CAHRS Top 10 February 2021


1. CAHRS: Future of Remote Work in the Time of COVID-19 White Paper
Summary: Over the course of the fall semester, CAHRS RAs interviewed 18 partner companies surrounding COVID-19’s impact on remote/hybrid work. The extended period of remote work during the pandemic has allowed organizations to learn the benefits and challenges of remote work and envision what remote work or hybrid work may look like in the long-term after the pandemic ends. This paper examines what remote work looked like before and during, and how it might look after the pandemic.

2. The New Yorker: Has the Pandemic Transformed the Office Forever?
Summary: From closed doors and cubicles to open plan layouts to video conferencing, the evolution of the traditional office could not be more apparent than it is today. The pandemic has presented companies with an unprecedented opportunity to rethink the fundamentals of the physical workplace. The author explores some of the major challenges and opportunities that exist as employees return to work and business leaders shape offices of the future.

3. CAHRS: Promoting Mental Health and Well-Being at Work - The Role of the Manager White Paper
Summary: During the fall semester, CAHRS RAs interviewed 22 member firms to identify the best mental health programs and initiatives that companies have in place. In addition, we wanted to learn more about the role that organizations envision managers and front-line leaders playing in these efforts. Both conventional wisdom and scientific research suggest that managers play a key role in the employee experience, but how they can do so in the domain of well-being has yet to be established.

Are you more of a visual person? Take a look (or have a listen) to the Promoting Mental Health and Well-Being at Work: The Role of the Manager CAHRScast.

4. The Wall Street Journal: U.S. Companies Revamp Bonus Plans as Pandemic Upends Forecasts
Summary: The coronavirus pandemic has had disparate impacts on companies’ bottom line, causing compensation committees to reevaluate executive salaries and bonus plans. Rewards for senior managers were on the rise in most years prior to the pandemic. However, as companies develop new bonus formulas or set new targets in their next fiscal year, it will be up to HR, finance chiefs, and board members to consider the reputational risk of poor pay decisions.

5. Fast Company: How Algorithm-based Hiring Tools Can Increase Disability Discrimination
Summary: The lasting acceptance of remote work presents the promising opportunity for greater employment of people with disabilities. However, as more employers adopt algorithm-based hiring tools such as resume screenings and aptitude tests for remote candidates, a recent Center for Democracy and Technology Report found that reliance on these tools could exacerbate existing inequities and discriminatory practices. While federal guidance and compliance will be crucial, employers have the responsibility to identify and combat pitfalls in algorithm-based hiring as recruitment and onboarding remains virtual.

6. HR Dive: 5 Questions to Ask Before Adopting a Coronavirus Vaccine Policy
Summary: Heading into 2021, the EEOC offered guidance on employers’ ability to mandate COVID-19 vaccinations among employees. Labor and employment law experts discuss the top 5 considerations HR leaders should make before adopting a vaccine policy, including (1) employee groups that ought to be exempt from the mandate, (2) the stage of the vaccine rollout at the state and federal level, (3) incentives or PTO that should be awarded to employees to receive a vaccine, (4) consequences if employees refuse to get vaccinated, and (5) how to prepare if the vaccine becomes more widely available.

7. Forbes: Remote Work Might Force Us To Be Better Cross-Cultural Managers
Summary: One of the unexpected challenges that businesses were forced to face in 2020 was their approach to remote work. In many cases, companies pivoted to virtual workspaces where possible. A potential surprise benefit from this shift to remote work may be that it makes managers more proficient at dealing with cross-cultural and international teams. With an increase in globalization and multinational workplaces, it's more important than ever that leaders have the skills needed to manage cross-cultural dynamics.

For a more in-depth look at the importance of workplace culture, take a look at Culture as the Lynchpin for Business Success which features HP, Inc. CHRO and CAHRS Advisory Board member Tracy Keogh as she reflects on the importance of culture in these times. 

8. HR Review: What are the Key Work Decisions HR Leaders Must Make This Year?
Summary: The year 2020 required HR to face challenges it had never before seen. Almost overnight, the working world changed like never before and 2021 is set to be just as transformative. Going forward, HR leaders will need to be aware of the key decisions and obstacles that they will need to address such as revising workforce strategies and embracing emerging HR technologies. Using research from Gartner, five key work decisions that will be important in 2021 are discussed in this article.

9. MIT Sloan Management Review: Leading With Decision-Driven Data Analytics
Summary: If you were to ask any major CEO about good management practices today, data-driven decision-making would invariably come up. Companies have more data than ever, but many executives say their data analytics initiatives do not provide actionable insights and produce disappointing results overall. Data analysts often fail to produce insights for making effective business decisions, but that’s not their fault. Leaders need to make sure that data analytics is decision-driven.

10. People Management UK:  Why You Should Celebrate Black History Month at Work – and How to Get It Right
Summary: As Black History Month starts in the USA, it's not only important for businesses to acknowledge and celebrate, but it's important that they do it the right way. Marking this event will continue the dialogue around race and identity and help address societal educational imbalances. Every company will approach this month differently, but there are some suggestions for what to do and what to avoid.

Want more CAHRS content on this topic? CAHRS diversity and inclusion specialist talks with ILR Dean Alex Colvin in this podcast on making workplaces more diverse.