What We’re Reading: New Skills, Talent and Employment

Highlights
 
The U.S. Labor Department’s June Jobs Report indicates that the U.S. added 600,000 workers to the workforce last month. Jobs were added in the Manufacturing, Business and professional services as well as health care sectors, while the retail sector saw a decrease.
 
new study reveals that 93% of employees would trust orders from a robot in their workplace. While only 24% of employees are actively using AI at work, 59% of employees believe that AI will improve operational efficiencies, 50% believe AI will enable faster decision making, and 45% say AI will significantly reduce cost.
 
According to a new ATD report, over 60% of high-performing organizations have embraced the importance of lifelong learning for their employees but the lifelong learning trend has neglected L&D professionals. Individuals who are responsible for creating learning opportunities in the workplace should continue to acquire certifications and seek out their own professional development.
 
new report from Reportlinker finds that nearly 65% of those surveyed believe freelance workers are indeed happier than other professionals – 26% expect to become freelancers at some point in their careers. The report also found that for American millennials, 40% feel loyal to their employers. For these employees, the ideal job includes benefits like telecommuting.
 
In honor of the 50th anniversary of the Age Discrimination Employment Act, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission released a report outlining the areas of growth and growing challenges for older workers. According to the report, age discrimination remains a problem and is beginning to look similar to other forms of discrimination such as race and/or gender.
 
Fifth Third Bank and the NAACP announced a new partnership, called the Workforce Development Program, to provide tools, resources and information regarding career literacy for unemployed and underemployed individuals. The program will launch in Detroit, Orlando and Tampa, where participants will have the opportunity to attend in-person workshops and to participate in multimedia training courses to help them develop skills to enter and advance in the job market.
 
According to Willis Towers Watson's 2018 Getting Compensation Right Survey, 60% of employers plan to take action to reduce bias in hiring and pay and increase diversity. Actions include evaluating recruitment and hiring processes (44%), establishing networks for women and minorities (45%), and creating flexible workplace environments (43%). More than half are considering making salary data more transparent.
 
A mobile learning solution for low-skilled workers, Cell-Ed, has raised $1.5 million in a seed round led by Lumina Impact Ventures, the impact investing arm of Lumina Foundation. Strada Education Innovation Fund, Partners Group Impact (Verein), and Twilio.org Impact Fund also participated in the financing.

 
Corporate Learning and Development News
 
new study reveals that 93% of employees would trust orders from a robot in their workplace. While only 24% of employees are actively using AI at work, 59% of employees believe that AI will improve operational efficiencies, 50% believe AI will enable faster decision making, and 45% say AI will significantly reduce cost.
 
E-learning is often misunderstood but understanding the source of the misconception can help talent developers to create stronger learning experiences. Many believe that e-learning is a wholesale replacement for classroom training, a forced activity, and an experience that must be interactive by design; however, the flexible nature of e-learning actually makes it a companion to the classroom and the level of interactivity can change by intended outcome or learner preference.
 
Skill development opportunities for for non-employees have become common inclusions among corporate social responsibility efforts. Experts say that the practice can create a path for future employees, establish new marketing channels, and a way to spread a business’s reputation for corporate responsibility.
 
Despite ineffective practices at most companies, providing substantive development opportunities for employees does not always translate to higher costs for management. Quartz suggests that establishing book clubs and creating mentorships with contacts in the industry are just a few examples of cost effective ways to engage with employees.
 
According to a new ATD report, over 60% of high-performing organizations have embraced the importance of lifelong learning for their employees but the lifelong learning trend has neglected L&D professionals. Individuals who are responsible for creating learning opportunities in the workplace should continue to acquire certifications and seek out their own professional development.
 
In a new report, Deloitte found that organizations that have experienced crises were more effective at preventing future crises. The report also suggests that leaders need to be better trained on crisis management, a company’s confidence in their ability to manage crises does not always reflect their actual capability, preparedness reduces the impact of crises when they do occur, and third parties can cause crises but they can also help prepare crisis plans.
 
Studies show that feedback improves workplace efficiency, communication, and innovation, but risks offending employees. Managers should get to know how their teams respond to feedback to avoid adverse reactions, forget the “feedback sandwich” which can be transparent, and feedback should be direct and radical.
 
new survey by Future Workplace and the Learning House found that almost half of companies believe that colleges and universities failed to prepare their employees for jobs. ATD suggests that while companies will do whatever they need to close skills gaps within their organizations, the most effective solutions is for colleges and companies to collaborate.
 
An article in Forbes discusses the role that meaningful interactions with empathetic AI technology can play in the workplace. The author suggests that the technology’s ability to evolve with the needs of people, the various options for engagement it offers, and the time that the technology helps to save can create an environment that is better for employees.
 
As the 2018 Workplace Learning report from LinkedIn and Deloitte’s Global Human Capital Trends report create the context for the importance of learning in the workplace, CMSWire interviewed leaders from companies to identify how they choose to cultivate a culture of learning in their organizations.

 
Credentials, Hiring, and Applicant Tracking News
 
new report from Reportlinker finds that nearly 65% of those surveyed believe freelance workers are indeed happier than other professionals – 26% expect to become freelancers at some point in their careers. The report also found that for American millennials, 40% feel loyal to their employers. For these employees, the ideal job includes benefits like telecommuting.
 
new report from IBM Smarter Workforce Institute and the Globoforce WorkHuman Analytics and Research Institute finds that employers that offer a positive employee experience see up to three times the return on assets and double the return on sales. HR Dive insight suggests that employers should develop more meaningful employee experiences, and that the correlations found in this new research is evidence for such an investment.
 
