What We're Reading: New Skills, Talent and Employment Edition

Top Highlights

With 93% of learning organizations planning to standardize and measure outcomes of learning activity, experts warn that this practice can lead to a myopic focus that prevents broader business outcomes from being measured instead.

Virtual reality has been helpful in supporting the development of hard skills for industries that need technical training, but it can also be applied toward cultivating soft skills like empathy and thoughtfulness in the workplace according to a piece from CLO Media.

According to Quartz, companies that put an emphasis on gender and racial diversity, as well as effective responses to sexual harassment, have seen greater profitability and performance levels.

A new survey reports that 78% of employees value a diverse workplace, but only half of men and women believe their workplaces to actually be diverse, and believe companies can do more to address inequalities in a workplace.

An article from Forbes suggests 9 strategies to help avoid unconscious bias in hiring. Notably, they suggest acknowledging that biases exist and identifying ones you may have as well as analyzing how and why each organizational decision is made.

Target is raising its minimum wage to $12 an hour this year with the goal of increasing it to $15 an hour by the end of 2020.

Home Depot Foundation invested $50 million to train 20,000 tradespeople to fill construction sector jobs over the next 10 years.

Sheryl Sandberg, author of Lean In, will be teaching a free online course offered through Linkedin Learning centered on resilience. Topics will include speaking with others about loss, raising kids, joy after setbacks, and gratitude.

 

Corporate Learning and Development News

With 93% of learning organizations planning to standardize and measure outcomes of learning activity, experts warn that this practice can lead to a myopic focus that prevents broader business outcomes from being measured instead.

Virtual reality has been helpful in supporting the development of hard skills for industries that need technical training, but it can also be applied toward cultivating soft skills like empathy and thoughtfulness in the workplace according to a piece from CLO Media.

A piece from the Bersin by Deloitte blog argues for the importance of middle management to an organization's success and suggests that organizations design themselves in a way to enable better performance from these managers, as well as provide opportunities for them to develop a network of leaders to learn from in addition to standard leadership development programs. 

 

Credentials, Hiring, and Applicant Tracking News

According to Quartz, companies that put an emphasis on gender and racial diversity, as well as effective responses to sexual harassment, have seen greater profitability and performance levels.

A new survey reports that 78% of employees value a diverse workplace, but only half of men and women believe their workplaces to actually be diverse, and believe companies can do more to address inequalities in a workplace.

Within a time period of ten to fifteen years, this Harvard Business Review article predicts that an aging workforce population, growing automation and a widening income gap are three factors that may lead to an economic boom followed by a sharp decline. (Harvard Business Review, subscription required)

 

General HR News

An article from Forbes suggests 9 strategies to help avoid unconscious bias in hiring. Notably, they suggest acknowledging that biases exist and identifying ones you may have as well as analyzing how and why each organizational decision is made.

TLNT suggests ways that HR Leadership can become prepared for transformation in the workplace in order to keep up with other leaders in the organization.

HR Dive suggests that rather than depending on one or few employees in HR, employers instead should outsource certain functions to their broader teams of employees in order to place stronger emphasis on networking with candidates and to emphasize the importance of strategic recruiting efforts.

 

Employer Partnerships/Company Innovation

The online survey platform SurveyMonkey launched a new tool, Engage that tracks employees’ job satisfaction, personal engagement, and purpose alignment, among other factors. The 15-question survey and online private portal will help employers and HR personnel understand what motivates employees to remain engaged and satisfied in the workplace. 

Target is raising its minimum wage to $12 an hour this year with the goal of increasing it to $15 an hour by the end of 2020. Target further demonstrates its commitment to employee development and engagement through its employee discount, tuition reimbursement, free counseling services, leadership program, and skills training.  

Home Depot Foundation invested $50 million to train 20,000 tradespeople to fill construction sector jobs over the next 10 years. The ratio of job openings and hirings in the construction sector is the highest it’s been in years, and it will only continue to grow as more people in the field retire.

Co-working startup, WeWork is bringing its coding education platform, the Flatiron School, to London. The startup will also commit £1 million to support low-income individuals in tech who want enroll in Flatiron courses.  

 

Startups, Innovation, and Investment News

Fonterra, a New Zealand-based dairy co-op, has partnered with engineering firm Beca to develop state-of-the-art virtual reality health and safety training for Fonterra employees. Fonterra executives believe that using virtual reality for training will prove more effective, while being cost and time efficient.

Two leaders in virtual reality training, U.S.-based Aquinas and U.K.-based PeVRformance Groupannounced AquinasVR, a partnership to bring virtual reality to corporate training programs.

Scout Exchange, a platform that utilizes machine learning to match recruiters to marketplace jobs,received a $100 million investment from John Chuang’s TRI Ventures.

 

Macroeconomic Trends and Public Policy

According to the latest report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, over 300,000 jobs were added in February, contrary to analysts predictions. Job growth was attributed to hiring in retail, manufacturing, health care, and construction. Wages, however, did not increase. (The Washington Post, subscription required)

 

Other

A new survey shows that a large percentage of Americans are embracing artificial intelligence. While many people believe that it will replace human jobs, few think that their own is in jeopardy. (The New York Times, subscription required)

Sheryl Sandberg, author of Lean In, will be teaching a free online course offered through Linkedin Learning centered on resilience. Topics will include speaking with others about loss, raising kids, joy after setbacks, and gratitude.