Most Important Developments for 12/17

The M.I.D., as we call it, is curated by our editorial team from more than 50 news sources. Like a lot of good ideas, this started as something I wanted for myself. If I can’t read everything, I at least want to stay abreast of the most important developments.

This week in HR, Josh Bersin declared everything is about to change (again?), Deloitte predicts retention will be Job 1 in 2022, nobody’s getting fired (whew), a ransomware attack on Kronos is affecting HR and employees’ paychecks, and the top 10 biz books of 2021 include 4 about HR.

Well, it’s time to talk about predictions for 2022, and the number one theme is change. And in a sense, everything is about to change. On the downside, we’ve lived through disruptions to our political system, threats to our sense of inclusion and belonging, a growing problem of homelessness, and a sense that income inequality may be worse than ever (three billionaires flew into space for fun this year). On the positive side, we’re seeing an increase in the standard of living as flexible work and new employment models go mainstream, and wages are definitely rising. Companies are discovering that paying people more does not reduce profits. Even penny-pinching companies like are raising wages. What’s going to happen in 2022? Let me mention four big trends. First, It’s clear to me that we’re going to be in a very tight labor market. Second, we are about to witness the unleashing of the most incredible technology I’ve ever seen. The third big change is a new conversation about culture. The fourth thing that I want to highlight is the changed role of HR. The role of HR has been elevated. Nobody’s having any problems with a seat at the table. Josh Bersin

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The coming year will bring a new focus on employee experience, technologies that add to that experience, and the need to tear down the silos that contain disparate systems and their valuable yet underused data, predicts John Brownridge, digital workplace leader at Deloitte Consulting. Further, organizations’ reliance on Zoom, MS Teams, and other video meeting platforms will have to ramp up to enhance collaboration. All of those issues feed into job retention — job No. 1 for HR leaders and the C-suite in the coming year. In fact, CEOs rank it as the leading external issue they expect to influence or disrupt their business strategy within the next year, according to the recent Fortune/Deloitte CEO Survey. Along with addressing employees’ physical, emotional, and financial wellness to improve retention, HR leaders must work at “helping people feel connected to the organization so that they work well with the people within the organization,” says Brownridge. HR Executive

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If you have a job today, chances have never been better that you can keep it as long as you want. There’s been a lot of attention to the “Great Resignation,” the record number of people quitting their jobs amid the pandemic’s upheavals. More than four million workers quit their jobs every month from July through October, according to the latest available data from the U.S. Labor Department. The number of employees voluntarily walking out the door has never topped that mark before. But what isn’t getting as much attention is the other end of that spectrum: firings and layoffs have essentially ground to a halt. “Employers are hanging onto workers for dear life,” said Julia Pollack, chief economist for Ziprecruiter. CNN

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A ransomware attack on one of the largest human resources companies may impact how many employees get paid and track their paid time off. Human resources management company Ultimate Kronos Group said it suffered a ransomware attack that may keep its systems offline for weeks. Companies that rely on the software are working to find backup plans to ensure their employees are paid — including issuing paper checks, some for the first time in years. Kronos is used widely around the country by businesses and governments to track employees’ hours and to issue pay. Its many customers include municipal governments, university systems, and large corporations. According to a spokesperson for UKG, the ransomware has only affected customers that used a particular product called the Kronos Private Cloud. “We took immediate action to investigate and mitigate the issue, have alerted our affected customers and informed the authorities, and are working with leading cybersecurity experts. We recognize the seriousness of the issue and have mobilized all available resources to support our customers and are working diligently to restore the affected services,” the spokesperson said in a statement to NPR. NPR News

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Each year I share a list of my top books. I read — or at least browse through — one or two books each week. The ones that get my attention end up going with me on my next business trip. I love to read on airplanes. This year I received more than 100 books. If you know what I do for a living, it shouldn’t surprise you that most of the books I read are on customer service or customer experience. Many have said that customer service and CX are the new marketing, so I also enjoy reading a good marketing book, especially when the focus is on people. And then there are books about creating the right culture. In short, the most successful businesses have the best culture that impacts both employees and customers. This year there were so many good books to consider. I could have created a list of 25 or 50 books. But with that said, here are my top picks for 2021. Forbes

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