February 12, 2021
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Top Story
Initial jobless claims hit 793K, down from previous week
(Alex Edelman/Getty Images)
The number of initial claims for unemployment benefits fell to 793,000 last week, compared with 812,000 a week earlier, according to the Labor Department. The tally was above the 760,000 that economists surveyed by Dow Jones had expected.
Full Story: The Wall Street Journal (2/11),  CNBC (2/11) 
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Employee Recognition is Stuck in the 80s
Traditional recognition programs are as out-of-style as slap bracelets and velcro, with outdated technology, limited catalogs, and huge markups. Bummer. But you can bring your program back to the future. Download the ebook to see how.
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Recruiting & Retention
Diversity, equity and inclusion efforts should be customized to organizational culture and be focused on raising equality for everyone, not penalizing groups that have historically benefited, writes Priscilla Hammonds, president of the Central Ohio Diversity Consortium. "DEI work is about human behavior and culture change -- and it takes time," Hammonds writes.
Full Story: SmartBrief/Leadership (2/10) 
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Top Workplace Tech Innovations
Winners have been announced for the Innovation Awards for Workplace Technology, presented by SmartBrief and AV Technology. Each entrant submitted their product for consideration and was evaluated on uniqueness in the market, ability to solve a problem and suitability for use. Read more here, and view the winning innovators here!
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Leadership & Development
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Benefits & Compensation
A recent survey by Voya Financial found that 35% of respondents didn't have a firm understanding of their workplace benefits, including health care and wellness. "Employers have to make the information available but also simplify what is required to understand [the benefits] so employees make good decisions," says Andrew Frend of Voya Employee Benefits.
Full Story: Employee Benefit News (free registration) (2/10) 
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The HR Leader
Regular one-on-one conversations should be a forum for employees to share their agendas, challenges and concerns, while the manager can listen and "offer dedicated time for mentoring and coaching," writes Naphtali Hoff. He walks through a typical one-on-one meeting and offers 10 possible questions for managers to ask.
Full Story: SmartBrief/Leadership (2/10) 
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Workplace Chatter
Celebrating soccer's most clutch goal scorers
Lukaku (Carl Court/Getty Images)
Seeing Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo lead this list of soccer players who deliver in "close-and-late" situations is no surprise, but the third name on the list might surprise you: Romelu Lukaku. The most famous goal involving Lukaku is one he created without touching the ball.
Full Story: ESPN (2/11) 
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Editor's Note
SmartBrief will not publish Monday
In observance of Presidents Day in the US, SmartBrief will not publish Monday. Publication will resume Tuesday.
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About the Editor
Kanoe Namahoe
Kanoe Namahoe
A girl from the Aloha state covering the workforce and K-20 education.

Who didn’t get a belly laugh from the video tweeted by Judge Roy Ferguson of the lawyer in his virtual courtroom unable to remove a kitten filter from his livestream? This moment of levity, which has garnered over 34,000 likes on Twitter, was a great reminder of why we need to check our videoconferencing settings before big meetings.

Need another feel-good clip? Check out the video of Romelu Lukaku in today’s Chatter story. It’s an adrenaline rush, but it also shows why clutch moments matter. Those moments define leaders -- they create legends.

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When you clench your fist, no one can put anything in your hand, nor can your hand pick up anything.
Alex Haley,
writer
February is Black History Month
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