Data released Thursday showed 6.6 million US workers filed for first-week unemployment benefits in the week ending March 28, a historic high spurred by the ongoing novel coronavirus pandemic. It represents a more than 3,000% increase from early March, which economists called "monstrous," "stunningly awful" and "a portrait of disaster."
Women face a greater financial loss during the pandemic because they're more likely to stay out of work to care for children and sick family members, a PayScale report says. "Employers should recognize that employment gaps to care for family members may be unavoidable," says Sudarshan Sampath, PayScale research director.
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A report from HR People + Strategy and Willis Towers Watson says chief people officers will be critical to continuously retain the workforce and "to progress from anecdotal to evidence-based thinking," among other objectives, writes Maggie Kelly. "HR executives must be able to lead people in nonhierarchical, fluid work environments and empower talent on the front lines to drive problem solving and innovation," she writes.
Vulnerable leaders who admit they don't have all the answers can build trust with employees, which can lead to more productive discourse, writes Jerome Parisse-Brassens, executive director for Walking the Talk. "HR business partners need to coach the managers and leaders they work with to become more open, to let go of their fears, and to reflect on the need to show some vulnerability," he writes.
Leadership behaviors that are associated more with women have benefits for everyone, write Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic and Cindy Gallop. "Academic studies show that women are more likely to lead through inspiration, transforming people's attitudes and beliefs, and aligning people with meaning and purpose (rather than through carrots and sticks), than men are," they write.
Companies that align employees' performance goals to organizational goals are often top performers, according to an Association for Talent Development report, but the approach can be difficult. "I can see it working for managers, who should be aligned to lead their teams to those targets, but it doesn't always make sense for lower-level employees to have all their goals align with corporate goals," says Wade Larson, chief HR officer at Wagstaff.
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