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Here are the top news stories in talent & organization from this week.
How tech managers can help improve gender equality at banks
More women are joining banks as data scientists and quantitative associates, and tech managers can help with that growing trend, claims Jacob Kosoff. “There is an opportunity for us as an industry to create a better environment that better supports women in tech, a sector that has been historically dominated by men,” he writes in an op-ed piece in American Banker. “In doing so, we can be more appealing to all, regardless of gender.” He advises managers to really listen to their associates and to be proactive about their development goals. “Developing your team members for other roles in the company will not just benefit them, but also help with recruiting and retaining the best talent,” Kosoff writes. Other ways tech managers can help improve gender equality in the workforce include mentorship and seeking feedback on the company culture. “Big changes across an entire industry really happen one person at a time, and managers are uniquely positioned to address the diversity challenge in tech and in banking,” he writes.
Three strategies for managing a multigenerational workforce
The global labor force is shifting as more baby boomers retire and generation Z enters the job market, leaving organizations with challenges of managing a multigenerational workforce, claims Tori Fica. In an in-depth article in Human Resources Today, she shares profiles of each generation in the workforce (baby boomers, generation X, millennials, and generation Z) and shares three strategies to manage them effectively: 1. Identify preferred management styles. 2. Use coaching to help employees grow. 3. Set stretch goals. “While you can’t be expected to chameleon in and out of various management styles based on who you’re talking to at the moment, knowing that De’Aaron is looking for mentorship from his manager and that Sun prefers her manager to make decisions via team consensus can help you form an effective, long-term management strategy,” she writes.
Why a growth mindset is crucial
An inner motivation to achieve, as opposed to a fixed mindset, helps company leaders stay persistent and resilient even when times are hard or complex, argues Andy Bailey. “The growth mindset helps people develop new interests,” he writes in a Forbes blog post. “When this mindset is part of the company culture, it translates to the continued learning of new skills and disciplines, thus ensuring the company is constantly innovating and moving forward.” Bailey believes the best way for leaders to encourage a growth mindset is to praise people for their efforts, instead of praising them for just being smart. Leaders need to lead by example and give themselves permission to learn, take on new challenges, and even fail. “Allow your team—and yourself—to make mistakes. You will find that you have created a healthy environment of smart risk-takers who are more innovative, creative and productive,” Bailey concludes.
Oxford study finds happy workers are more productive
Employees are more productive when they are happier, according to new research by Oxford University’s Said Business School. The research collected data from around 1,800 call-center workers employed by British Telecom (BT), one of the UK’s largest private employers, over a six-month period. The employees were asked to fill out a simple survey each week, with emojis used to denote their level of happiness. The researchers then compared the happiness data to the measures used by BT to gauge productivity: call length, the percentage of calls converted into sales—for example of broadband or phone contracts—and the extent to which employees adhered to a work schedule. They discovered that workers were on average 13 percent more productive in weeks when they self-reported as being very happy, compared to those weeks when people reported being very unhappy. “There seems to be considerable room for improvement in the happiness of employees while they are at work,” says Jan-Emmanuel De Neve, one of the study’s co-authors. “While this is clearly in the interest of workers themselves, our analysis suggests it is also in the interests of their employers.” The researchers also found that happy workers do not work more hours than their discontented colleagues—they are simply more productive within their time at work. “This new research also underlines an important truth for managers. There are hard-nosed business reasons to want to keep your people happy,” Jessica Stillman notes in Inc. about the study.
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