Workforce news roundup

Inside a startup bootcamp that’s addressing Silicon Valley’s diversity divide (FastCompany): We’ve talked before about the tech industry’s diversity problem—but there’s a new organization called the Startup Institute that is making introducing minorities to Silicon Valley a top priority.

Trying to solve the great wage slowdown (The New York Times): Last week a group of economists and policy experts published a new report on wage stagnation in the US and outlined some potential solutions to the problem.

More than a third of American workers don’t get sick leave, and they’re making the rest of us ill (Washington Post): Four in ten private-sector workers do not have access to any paid sick leave—which means many may come into the office for financial reasons even when they are under the weather.

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Workforce 2020 news roundup

Our Workforce 2020 surveys show that companies are not offering the benefits that are most important to employees—particularly compensation and other financial incentives, which are ranked highest among employees across the globe. Management may argue that companies cannot afford to pay more, but in at least some cases there is evidence that higher pay brings substantial benefits to employers as well as workers.

Why The Container Store Pays Its Retail Employees $50,000 A Year (Business Insider): The Container Store pays its employees nearly twice the national average. CEO Kip Tindell says that, for just two times the cost, he ends up with employees who are three times as productive.

Meanwhile, as executives focus on retaining top talent, companies offering unique benefits are grabbing headlines. And while these incentives may be good for employees, there’s usually something in it for the company, too.

Freezing Eggs as Part of Employee Benefits: Some Women See Darker Message (The New York Times): Some tech companies are now paying for female employees to freeze their eggs—and while some consider this a huge step forward for women struggling to balance childcare with career-building, others think the companies are avoiding putting policies in place for paid family leave, child care, and flexible work.

A Benefits Balancing Act (CFO): A recent study from CFO Research found that three-quarters of finance executives say it is important for companies to offer the right mix of benefits, and many are expanding the range of voluntary benefits they offer. Executive are hoping that more attention to offering the benefits that matter most to employees will help in long-term retention.

2020 Workforce news roundup

One in Three U.S. Workers Is a Freelancer (Wall Street Journal): A new report from the Freelancers Union and Elance-oDesk reports that 34% of US workers qualify as freelancers. Our own 2020 Workforce survey shows that well over three-quarters of executives are increasingly using non-payroll workers, including freelancers. The labor market is changing significantly in the US and across the globe.

Apple supplier based in China accused of labour violations by US watchdogs (South China Morning Post): After scrutiny for past labor violations, Apple is again under fire for a recent report published by China Labor Watch and Green America claiming an electronics firm that supplies parts to Apple has employees—including some as young as 16—working 100 hours of overtime a month.

What employers really want? Workers they don’t have to train. (Washington Post): In this blog on executive expectations, Peter Cappelli argues that the problem with finding skilled labor is not a skills gap—it’s that employers’ expectations “have grown increasingly out of step with reality.”

How People Feel About Their Employer-Sponsored Health Plans (The New York Times): When the Urban Institute’s Health Reform Monitoring survey asked people how they feel about their company’s health plans, they found that, while a majority of respondents are satisfied with the range of services they can get on their plan, fewer are satisfied with premiums, deductibles, and protection.

2020 Workforce news roundup

The Shifting American Workforce: Growing Legions of Freelancers and Independent Contractors (Inquisitr): Dependence on non-payroll workers is growing quickly. Though labor statistics can’t tell us exactly how many freelancers are in the workforce, we’ll need to have a better sense of these figures soon—especially as increasing reliance on these workers changes HR strategy.

Women should ‘man up’ for male-dominated fields (Economic Times): According to researchers from Michigan State University, women who described themselves with masculine traits in an experiment were more likely to be considered fit for a job than those who used traditionally feminine descriptors.

New graduates still prefer to work for state-owned firms (South China Morning Post): An annual survey of about 48,000 people conducted by ChinaHR.com shows substantial changes from last year’s results. Among them? This year, many more say they would rather start their own business than be employed by someone else, and salary expectations are rising. Despite changes, new graduates are still quite likely to say state-owned firms are their first choices for employment.

2020 Workforce news roundup

Working Anything but 9 to 5 (The New York Times): For hourly employees, the uncertainty of the next week’s schedule can create chaos at home—especially for those with families.

7 Ways to Become Your Boss’ Dream Employee (Time): A relationship with a manager can be the key to success at work—and cultivating a good one starts with working to make your boss successful.

5 Simple Office Policies That Make Danish Workers Way More Happy Than Americans (FastCompany): Danish employees may be more likely to be satisfied and engaged with their jobs because of better working hours, more autonomy, and constant training, among other factors.

Would You Hire Your Hacker? (Wired): After a college student hacked into a popular messaging app, the co-founder of the company hired him on a freelance basis, recognizing that a good hacker has security expertise. Companies should consider creative hiring methods like this one—but be wary of potential consequences.

2020 Workforce news roundup

Debunking the myth that jerk bosses get results (FastCompany): Bosses like Steve Jobs and Gordon Ramsey earned notoriety for their harsh treatment of employees—and plaudits for getting results. This article argues that such leaders are successful in spite of, not because of, their attitudes.

The skills leaders need at every level (Harvard Business Review): When HBR asked 332,860 bosses, peers, and subordinates what skills are most important to a leader’s success, the top qualities were very consistent, suggesting that the core competencies required of leaders do not change as they move up the corporate ladder. Developing those traits throughout your career, and always preparing for the skills you’ll need at the next level, may be a key to success.

Employees using social media before making any career move (The Economic Times): A new Kelly Services report says that employees are increasingly using social media to learn specifics about companies, including workplace conditions and reputation, before putting in applications.

Millennials at Work: Young and Callow, Like Their Parents (The New York Times): Many think that Millennials are unprepared, lazy, and difficult to manage—but that doesn’t make them any different from the generations that preceded them.

2020 Workforce news roundup

Congress and Biden Aim For Job Training That Actually Leads To Jobs (NPR): In an effort to streamline the US’s job training programs, Congress recently passed the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, which aims to improve the national workforce development system.

$240,000 Isn’t Enough?! Why Liberal Arts Majors Are Paying Extra to Learn Job Skills (Time): Some students at liberal arts colleges don’t feel they’re getting the job training they need at school and are taking supplemental training courses to make up for it.

The Hidden Downsides to Salary Transparency (Fast Company): According to Tim Low, vice president of PayScale, companies should be upfront about the methodology and technology used to determine employee compensation—but there can be drawbacks to total salary transparency.