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CAHRS Top 10 January 2021

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Summary: The pandemic has elevated and transformed the role of HR in organizations. HRBP’s especially have found themselves navigating new challenges. In this virtual working group, HRBP’s from CAHRS partner companies discussed how remote work has changed their roles, leadership behaviors, and required capabilities. Some key call-outs include: an increased focus on compassion and mental health, using frequent informal conversations and pulse surveys to prioritize the employee voice, and building DE&I initiatives.

Hey CAHRS Folks: We've restructured the Working Groups for the beginning of 2021 to help continue the conversations in four separate sessions. For more in-person sharing on this subject, consider signing up for one or more of the Rethinking the HR Operating Model Working Group Series.

2. Fast Company: How Microaggressions Look Different When We’re Working Remotely
Summary: Microaggressions play a big role in making diverse employees feel unwelcome at work. Although employees are less likely to gather in a physical workplace these days, new forms of microaggressions, such as shaming coworkers whose children interrupt virtual meetings, can still abound in remote work settings. This article reminds us to be mindful that microaggressions, like other aspects of corporate culture, can also adapt to virtual work environments, and presents strategies to combat them when they occur.

CAHRS Members Only: Here's another opportunity to engage with other HR executives over a series of newly structured working groups. If you're interested in D&I, be sure to check out the Diversity, Equity & Inclusion four-part series to share best practices and learnings with other HR executives over the course of the meetings. 

3. CAHRS: Disruption and its Implications for Talent Strategy
Summary: COVID-19 reshaped talent management strategies for many companies this past year, particularly in talent acquisition and development. Talent acquisition experienced some benefits: virtual recruitment reduced on campus recruitment costs, layoff prevention bolstered internal mobility models, and limited opportunities for external hires put a greater focus on diverse and inclusive candidate pools and interview panels. However, challenges and questions remain around the efficacy of virtual onboarding and the long-term effect of virtual recruitment on talent pool quality. Talent management similarly experienced some benefits as wide scale training focused on both technological and interpersonal skills needed for virtual teams were implemented. However, skill prioritization remains a challenge as employee populations are disparately impacted by the pandemic. As companies look ahead, this working group explored internal and external factors that will likely impact their decisions to offer a hybrid mix of both in-person and virtual opportunities in the future.

4. The Economist: How the Pandemic Is Forcing Managers to Work Harder
Summary: Three new reports attempt to make sense of the pandemic’s lasting effects on the future of work. One change that may be here to stay is telecommuting: it is popular with most workers, boosts productivity, and offers flexibility. It also has benefits for employers: they can save on office space and utilize freelancers more readily. A more complex change may be the challenges facing managers. Effective communication skills and concern for well-being have emerged as key competencies, yet they may be all the more difficult to develop in a remote environment.

For a deeper dive on this topic, take a look the A Crisis is a Terrible Thing to Waste - Opportunities for HR During and After COVID-19 Fall Partner meeting recording.

5. Bloomberg Businessweek: The Work-from-Home Boom is Here to Stay - Get Ready for Pay Cuts
Summary: The exodus from densely populated, coastal cities to second cities has the potential to become a permanent transition. Employees have, at least for the time being, decided they are comfortable with the trade-off between location and salary. This is fantastic news for corporate balance sheets and has the opportunity to remake the labor market and reshape the American landscape. Nick Bloom, a Stanford economist, who studies work-from-home trends predicts there will be a reverse of the urban boom.

6. MIT Sloan Management Review: Virtual Collaboration Won’t Be the Death of Creativity
Summary: Many have bemoaned the loss of creativity that may come from remote work. But this belief reflects a poor understanding of what actually drives creativity. Research suggests that creativity thrives under constraints, that it is a function of mindset, and that individuals are more creative than groups—all of which are factors conducive to remote work. This article lays out practical steps that organizations can follow to boost creativity, whether they are done virtually or in-person.

7. McKinsey & Co: Mental Health in the Workplace - The Coming Revolution
Summary: A new report makes the case for a paradigm shift in the way that employers treat mental health. A survey of over 1,000 companies found that 90% believe that the pandemic has affected the productivity of their workforce. Yet many are ill-equipped to promote mental health among their employees in a meaningful way. By implementing a mix of strategies, such as holding leaders accountable for mental health, offering services in different mediums, and measuring progress, organizations can begin to make a difference where it matters most.

For a deeper dive on this topic, take a look at the CAHRS Benchmarking Research : Lessons From the Pandemic CAHRScast.

8. Human Resource Executive: Employers can Legally Require COVID Vaccines, but Will They?
Summary: Recent guidance from the Employment Opportunity Commission allows employers to mandate that employees get vaccinated as a condition of coming back to the office. Certain exceptions can be made for employees with religious objections or disabilities, but in those cases employers must offer reasonable accommodations such as working remotely. A recent survey from the Employee Benefit Research Institute and independent research firm Greenwald research found that approximately 25% of employees will not get the vaccine. Employers would be wise to get a pulse of employee sentiments towards receiving the vaccine, but the question remains even though they are able to require that employee get vaccinated- should they? 

CAHRS Peeps: Here's another of our new four-part Working Group series to register for - don't miss the Post-Pandemic Work and Workplace Virtual Working Group Series.

9. Deloitte: 2021 Global Human Capital Trends
Summary: This past year has been centered around staying afloat against the host of challenges the pandemic has brought. As companies shift to the new year, they will refocus on thriving as an organization through a new approach that attacks every obstacle by considering the human implication first. The pivot from surviving to thriving will require corporations to not only allocate resources to what is necessary to succeed today, but also envision new realities that position them to dominate tomorrow.

CAHRS Members: Be sure to sign up for the upcoming CAHRScast on What Issues are top of mind for HR Leaders Heading into 2021? on January, 29th.

10. Forbes: The Time Bias That is Forcing Women out of the Workforce
Summary: Since the onset of the crisis in February, 1.2 million parents have left the workforce- the vast majority being women. It is no secret that the responsibility of caregiving still falls on the shoulders of most working mothers, but the bias that is not addressed is time. For example, mothers see a 5-10% pay cut for each child they have, while fathers get a 6% pay bump per child. This is valuing one gender’s time more than another, however, the most egregious abuse of time occurred at the home.