Most Important Developments In HR This Year

As 2020 approaches, we at GetFive are looking back at the year that was, through the lens of HR. We put together a list of our most popular Most Important Developments in HR posts — which we love bringing to you each week — giving you a snapshot of what we were talking about around the water cooler this year.

Events of 2019 Shook Companies To Their Core – HR Was Right In The Middle

And quite the year it has been. We don’t think we’ve ever seen a more earth-shaking year for HR than 2019 — and yes, that includes the year that a newfangled thing called “online learning” changed the face of training forever. But that just affected HR and the employees who got to learn at their desks instead of in a classroom. The events of 2019 shook companies to their core, and HR was right in the middle of it. Of course, we’re talking about Time’s Up and #MeToo.

It started with a trickle in 2018 when a few Hollywood celebrities got fed up with Harvey Weinstein, and it grew into a tsunami that engulfed other entertainment giants like Bill Cosby, Les Moonves and Matt Lauer. It moved on to the corporate world, toppling CEOs and taking aim at the “boy’s club” culture in industries like finance and tech.

To borrow a line from the movie “Network,” in 2019, women got mad as hell about being harassed in the workplace and wouldn’t take it anymore. The first line of defense for many was their own HR departments, and woe be the HR director who failed to act on harassment claims. Turns out the U.S. government doesn’t much like that. The EEOC filed more lawsuits against companies that did nothing about harassment claims in 2019 than ever before, securing a cool $486 million for victims of discrimination in the workplace. In many of those lawsuits, HR directors were listed. Harassment took a big bite out of offending companies’ bottom lines in 2019, with HR front and center.

2019 saw the dawning of a new era in corporate America. Harassment and discrimination of any kind in the workplace simply won’t be tolerated anymore. It’s up to HR to make sure of it.

The Most Important Stories Based On Your Clicks

Some of the other important developments of 2019 are represented in the stories below. As represented by the number of clicks, these were the stories that you found to be the most important.

Happy holidays and happy new year from everyone at GetFive! We’re looking forward to bringing you more HR developments in 2020!

Fun interview this week with HR firebrand Leena Nair. She is the youngest and first female CHRO at Unilever, and is responsible for the human capital needs and global people agenda of 160,000 employees in more than 100 countries. Some interview highlights: Nair says her purpose is to ignite the human spark to build a better business and a better world. One perception about HR she wants to change? That we are always filling the cracks for the business but not laying the road. (Amen, Leena!) Her learning mantra? Learn. Unlearn. Relearn. People Matters

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A breathtaking, in-depth look inside all of the headline-grabbing employee unrest at Google. For this article, WIRED spoke with 47 current and former Google employees. Most of them requested anonymity. Together, they described a period of growing distrust and disillusionment inside Google that echoed the fury roaring outside the company’s walls. But in many respects, Google’s most vexing threats during that period came from inside the company itself. Over the next two and a half years, the company would find itself in the same position over and over again: a nearly $800 billion planetary force seemingly powerless against groups of employees — on the left and the right alike — who could hold the company hostage to its own public image. Wired

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Now in its sixth year, the Workforce 100 recognizes companies that excelled in human resources over the course of the previous year. To determine which companies make the list, Workforce editors work with researchers from the Human Capital Media Research and Advisory Group, the publication’s research division. The research team created a model to sift through publicly available data on HR performance to separate the best from the rest. To give employees more of a say in the rankings, recruiting and job-review website Glassdoor provided data on what workers are saying about the companies that made the list. From there, that information was combined with the public data available to create the 2019 Workforce 100 list. This year we noticed that many highly ranked companies have gradually climbed the list since the Workforce 100 began. Southwest started out unranked in 2014, eventually moved to the middle of the list, and made it to the No. 1 spot in 2019. Companies including T-Mobile, Microsoft, and Hilton have seen similar trajectories. Workforce

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As 2020 approaches, HR leaders are focused on five key measures to continue driving business outcomes, according to Gartner, Inc. The priorities include: building critical skills and competencies, strengthening the current and future leadership bench, incorporating organizational design and change management, driving digital business transformation, and enhancing employee experience. “HR leaders’ priorities for 2020 reflect the critical needs that organizations need to tackle in order to successfully operate in today’s uncertain conditions,” said Leah Johnson, vice president of advisory in the Gartner HR practice. “While digital transformation has already generated skill gaps and strained leadership capabilities, we are also seeing that companies are missing the skills needed to restructure their businesses and manage the change that every organization is facing.” In fact, Gartner research shows that only 9% of chief human resource officers agree that their organization is prepared for the future of work. Gartner


One of the biggest and most problematic types of bias we face is the bias of age: We often evaluate people based on their age, and this is now becoming a major challenge in the workplace. If you are older, you are likely to be considered less capable, less able to adapt, or less willing to roll up your sleeves and do something new than your younger peers. Many companies believe that older people are “overpaid” and can be “replaced with younger workers” who can do the job just as well. People like Mark Zuckerberg and others publicly state that “younger people are smarter.” The scientific evidence on this issue shows differently: For most people, raw mental horsepower declines after the age of 30, but knowledge and expertise — the main predictors of job performance — keep increasing even beyond the age of 80. Harvard Business Review


For the past 22 years, Fortune has been putting out their “Most Powerful Women” list, compiled on the basis of the size and importance of the woman’s business in the global economy and other factors. This year’s ranking is composed of more CEOs, more promotions, and more competition than ever. That’s not to say that equality has arrived in the business world. Finance is one of the most represented industries on this year’s list, but the sector has yet to see a woman at the head of a major U.S. bank. And despite the rise of CEOs like Flex’s Revathi Advaithi and AMD’s Lisa Su, women of color remain depressingly rare in the highest of corner offices. But as the 50 execs on this year’s list prove, women now hold more corporate power than ever before — and they’re not afraid to wield it. Fortune


This is one of the most provocative, lucidly written books I’ve read on work, by a renowned thought leader and an influential talent executive. Be prepared to throw your strategic plan out the window and become well-lopsided instead of well-rounded.” – Adam Grant. Marcus Buckingham

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Human resources professionals are facing exciting and challenging times today. As the gig economy gains even more steam, talent management takes center stage in business strategy, and benefits packages change shape. Technology advancements also are affecting the HR world, and HR professionals need to stay on top of trends and solutions to keep their businesses in the forefront. One way you can stay on the leading edge of HR trends and hot topics is to read leading blogs by industry experts and professionals. To help you do just that, we have rounded up 50 of the must-read HR blogs online today. The blogs cover everything from recruiting and talent to technology and apps to give you the insights and information you need to excel in your HR position and help your company excel in creating and sustaining a superior workforce. Wonolo

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