Here are the top news stories in talent & organization from this week.

Five digital workplace innovations to retain top talent

Improving the overall working experience is key to winning the war on talent, argues Amanda Osuna in this HR Executive article. She outlines five ways to use digital innovation to reimagine the workplace and better connect employees: 1. Ease the journey from home to work with perks such as a parking-space locator app or a kiosk to guide them to their desk for the day in an open office. 2. Automatically personalize workspaces by adding a customized profile at their workspace. 3. Connect for collaboration with digital tools and platforms. 4. Optimize the conference room experience with a meeting room management app. 5. Tap into creative satellites for meetings at nearby co-working spaces or coffee shops. “The lasting positive impressions that experiences like these create for people don’t just serve as talent magnets,” Osuna writes. “When technology makes employees happier and gives them more time to focus on their work, employers reap the benefits, and the workers stay around for much longer. 

The value of meaningful work for employees

According to new research from BetterUp, employees would give up a whopping 23 percent of their total future lifetime earnings in exchange for one thing: work that is always meaningful. In this Inc. blog post, Scott Mautz outlines several suggestions for leaders on how to create meaning at work for employees. “Gather stories of how your employees’ work helps others, even in small ways, and encourage them to share their own stories,” he writes. “Re-frame the work your team is doing so they can understand how and why what they do matters.” Mautz highlights the importance of continuous learning and building self-esteem and autonomy. “Micromanagement can be a meaning-killer,” he writes. “Including your employees in decisions and giving them space to get the job done helps them feel less like numbers and more like contributors.” Mautz also believes creating a caring and authentic culture is key to providing a sense of meaning to employees. “The best scenario is that employees don’t actually forfeit a quarter of their salary for meaningful work. What says we leaders can’t give them this one for free?” he concludes.

How the gig economy can transform banking

As more workers transition into the gig economy, their banking needs and expectations are rapidly changing, writes Avery Phillips in the Bankless Times. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that 68 million workers are part of the gig economy workers on demand or independent contractors. “Instead of waiting until a scheduled weekly, bi-weekly, or bi-monthly payday, gig economy workers often receive payment as soon as services are rendered” Phillips writes. “This on-demand payment system renders brick-and-mortar banks unnecessary.” She also claims these new digital banking customers have also led to the emergence of challenger banks and open banking platforms. “They are similar to credit unions, in that they encourage bank competition and lower banking costs, yet provide the same services as a traditional financial institution,” she writes. “Many open banks don’t even have a storefront, helping to drive efficiency and cost-effectiveness.” Phillips notes that these platforms do create new challenges in payment security and suggests on-demand workers take extra precautions to keep online accounts and payments secure from hackers.

Lead boldly in 2019

Doing the right thing is both good for its own sake and happens to be good for business, writes Bruce Weinstein in this Forbes Leadership Strategy article. He names three principled business leaders as good examples to follow in 2019 and beyond: Accenture North America CEO Julie Sweet, Crazy Aaron’s Smart Putty CEO Aaron Muderick and Klymit CEO Cory Tholl. “One of the most deeply ingrained myths about business ethics is that ethical values vary from culture to culture. But just because a practice is accepted doesn’t mean it is acceptable,” Weinstein writes. “That’s why it was refreshing to hear Accenture North America CEO Julie Sweet proclaim, ‘We have zero tolerance for people who violate our core values.’” He adds that bold leaders have three traits in common: creating a prosperous business, having loyal employees and being likeable people. “Julie Sweet, Aaron Muderick and Cory Tholl are three dynamic, accomplished CEOs who exemplify all of the above. The smart money next year and beyond is on leaders who follow in their footsteps,” Weinstein concludes.

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