This Week in HR (July 2018)

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In this month’s edition of This Week in HR, we discuss:

  • why some struggle with learning is a good thing
  • assessing the health of your team
  • Amazon’s controversial way of evaluating their staff
  • attracting minority talent

No Pain, No Brain Gain: Why Learning Demands (A Little) Discomfort

Yan’s thoughts:

Those of us who work in SMEs will probably be used to wearing many hats. One minute you’re running the company’s payroll, the next you’re designing a banner for an upcoming event. Understandably it would be rare to find yourself really good at multiple things; we were taught early on that specialisation is crucial for career success.

So if like me you juggle different skillsets and job scopes, learning new skills or improving on the ones I already have is super important. Of course most things worth learning won’t come easy. But that might not be a bad thing! This article tells you why not having it easy is probably the best way to make sure the learning sticks.

“Many organizations’ corporate learning programs focus on course completions, and making learning “easy and friendly” helps increase completion rates. On the surface, it looks good to reduce the amount of time spent on training and gets people saying they “enjoyed” the experience–which encourages others to take the training. But that doesn’t mean these programs are effective.”

Team Health Monitors and Why Your Startup Needs a Check-up

Gordon’s thoughts:

Atlassian has a very interesting approach to measuring the “health” of their teams using specific checkpoints and indicators. It’ll work for some teams, but it’s important to understand which checkpoints work best for yours. Also, while having a good team leader is extremely important in creating a successful team, the truth is it takes a lot of trial and error and refinement of process flows to build great teams with teammates whose skillsets and personalities complement each other.

“Teams are the real reason why organizations are successful — not just the superstar power of a few standout individuals.”

Amazon’s program for underperforming employees includes a courtroom-style videoconference with a jury of peers — and while experts agree it’s innovative, they’re split on whether it works

 Jesslyn’s thoughts:

“Employee performance reviews may be highly personal to them. While some may argue the courtroom-style appraisal method is innovative, others may find that it violates basic human and privacy rights, especially when the jurors may not be the most appropriate reviewers.”

“The peer-jury process gives employees more opportunity to improve than if they were summarily dismissed”

Companies that want to signal inclusiveness might start with their stock photos

Yan’s thoughts:

During a recent interview, we were asked why it’s so important for companies to have a diverse and inclusive workforce. The benefits are many and oft discussed, but SMEs rarely have the time to think about how to attract minority talent in the first place. One way to do that is with the images—stock or not—on your website or ads. If you really do value the different perspectives and stories that come with people from diverse backgrounds, why not show it?

“The hope […] is that companies will use their images to illustrate their websites, and signal to minority applicants that they will be welcome there.”

Read past editions of This Week in HR:
JUNE: hiring and firing practices, paternity leave, taking time off work
MAY: decision-making, organisational transparency, employer branding
MARCH: workplace culture and jargon, finding the right candidate

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