Most Important Developments for 12/4

We talk a lot about diversity and inclusion in these pages, on our website, and on our conference stage — and I wanted to see how well our story assignments reflected that focus. The results were surprising, disappointing, and, frankly, embarrassing: Of the nearly 400 byline-attributable stories that we ran in the print magazine in 2020, 61% were written by men and 39% by women. In the case of longer feature assignments, we were even more unbalanced — assigning 63% to male writers and just 37% to women. A mere 13% of our stories were assigned to people of color. Diversity ought to be reflected in the people we cover and quote. But in my own magazine stories this year, my record was even worse: Fewer than one-third (32%) of the people I cited or mentioned were women, and a shockingly small number were nonwhite. It’s all too easy to preach about the importance of diversity, but as this accounting shows, it’s almost effortless to do nothing about it. Fortune

1204 Blog OT1

New podcast from HBR: Race at Work. Hosted by Porter Braswell, CEO of Jopwell, the show explores how race affects careers and lives. In candid conversations, senior leaders from business and government and occasionally other fields trace their personal journeys with race, equity, and inclusion — including what they got right AND wrong. In this episode, Braswell speaks with Donna Johnson, who pioneered the role of Chief Diversity Officer at Mastercard. She shares her unique perspective and experience on how to make long-term change to company culture. HBR IdeaCast

1204 Blog OT2

To reward employees who have dealt with a year of severe business and personal challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic, more companies are giving holiday bonuses to their employees this year, new survey data shows. This year, just over 33 percent of companies reported they would offer a year-end bonus to all employees, as either cash or a gift certificate, up from 30 percent that did so last year, an October survey of 189 U.S. companies found. Amazon is among the companies that have significantly stepped up their bonus programs this year, noting that its warehouse staff was on the job during the pandemic and busier than ever as online purchases replaced in-store shopping. SHRM

1204 Blog OT3

The four-day week is starting to move from fantasy to the mainstream: Unilever, the massive corporation that owns brands such as Dove and Ben and Jerry’s, is now testing a shorter workweek with employees in New Zealand, who will be paid for five days while working four. Microsoft ran a similar pilot in Japan in 2019, giving employees Fridays off, and saw productivity grow by 40% despite the fact that workers spent less time in the office. Now, the Spanish government is considering a proposal that would incentivize companies across the country to shorten working hours without a cut in pay. Fast Company

1204 Blog OT4

Is your HR function agile? That question may be harder to answer than you think. When many people think of an agile HR function, they may be thinking of a department that is more flexible, fast-moving, and innovative. But that way of operating this critical function may also come off as less strategic, directed, and compliant. The reality is that while many organizations have taken half steps toward being more agile, a vast majority of HR leaders don’t have a strategy or defined outcomes to apply agility in their operations. Let’s start by defining what exactly agile HR truly is. Reworked

1204 Blog OT5

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