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

Gender pay gap in the gig economy

The gig economy promises flexibility and optimal use of talents, but still has a problem with gender pay gap, claims Naomi Cahn. She cites a recent analysis by Honeybook, a business and financial platform for freelancers, which found that women were making 35 percent less per project. “Because women took on more projects/year than men—17 percent—that helped shrink the gender pay gap,” Cahn writes in a Forbes blog post. “Women were three times more likely than men to explain that the wage gap was due to their underselling and undervaluing their services.” While women could be individually coached to ask for more money for their services, Cahn recommends exploring broader solutions on the institutional level. “If we are adamant about striving for gender equality in the gig economy, we need to be simultaneously concerned with ways to enhance women’s equality in the general labor market,” she writes. “Solutions also need to focus on the platforms themselves. That means, for example, including more transparency, so that women know what others are charging for the same services. The platforms could publish reasonable hourly rates, or suggest hourly rates to users.”

Three steps to retain top talent

Losing top talent to other companies is a bad sign with all sorts of unpleasant implications, argues Levi King. In this Entrepreneur guest blog, he shares three key steps to retaining talented employees: 1. Make sure they are a fit—especially with your company’s mission and vision. 2. Be flexible—focus on productivity and achievements rather than obsessing over how many hours employees spend in the office. 3. Stay on top of their ambitions by offering the right promotions and raises at the right time. “Verify their happiness on a regular basis. What do they aspire to? How can you help them reach their aspirations, and objectively understand what they need to do? If you can’t answer these questions satisfactorily, rest assured that recruiters from other companies will,” King concludes.

Eight ways the workforce will change in 2020

As we approach the new year, more predictions on new trends are making all the headlines. For this Inc. blog post, the Young Entrepreneurship Council (YEC) put together a list of top predictions for the way work will look like in 2020 and beyond: 1. More remote work options. 2. Greater dependence on technology. 3. Increased awareness of mental health. 4. Shorter workweeks. 5. More diversity within organizations. 6. A bigger focus on improving the overall office environment. 7. Increased use of artificial intelligence. 8. The disappearance of ‘corporate ladder’ aspirations. “You can’t expect your employees to treat your company as their only chance to make it,” Solomon Timothy told YEC. “Your workers will have side hustles and it’s totally fine. I think it’s a positive change and we need to encourage personal growth.”

How HR can help combat holiday stress

HR has a key role to play in helping employees weather the personal and professional stress of the coming holiday season, claims Maura Ciccarelli. “The end of the year can also be a time to start the cultural shift, if needed, to acknowledge that seeking mental-health help is normal, instead of being stigmatized,” she writes in HR Executive. “Even during busy December weeks, it’s possible to provide workers with the space and opportunity to talk about coping with holiday stress over a brown-bag lunch or in other gatherings.” Ciccarelli believes organizations also can reduce stress by emulating tech companies that provide many services and programs that support their employees and promote productivity. “Flexible schedules, working from home, providing easy access to healthy food and snacks, and promoting increased activity such as standing, walking, getting outside for some sun and fresh air—all of these help associates better manage their energy levels,” she writes. “Organizations also should set realistic expectations and encourage everyone at all levels to focus only on top priorities through the end of the calendar year—and avoid taking on additional initiatives unless absolutely crucial.”

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