Workwear company Carhartt could be a preview of what employers will face in imposing COVID-19 vaccine rules on their employees, as the company was criticized online by some conservatives after reiterating its mandate. Companies face a myriad of state and local rules, as well as a populace divided by political ideology on getting vaccinated.
Employees might be feeling stressed if the Omicron variant has disrupted your organization's return-to-office plans, writes Columbia Business School's Adam Galinsky. "The key is to give employees a sense of control -- the feeling that there is order and predictability even in the face of constantly fluctuating plans," Galinsky writes.
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Research suggests that employees increasingly want company leaders to weigh in on societal issues and will become vocal if companies don't, write Megan Reitz and John Higgins. "Handling employee activism is a new challenge but a familiar kind of conundrum: how to engage with wicked problems, which can't be easily fixed and reflect underlying tensions that need to be held rather than simply solved," they write.
IBM has broadened its talent pipeline by adopting apprenticeship models and focusing on people's skills instead of degrees or credentials, says Obed Louissaint, senior vice president of transformation and culture. The skills focus also highlighted other challenges, including "that people from underrepresented communities don't apply for jobs until they have six to seven of the 10 requirements," Louissaint says.
Companies such as Sam's Club and the Berry Appleman & Leiden law firm are offering structured leadership training sessions for managers and high-potential employees. HR teams should first evaluate what skills they have and which they lack before implementing such programs, says Epignosis CEO Thanos Papangelis.
Liberty Mutual has seven employee resource groups in the US, and ERGs have helped guide the company's diversity, equity and inclusion efforts since 2013, says Mariana Fagnilli, director of the company's global office of DEI. Fagnilli discusses some of Liberty Mutual's most popular ERGs, how equity has gained a bigger role internally and why a recently created advisory council "provides data perspectives, expertise, insight and guidelines to the organization for internal decision making efforts."
American Express has combined talent and learning functions with diversity, equity and inclusion to showcase "how we think about the colleague life cycle in a strategic way, from recruitment, to onboarding and professional development," says DEI executive Sonia Cargan, who also discusses American Express' $1 billion investment in DEI priorities. "Words are powerful and actions are important, but when these are part of a holistic strategy, that's when meaningful and sustainable impact really happens," Cargan says.