Employee ownership has many virtues. Its radicalism appeals to the left: it boosts workers’ wealth. Its conservatism pleases the right; workers gain a stake in capitalism’s future, which may improve their performance, and so that of the business. Not all schemes work, but studies show that on average employee-owned firms benefit from higher output per worker, a more stable workforce and higher returns on assets. The Economist
Uh-oh. Things just got real in Japan and HR is right in the middle of it. We’ve been reading about the #KuToo movement rumbling to life there. Launched by writer Yumi Ishikawa, it’s a nod to #MeToo and a play on the Japanese words kutsu, meaning “shoes,” and kutsuu, meaning “pain.” It’s a protest against the fact that, for women, wearing high heels when job hunting or at the office is basically mandatory in Japan. Protesters are calling it modern day foot binding, and say its time is up. They delivered a petition signed by thousands of people to the (male) Health and Labor Minister calling for an end to the practice. But Wednesday, he stepped right into it by arguing that it’s “necessary and appropriate” for women to wear high heels at work. We have a feeling we’re going to hear a lot more about this before it’s over. The Hindu
Interesting podcast this week on HR Happy Hour. Host Ben Eubanks interviewed HJF CHRO Michael Stambaugh about challenges he faced during his first year on the job. They talk about how to be a great HR leader (Hint: You have to be willing to go to bat for the needs of both your team and your organization.), what it’s like selecting and implementing new HR technology, and how to earn the respect and credibility to get the job done. It’s all about driving value for your business, caring for the employees, and running your team of HR pros. A lot to juggle, but hey, that’s why HR pros are rock stars, right? HR Happy Hour
Everybody is talking about gender equity in the workplace these days, but which companies are really doing right by women? Fairygodboss, a Glassdoor-like site focused on companies that are great for women, just released its 2019 Best Companies for Women rankings. To qualify, companies needed to have more than 30 reviews on the site, and they were ranked on the basis of three review questions dealing with overall job satisfaction, equal treatment at work, and whether the reviewer would recommend the company to other women. The top company? Pariveda Solutions, based in Dallas. Women love the company’s clear career trajectory, transparent pay scale, sabbaticals, mentorship programs, and its “Esprit de Femme,” founded to help women to become more successful. Fairygodboss
Ever heard of Andrew Yang? Yeah, neither had we. He’s running for president, and although his isn’t a household name yet, his platform should make HR sit up and take notice. It’s filled with business-focused policies aimed squarely at the workplace and is based in part on positioning this country for the future of work when automation takes over. He is the only candidate (so far) that is seeking to address what one supporter calls the “rapidly approaching tsunami of economic disruption” by AI. The first industry he’d look to help is trucking, which is especially at risk from the bots. Other industries that will face AI disruption: accounting, law, and medicine. He also advocates for a “Freedom Dividend,” a monthly check for $1,000 to every American citizen. That doesn’t sound too bad to us. He’s polling on par with Amy Klobuchar and Kirsten Gillibrand, and has qualified for the summer Democratic debates, so we’ll be hearing his ideas about the workplace more and more. Inc.