Welcome to our roundup of July HR news that captured our attention! We hope you find these stories as interesting as we do!
HR News Roundup: The Pandemic’s Effect on Women in the Workplace; Creating a High-Fairness Work Environment Improves Retention and Performance & More
Stories that caught our eye in July include an HR Executive look at how the pandemic impacted women in the workforce, and a Talent Management article that shares research showing that 86 percent of employees cite lack of effective collaboration and communication as the main cause of workplace failures. A Harvard Business Review article shared research that most employees don’t feel like their work environment is fair and outlines how that impacts employee performance and retention. We wrap up with an article from the Washington Post about how worker shortages have made teen hiring a necessity and have contributed to businesses being more willing to create flexible schedules to accommodate teen activities.
How to create a workplace that works for women
The impact of the pandemic has inequitably impacted women and their progress and participation in the workforce. Research shared during ADP’s recent Women@Work event examined gains made by men and women in the labor market since the pandemic began and found some stark differences. During the pandemic, more than 10.6 million women lost their jobs or left the labor force, compared to 9 million men—and a full recovery has proven elusive. Before the pandemic, women made up 46% of the workforce but took 53% of the job losses due to COVID. As of March 2022, while men have recouped all their job losses, women have lost ground. The labor force participation rate for women is still about a percentage point lower than it was before the pandemic. This might seem small, but it translates to thousands of jobs. However, it presents a critical opportunity to understand the trends behind women’s participation in the workforce to help foster a full and inclusive recovery. Increasing female participation in the workforce isn’t just a “nice thing to do.” It’s crucial to economic recovery. To bring more women back, HR leaders and management must consider how they can address the needs of women at work, as well as the needs of their families and communities.
Read the HR Executive article here.
Developing and sustaining a ‘culture of conversation’
Conversations are the connective tissue of human relationships and developing a healthy organization requires an intentional focus on the quality of workplace conversations or a “culture of conversation.” At the enterprise level, it is a broad approach to internal communication and decision-making that relies on transparency, thoughtful consideration of diverse perspectives and the democratic sharing of ideas across the organization. At the one-on-one level, it is an approach to work that seeks to understand a colleague’s values, preferences, triggers, and character traits, not just their function or utility. This may sound basic, but many organizations continue to miss the mark: 86 percent of employees cite lack of effective collaboration and communication as the main cause of workplace failures. Furthermore, at large companies with more than 100 thousand employees, the cost of ineffective communication is an average loss of $62.4 million annually. Instead of addressing the underlying issue, many organizations continue to focus in vain on surface-level concerns such as email clients or tech platforms while allowing the real problem, which is cultural, to fester.
Learn more in Talent Management here.
How Fair Is Your Workplace?
Under pressure from activist investors, the public, and their employees, many companies are expanding their commitments to corporate social responsibility with an emphasis on equity and justice for disadvantaged communities. Nearly nine in 10 Fortune 100 companies list equity as one of their corporate values, according to our analysis of value statements of Fortune 100 companies. Mentions of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) on S&P 500 earnings calls have increased 658% just since 2018. In the last two years, questions of fairness have expanded beyond DEI. For example, is it fair to pay employees who work remotely from a lower cost-of-living location the same as employees who work from a higher cost-of-living location? Is it fair to mandate vaccines for employees? The reality is that most employees don’t feel like their work environment is fair. Of the 3,500 employees we surveyed worldwide in 2021, only 18% indicated they work in a high-fairness environment. These results can have significant implications for employers — perception of a fairer employee experience improves employee performance by up to 26% and employee retention by up to 27%.
Read the Harvard Business Review article to discover the four elements that distinguish a high-fairness work environment from a low-fairness one.
Human Capital Management
How Gen Z teens accidentally blew up the myth of the lazy millennial
When we look at the teen employment rate, two trends stand out: The millennial collapse. And the Gen Z rebound. When the first millennials turned 16 in 1997, teen employment was above 43 percent. When the last of their generation hit 16 in 2014, it had plunged to around 26 percent. But as the first “Zoomers” entered the workforce, the employment rate suddenly began to climb again. It now stands around 33 percent and is seeing its first sustained growth in decades. Worker shortages have contributed to businesses being more willing to accommodate the hassles inherent to hiring modern teens, who spend nine months of the year juggling school, sports and outside activities. But teen hiring has become a necessity, so many businesses have embraced flexibility and created schedules that accommodate teen activities. They hire a mix of young folks involved in different sports and clubs who don’t all need to be off at the same time. Other businesses told a similar story. Around the time Zoomers started returning to the workforce, the competition for workers heated up, and folks who mastered teen hiring had a significant advantage.
Find out more here.