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

Corporate support for U.S. Equality Act

Pride Month has begun and while the struggle for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) equality is far from over, corporate America has stepped up in a big way, claims Ellen McGirt. In May, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Equality Act, legislation designed to protect LGBTQ people from discrimination in employment, education, housing and other areas. More than 200 major brands and companies (including Accenture), with a combined 10.4 million employees and $4.5 trillion in revenue, publicly support the legislation and have joined the Human Rights Campaign’s Business Coalition for the Equality Act. “By comparison, the only companies publicly supporting the 2015 version of the legislation were Apple, The Dow Chemical Co. and Levi Straus & Co.,” McGirt writes in Fortune. “The corporate shoulder to the wheel is welcome. Obviously it sends a good message.”

Five ways to build a diverse company culture

Diverse teams are more innovative and make more money for your company, argues Charu Sharma. In this Inc. article, she shares five steps to take towards building a company culture that promotes and retains women and minorities. 1. Listen to your people. Don’t assume what your employees want; instead, just ask them what they want. 2. Policies such as flexible work hours, remote work and childcare go a long way in making employees feel supported. 3. Mitigate biases in pay and career progression by tracking salaries and diversity and implementing fair and inclusive practices. 4. Set up mentorship and sponsorship programs to advance women and minorities. 5. Lead by example. “Take maternity or paternity leave. It gives them permission to do so themselves,” Sharma writes. “Talk about your passions and loved ones at work; do an annual ‘bring your parents (or kids or pets …) to work’ day and bring yours. This gives the others the permission to bring their whole selves to work.”

The importance of team development

Strong team development is an essential element of any successful workplace or organization. This CMO Australia article describes the five stages of team development (forming, brainstorming, shared vision, performing, adjourning). “Throughout the five stages, leaders will witness a number of things, both positive and challenging,” the article states. “If the five stages are used as a framework, leaders will experience more positives than negatives.” The most notable positive outcomes of successful team development include increased trust, communication and productivity. “Trust matters in the workplace. When people trust one another, they’re more likely to share ideas, collaborate effectively and make the right decisions for everyone and the project,” the authors write. “Teams that don’t communicate don’t succeed. Poor communication can lead to lower morale and missed opportunities for understanding and growth.” The article defines increased productivity as the ‘core purpose’ of team building—to enable individuals to work together to produce something great.

Younger workers view aging workforce negatively

Older Americans are forgoing the concept of traditional retirement at the age of 65 and younger workers aren’t particularly thrilled about it, reports Andrew Soergel. According to a recent poll by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, workers under the age of 50 are significantly more likely to view America’s aging workforce as a negative development when compared with their older counterparts. Four in 10 respondents aged 18 to 49, and 44 percent of the youngest respondents, aged 18 to 29, said they consider the trend to be a bad thing for American workers. Just 14 percent of those aged 60 and over said the same. “In anxious times, we look for scapegoats. And old people are a ready scapegoat, especially if you are forced out of having a public presence or are forced (out of a job),” says Ashton Applewhite, a New York-based writer and ageism activist. Mitch Rothschild, 61, lives and works in New York City and says the aging workforce is less of an economic problem and more of a financial reality to which workers of all ages need to adapt. “Hey, look, I wish I’d been skiing in the Alps since I was 40,” he says. “But you think I’m going to stop working a year from now and rely on Social Security for the next 20 years? No.”

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