles, and accountability for follow-ups to avoid wasted time and inefficiency. 
  • Structured Approach: Plan meetings with defined roles, agendas shared in advance, and designated leaders to maintain focus and achieve objectives. 
  • Hybrid Work Benefits and Challenges: Properly planned hybrid work can enhance productivity and satisfaction but requires careful planning of onsite activities to maximize benefits. 
  • In-Office Organizer: Consider hiring an organizer for in-office activities to replicate the structured planning of offsite events, promoting connection, collaboration, and alignment. 
  • Goal of Hybrid Work: Use the office as a tool to create an environment where the best talent can thrive, ensuring the hybrid model works effectively for everyone. 

Read the full article here 

 

Increased pressure to improve human sustainability 

Source: Sustainability Magazine
Author: Charlie King
IW COMPASS point: Society & Sustainability 

Key Takeaways 

  • High Pressure on CEOs: 80% of CEOs feel pressured to improve human sustainability. 
  • Deloitte’s Definition of Human Sustainability: 
    • Creates value for people as human beings. 
    • Equips people with greater health and well-being. 
    • Supports skills and employability, good jobs, and advancement opportunities. 
    • Promotes equity. 
    • Increases belonging and connection to purpose. 
  • Sources of Pressure: 
    • Employees: 82% 
    • Customers: 78% 
    • Investors: 78% 
    • Partners: 77% 
    • Board members: 77% 
  • Leadership’s Commitment: 
    • 88% of leaders would like their pay tied to human sustainability metrics. 
    • 71% believe leadership should change if they don’t advance human sustainability. 
    • Three quarters view human sustainability as an enterprise risk to be monitored at the board level. 
  • Discrepancy in Perception: 
    • 82% of executives think their company is advancing human sustainability. 
    • Only 56% of workers agree. 
    • Less than 60% of staff feel working for their company positively impacts their well-being and purpose. 
  • Employee Well-being: 
    • About one-third of workers report improvements in physical (34%), mental (32%), financial (35%), and social (31%) well-being. 
  • Importance to Workers: 
    • 72% believe increased commitment to human sustainability would improve their work experience. 
    • 71% think it would boost engagement and job satisfaction. 
    • 70% say it would enhance productivity. 
    • 70% believe it would increase their desire to stay with the company long-term. 
    • 69% say it would improve trust in leadership. 
  • Public Reporting and Commitments: 
    • 82% of executives support mandatory public reporting of human sustainability metrics. 
    • 81% admit their company isn’t doing enough in this area. 
    • 32% say they’re embarrassed to make public commitments due to trivial achievable goals. 
  • Executive Willingness: 
    • Majority of executives want their compensation tied to human sustainability metrics. 
    • 61% of the C-suite would accept a pay cut to work for a company advancing human sustainability. 

Read the full article here 

 

Cracking the Gen Z Code is easier than you think — Here’s how to navigate the Generation Gap at work 

Source: Entrepreneur
Author: Tara Joseph
IW COMPASS point: Communication

Key Takeaways 

  • Generational Diversity: Gen Z, born between 1995 and 2012, are digital natives and are now entering the workforce, requiring effective communication across generation gaps. 
  • Diverse Backgrounds: Gen Z is more diverse than previous generations, with significant growth in Hispanic, mixed-race, and LGBTQ+ populations. 
  • Pandemic Impact: Many Gen Z individuals spent crucial social development phases at home during the COVID-19 pandemic, affecting their comfort with traditional group settings. 

Tips for Enhancing Communication with Gen Z Hires 

  • Clarify Communication Methods: 
    • Clearly define preferred communication tools (e.g., SMS, WhatsApp, email). 
    • Ensure consistency in using these methods and outline expected response times. 
  • Set Clear Boundaries: 
    • Explain office hours, workplace etiquette, and acceptable remote work policies. 
    • Emphasize the importance of mental health and flexibility in work arrangements. 
  • Provide Frequent Feedback: 
    • Engage in regular, empathetic communication to build trust. 
    • Offer continuous feedback rather than relying solely on annual appraisals. 
  • Promote Diversity and Inclusivity: 
    • Organize inclusive group activities that respect cultural differences. 
    • Encourage social interactions through diverse and respectful gatherings. 
  • Implement Mentorship Programs: 
    • Facilitate one-on-one conversations between generations to foster connection. 
    • Leverage Gen Z’s digital skills while imparting experience from seasoned professionals. 

Additional Insights 

  • Communication is Key: Maintaining open and valued communication across generations is crucial for a cohesive workforce. 
  • Balance Boundaries: While open communication is important, setting clear boundaries ensures alignment with business goals. 
  • Generational Integration: Mixing generations within the workforce can lead to innovation and skill enhancement. 

