Most Important Developments for 9/4

More than 50 Black former McDonald’s franchisees have filed suit in federal court against the fast-food giant, alleging they were racially discriminated against and denied the same opportunities as white franchisees. Because of their race, the plaintiffs allege, Black franchisees were given locations with higher security costs, excluded from purchasing stores on the open market, given misleading financial data, denied financial support given to white franchisees, and, eventually, given bad reviews as part of a “scheme” to force them out of the McDonald’s system. Under what the suit describes as a two-tiered system of Black and White franchisees, McDonald’s profited from Black business operators and a Black consumer base, but eventually Black franchisees failed because they had been sent on “financial suicide missions.” “These allegations fly in the face of everything we stand for as an organization and as a partner to communities and small business owners around the world,” McDonald’s said in a statement to USA TODAY. USA Today

0904 Blog OT1

As businesses and employees resume operations, how do we collectively brave a changing work environment? The surest and fastest way to return to productive, high-performance work is through storytelling and story-listening designed to activate post-traumatic growth. While many people are aware of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), fewer are familiar with Post-Traumatic Growth (PTG). PTG has been defined as “the transformative positive change that can occur as a result of a struggle with great adversity.” PTG is not the opposite of PTSD; it’s the experience of growth that follows from struggle in the aftermath of trauma. Examples of post-traumatic growth at work would include losing a job or missing out on a promotion, but then pursuing a new role that better aligns with one’s strengths and work objectives. To collectively move forward from the pervasive sense of anxiety, uncertainty, and anguish caused by the pandemic, distress must be explicitly acknowledged. Disrupted workers can use a storytelling exercise to restore well-being and reassert the sense of purpose as they continue work in a transforming world. HBR

0904 Blog OT2

The Alphabet company has proposed a new tech campus in its historic home city of Mountain View, with plans to remodel 40 acres into a mixed-use center that includes housing, retail, and community gathering spaces in a town-like tech campus, the company said Tuesday. The Middlefield Park Master Plan envisions a campus that includes up to 1.33 million square feet of office space, 30,000 square feet of retail-type use, up to 1,850 housing units, and 20,000 square feet of civic and event space, as well as 12 acres of open space. The city of Mountain View also requires developers to include residential space with a large-scale commercial building, and the Middlefield Park plans show up to six residential buildings containing between 1,675 and 1,850 new homes. The company’s project aims to dedicate 20% of its residential space to affordable housing units. While Google will retain ownership of most of the campus, most open spaces will be accessible to the public. It will include multiple parks, a recreation center that could be used for a soccer field, and an aquatic center. CNBC

0904 Blog OT3

Recently, I received a call from a Fortune 250 CEO who said, “Johnny, I’m tired, and I’m frustrated. We have spent more money, I’ve spent more of my own time, and we’ve worked on this diversity issue for longer than just about any other program we have, but we’re just not making any progress. What am I doing wrong?” Like those of so many other well-intentioned leaders, this CEO’s efforts to increase diversity ultimately failed to move the needle on the company’s ability to recruit and retain diverse employees. He is hardly the only CEO who has come to me with that problem. From our work here at the SHRM — the Society for Human Resource Management — and my own experience, I advise CEOs that, if their D&I investments aren’t getting a return, it’s typically due to one of these three errors: You’ve picked the wrong person. You underinvested resources. It’s not a “cultural truth” in your organization. Chief Executive Magazine

0904 Blog OT4

Although the CARES Act was well-intended, it created a boomerang effect. Many organizations couldn’t find qualified candidates. Some had to raise their hourly rates. Others were handing out signing and retention bonuses. If the legislation is extended at a similar pay rate, employers may continue to struggle with recruiting and retention, trying everything they can to hire quality candidates without busting their budget. “When we started calling employees back to work, they felt they were being punished,” says Lisa Letarte, vice president of HR and chief compliance officer at IMA. “When this [$600] was being paid, we couldn’t hire anybody. We were also getting only 10% of our normal volume of resumes and did not fill one position.” After the CARES Act expired in July, Letarte noticed an uptick in applications — from less qualified candidates — to roughly half of its normal volume. So, HR doubled its number of recruiters in early August and introduced signing bonuses for workers who stay for at least 90 days and retention bonuses payable at the end of September. Meanwhile, more than 30 states have applied for federal jobless benefits that pay an extra $300 a week to unemployed workers. “This additional $300 is going to put us pretty close to where we were when employees received $600,” Letarte says. “We’re going to have the same issues if this goes into effect for as long as it stays in effect.” HR Executive

0904 Blog OT5

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