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

A guide to corporate culture

Culture and leadership are ‘inextricably linked’ and the best leaders are the ones ‘fully aware of the multiple cultures within which they are embedded, can sense when change is required and deftly influence the process,’ according to the Harvard Business Review. The magazine’s in-depth cover story, “The Culture Factor,” delves into the definition of corporate culture and eight distinct styles, distilled from more than 100 social and behavioral models. ‘Caring’ culture focuses on relationships and mutual trust; ‘Purpose’ emphasizes idealism and altruism; ‘Learning’ highlights exploration and creativity; ‘Enjoyment’ unites workers and employers in fun and humor; ‘Results’ culture makes achievement and winning top priorities; ‘Authority’ relies on strong control and decisiveness; ‘Safety’ looks to caution and preparedness; and ‘Order’ depends on structure and time-honored customs. “Leading with culture may be among the few sources of sustainable competitive advantage left to companies today. Successful leaders will stop regarding culture with frustration and instead use it as a fundamental management tool,” the authors conclude.

Google’s solution to filling IT jobs

Last week, Google announced a new certificate program through the Coursera platform to give people the basic skills to get an entry-level IT support job in one year. “Natalie Van Kleef Conley, former head of Google’s tech support program, was having trouble finding IT support specialists so she spearheaded the certificate program,” reports Kim Hart for Axios. “It’s also part of Google’s initiative to help Americans get skills needed to get a new job in a changing economy.” The program will match certificate holders with not just Google, but others such as Bank of America, Sprint, PNC Bank and GE Digital. Hart notes that entry-level IT jobs are typically higher paying ($62,670 in 2016) than similar roles in other fields. “A lot of companies struggle to fill these roles,” she writes. “This certificate curriculum is an acknowledgement from these employers that they’re going to need to train Americans for those jobs, since the administration has made it clear it will make it harder to rely on foreign talent.”

On-site fitness centers are a key recruiting tool

By 2030, a full 18 percent of the U.S. population will reach retirement age according to Pew Research Center projections, putting today’s employers in a competition to recruit top talent. Many organizations are tackling this challenge by offering unique benefits such as tuition reimbursement, parental leave and even insurance for companion animals, writes Ann Wyatt for TalentCulture, and highlights on-site fitness centers as one of the top perks. The obvious reason for the popularity of on-site fitness centers is convenience. “After all, it’s much easier to get a workout in if you only have to travel two floors down on the elevator versus 10 miles in rush-hour traffic. Convenience is everything for today’s over-booked employee,” Wyatt writes. She also points out that employees want a more personal touch from fitness centers, ‘a place where [they] can work with coaches and fitness consultants to develop individualized plans to meet their unique needs.’

Millennials ready for leadership

“Millennials may still seem like the young, new generation, but they’re already starting to emerge as leaders in the American workforce,” argues Larry Alton in this Forbes Under30 blog post. Alton points to the fact that millennials have started “wandering into their 30s” and have enough experience for bigger roles. “Because there’s a growing power vacuum as managers from older generations leave or climb even higher, millennials are the most plentiful candidates to fill the void,” he adds. They are different than the older generations in a variety of ways, Alton notes: Millennials crave regular feedback; they are more adaptable to new technologies; they prefer flexible working hours and believe in brand values and company culture. “Values have always been an important cultural institution for millennials, when choosing an employer or a supplier, and now they get to create and enforce those values within the context of their own teams,” Alton writes.

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