Read the full article here 

 

Feeling exhausted? Here’s how to fight the weariness 

Source: The Guardian
Author: Anna Katharina Schaffner
IW COMPASS point: Wellbeing 

Key Takeaways 

  • Encourage Appreciation: Feeling valued is crucial for preventing burnout. Both giving and receiving appreciation can boost morale and reduce the chances of exhaustion. 
  • Perspective is Everything: Exhaustion is a historical and universal human experience. Understanding that concerns about exhaustion have always existed can be comforting and provide perspective. 
  • The Gospel of Work is Not Our Friend: The internalized pressure from historical work ethics can lead to burnout. It’s important to question the notion that our worth is tied to productivity. 
  • Take Up a Hobby: Hobbies provide a vital balance to work, offering joy and meaning outside of professional achievements. They help individuals become well-rounded and resilient. 
  • Manage Your Inner Critic: Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) can help manage negative self-talk by creating distance between oneself and unhelpful thoughts. 
  • Work Out Your “Life-Cost”: Assess the true cost of pursuing money, status, and achievements. Prioritize time, health, and relationships over relentless ambition. 
  • How to Say No: Align commitments with core values and practice saying no to protect energy and focus on what truly matters. 
  • Apply the 80/20 Principle: Identify the most impactful activities (the 20%) that lead to the majority of results (the 80%) to work more efficiently. 
  • Prioritize Rest: Recognize exhaustion as a signal to rest. Incorporate guilt-free breaks to restore mental and physical health. 
  • Be More Stoic: Focus on controlling reactions to external events rather than the events themselves. Use techniques like the “Circle of Control” exercise to manage stress and set realistic expectations. 

Read the full article here 

 

Supporting young cancer survivors in the workplace 

Source: Workplace Insight
Author: Barbara Wilson
IW COMPASS point: Wellbeing 

Key Takeaways 

  • Rising Cancer Rates in Young Professionals: Cancer rates in individuals under 50 have surged by 24% since 1995, presenting new challenges for HR leaders in supporting affected employees. 
  • Legislation and Stigma: Despite legal protections like the Equality Act 2010, 71% of UK workers with cancer fear disclosing their diagnosis due to stigma, and 40% use annual leave for medical appointments instead of informing their employers. 
  • Need for Open Conversations: Fear of prejudice or ignorance from colleagues and managers exacerbates the challenges faced by employees with cancer. Open dialogues about cancer in the workplace are crucial. 
  • Support for Treatable but Incurable Cancer: Individuals with treatable but incurable cancer often continue working to maintain normalcy. Understanding and support structures are essential for these employees. 
  • Employer Misconceptions: Many employers underestimate the experiences of employees with cancer, assuming they may not want to continue their career or are incapable of handling their previous responsibilities. 
  • Best Practice Approaches: 
    • Flexible Policies and Practices: Implement clear, accessible employment policies for those diagnosed with cancer, including flexible working arrangements, phased returns, and adjustments. 
    • Visible Commitment: Encourage open conversations about cancer and make organizational commitments clear, participating in initiatives like the Global Working With Cancer Pledge. 
    • Return to Work Conversations: Ensure structured dialogues between returning employees and trained professionals to address concerns and provide support. 
    • Leader and Manager Training: Train leaders and managers on supporting colleagues with cancer, including understanding symptoms like fatigue and offering one-on-one coaching. 
    • Culture of Empathy and Support: Foster a supportive culture with peer support networks, commend resilience, and encourage continued career pursuits within the organization. 
  • Importance of Workplace Support: With the increasing number of young adults diagnosed with cancer, addressing stigma and enhancing support systems in the workplace are imperative for providing a positive and stable environment for affected employees. 

Read the full article here 

 

AI automation in the workplace is about to reach a major tipping point 

Source: Fortune
Author: Jason Ma
IW COMPASS point: Employee Experience 

Key Takeaways 

  • Plans to use AI in U.S. companies are increasing significantly, according to a survey by Duke University and the Federal Reserve Banks of Richmond and Atlanta. 
  • 60% of companies plan to automate tasks in the next 12 months, similar to the 59% who did so in the prior 12 months. 
  • 54% of companies that plan to automate in the next year will use AI tools, a substantial increase from the 37% that did so in the past year. 
  • AI is being used for tasks such as paying suppliers, invoicing, procurement, financial reporting, and optimizing facilities utilization. 
  • Large companies are leading the adoption of AI, with 76% planning to use it in the next year, up from 55% in the previous year. 
  • Small companies are also adopting AI, with 44% planning to use it in the next year, up from 29% in the prior year. 
  • AI skills will become increasingly important in the workplace, emphasizing the need for employees to learn and use AI tools. 
  • AI’s impact on the labor market could be more significant over the longer term, potentially replacing a substantial number of human jobs. 
  • Reid Hoffman predicts humans will have an “agent copilot” to assist with tasks in the next three to five years, transforming jobs rather than fully replacing them. 
  • Kai-Fu Lee’s prediction from 2017, that AI would replace 50% of human jobs in a decade, is still considered accurate with the advent of generative AI. 

 Read the full article here. 


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