As companies like Zillow are making more thoughtful decisions about diversity and inclusion, Entrepreneur suggests that to avoid bias when selecting a candidate, hiring managers should focus on skills essential to the job, standardize the interview process and review soon after to reduce room for bias, give the candidates a project to ensure they can do the work, and be sure to check references.
 
The New York Times suggests that in order to recruit employees from younger generations, employers should offer financial support or debt relief for those with high levels of debt.
 
In honor of the 50th anniversary of the Age Discrimination Employment Act, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission released a report outlining the areas of growth and growing challenges for older workers. According to the report, age discrimination remains a problem and is beginning to look similar to other forms of discrimination such as race and/or gender.
 
As digital talent is becoming increasingly important in the digital economy, Harvard Business Review lists some of the challenges faced when recruiting tech savvy employees to help in traditional workplace settings and suggests some best practices to incorporate they sought after skills.

 
General HR News

According to Willis Towers Watson's 2018 Getting Compensation Right Survey, 60% of employers plan to take action to reduce bias in hiring and pay and increase diversity. Actions include evaluating recruitment and hiring processes (44%), establishing networks for women and minorities (45%), and creating flexible workplace environments (43%). More than half are considering making salary data more transparent.
 
Google has recently announced new guidelines surrounding workplace civility, including policies around online engagement with one another as well the types of information that is permitted to be shared.
 
The 2018 Human Capital Insights Report from Gallagher suggests that in order to attract more employees, employers should acknowledge the importance of physical and emotional wellbeing in the workplace, offer meaningful opportunities for growth and development, provide guidance and support for financial wellbeing of employees, and be prepared to respond and adjust organizational values when needed. 
 
As lawmakers around the country continue to ban payment history questions, a new report from Busy Kid finds that the wage gap extends to the allowance paid to children. On average, girls received $6.71 while boys received $13.80. Researchers suggest that this information provides an interesting contribution to the conversation around wage gaps in today’s workplace.
 
As experts are increasingly offering advice for improving diversity initiatives in the workplace, Fast Company suggests that to create a diverse workplace, employers implement organization-wide best practices, such as targeted recruitment for women and minorities, developing mentoring programs within the company, and establishing a diversity task force to identify and implement initiatives.

 
Employer Partnerships/Company Innovation
 
Fifth Third Bank and the NAACP announced a new partnership, called the Workforce Development Program, to provide tools, resources, and information regarding career literacy for unemployed and underemployed individuals. The program will launch in Detroit, Orlando, and Tampa, where participants will have the opportunity to attend in-person workshops and to participate in multimedia training courses to help them develop skills to enter and advance in the job market.
 
The University of Michigan Ross School of Business offers a scholarship that will allow students to continue taking classes at the university free of charge after graduation. The effort aligns with the future of work and the narrative that education doesn’t end after earning a degree. The scholarship began with 40 participants and the number is increasing with over 200 in 2017.

 
Startups, Innovation, and Investment News

A mobile learning solution for low-skilled workers, Cell-Ed, has raised $1.5 million in a seed round led by Lumina Impact Ventures, the impact investing arm of Lumina Foundation. Strada Education Innovation Fund, Partners Group Impact (Verein), and Twilio.org Impact Fund also participated in the financing. Cell-Ed will use the additional funding to increase workforce-related content and credentialing pathways and to enhance their technology platform.
 
Edureka, a Bengaluru-based e-learning startup founded in 2011, has raised $2 million in its first round of funding from venture fund, Leo Capital India. Edureka will use the proceeds to pursue its target of achieving 6x growth in the next three years, and to scale up its team by bringing senior leadership on board. As part of the round, founder and managing partner of Leo Capital India, Rajul Garg, will join the company’s board.
 
Monday.com, a Tel Aviv-based team collaboration and project management tool, has raised $50 million in a Series C funding round led by Stripes Group with participation from previous investors, Insight Venture Partners and Entrée Capital. The funding will be used to expand product offerings and services. Monday.com announced the launch of a series of new features along with the funding, including time tracking, enhanced data visualization, and a community board.

 
Macroeconomic Trends and Public Policy
 
The U.S. Labor Department’s June Jobs Report indicates that the U.S. added 600,000 workers to the workforce last month. Jobs were added in the Manufacturing, Business and professional services as well as health care sectors, while the retail sector saw a decrease.
 
The Supreme Court has ruled that mandatory union fees for public-sector employees are unconstitutional. In one of the most highly anticipated rulings of this session, the Court moved to overturn 40 years of precedent in Janus v. AFSCME and dealt a blow to unions.
 
A newly introduced Senate bill S.3081 hopes to bolster school counselor training and best practices through grants to public schools. With many industries complaining about the skills gap between education and jobs, this legislation could prove to realign the needs of employers with the education and career directions students receive.

 
Other
 
Amazon workers who face being fired can file for appeal through a jury of their peers. While the panel seems like a good idea, some believe that it does not offer a long term solution to the workplace challenges that initiate the situation.
 
Spotify recently published their most recent diversity data. The company recognizes that it has work to do and is launching its diversity plans by being transparent about its shortcomings and the path forward.