Most Important Developments for 8/20

The MID, 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, Mark Zuckerberg unveiled his virtual reality solution to better WFH collaboration, re-onboarding became a thing, Deloitte CEO Dan Helfrich talked transformation with Slate, Johnny Taylor encouraged you to hire ex-cons to combat the Great Resignation, and one company paid $1k to each employee who got the vax.

You’re working from home. Your colleagues are too. Facebook wants to bring you together — sort of — with virtual reality. The company is launching “Horizon Workrooms,” a VR app aimed at reinventing virtual office spaces. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg demonstrated the product Thursday in an exclusive interview with “CBS This Morning” co-host Gayle King. Both Zuckerberg and King wore headsets for what Zuckerberg said was his first interview in VR. With “Horizon Workrooms,” you can enter and experience a virtual reality office as personally designed avatars. In the workroom, you can see your computer screen and keyboard, interact with your co-workers, brainstorm, and give presentations. Workers can design their avatar’s looks and use hand gestures, which will appear in the virtual room. Facebook began testing the idea before the COVID-19 pandemic, Zuckerberg said, and uses the product internally. Yahoo! News

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The number of people switching jobs has skyrocketed to historical highs in what experts are calling “The Great Resignation.” At the same time, teams are starting to transition to hybrid work. These upheavals mean that even long-time employees — who have spent years building their reputations within an organization — may now feel they’re starting from scratch. That has enormous implications for performance, innovation, and well-being. Great onboarding helps individuals regain their confidence and cuts down the time it takes for them to get up and running. But new hires aren’t the only people who could benefit from this type of structured support. Right now, everyone at your company needs some form of onboarding. If you’re a leader, you can’t sit back and hope your employees will successfully navigate so much turbulence. Hope is a terrible strategy. Instead, take advantage of the fact that August tends to be a slower month at work and prepare managers now for team-wide onboarding in the fall. HBR

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If you haven’t checked out Slate’s podcast, Let’s Workflow It, you may want to give a listen. It explores the ideas, technologies, and people driving transformation to discover why workflows have become foundational to every organization. Join hosts Alan Marks, Chief Marketing and Communications Officer at ServiceNow, and Kathryn Minshew, CEO and Founder of The Muse, for conversations with innovators who are revolutionizing how we approach and experience work. Episode 4 features Dan Helfrich, CEO of Deloitte Consulting, who talks about reinventing the consulting industry by bringing together a diverse set of problem solvers. Dan envisions an exciting future where agile, inclusive work environments empower individuals to challenge the status quo. He’s a big believer that the tone from the top can promote change from the bottom, unlocking value company wide. Let’s Workflow It: Slate podcast

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Faced with record job openings, employers are increasingly turning to under-tapped labor pools. The arrival of spring and summer 2021 brought not only a return to semi-normalcy but also a huge number of job openings, which reached a record high of 9.3 million at the end of April. That included 1.5 million open jobs in the leisure and hospitality sector and 965,000 open retail jobs. Nearly 700,000 people are released from prison each year, according to Johnny C. Taylor, Jr., president and CEO of SHRM. Giving them a chance at employment provides employers with a vast talent pool and helps organizations achieve more diversity because a disproportionate number of incarcerated Americans are people of color, says Taylor. HR Executive

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In mid-July, David Bronner of Dr. Bronner’s soaps looked at the vaccination rate among his workers. It had reached 60% — not bad, Bronner says, but not high enough given the rapid spread of the delta variant. Bronner is CEO of Dr. Bronner’s, the natural soap company known for its counterculture roots and the ramblings covering its labels in tiny print. He was reluctant to impose a vaccine mandate on his 300 employees. Instead, he came up with an incentive he believes is too good to turn down: a $1,000 bonus for getting vaccinated. As hopeful as he is, Bronner knows there may still be a few holdouts. He can rattle off the names of a few people he thinks won’t ever get vaccinated. Still, his goal is to get to 100%, and with the $1,000 bonuses going out next month, he thinks he has just as good a chance as anyone of getting there. NPR

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