Focusing on What Works for Workplace Diversity

For faster progress, companies need to draw on the power of design, rethink their assumptions, and use data to inform decision making.

Adil Ajmal

When you give a candidate a higher title than the one you’d intended, you’re inevitably doing one of two things: setting them up to underperform in a role they’re not qualified for, or giving them a title they don’t deserve — and sowing discord among your team in the process. Leave this lever alone. It will only come back to bite you. And honestly, if … [ Read more ]

Adil Ajmal

Closing begins with your first candidate interaction. That’s when you should start asking yourself the all-important question: What does this person want to get out of the role, and the company, and can we realistically make it happen for them? The recruiting process needs to be designed to investigate and answer this question. […] The trick is to ask targeted questions to find out what … [ Read more ]

Sylvie Bardaune, Sébastien Lacroix, Nicolas Maechler

Too many companies do not measure employee satisfaction or the support functions’ performance effectively and so fail to understand the needs of the employees using these internal services. The result is a diminished opportunity to take corrective action.

Joseph Kaeser

How do you manage your company using the data you collect? There’s a technocratic approach in which you look at the numbers. But by the time you get the numbers, it’s too late already because the numbers only reflect what happened in the past. At the end, managing a company is still very analog, because human beings are analog, and the way you manage your … [ Read more ]

Jasjit Singh, Christiane Bode

Sceptics argue that enshrining social impact as a core value contradicts the basic nature of a for-profit enterprise. They insist that social concerns should stay separate from, and secondary to, primary business needs.

One compelling counter-argument is that while the common good may not always be a top business priority, attracting and retaining top talent absolutely is. And valued employees—like human beings in general—love to feel … [ Read more ]

Iris Bohnet

About $8 billion a year is spent on diversity trainings in the United States alone. Now, I tried very hard to find any evidence I could. […] Sadly enough, I did not find a single study that found that diversity training in fact leads to more diversity. Now, that’s disappointing, discouraging, but maybe when we unpack it also understandable. The unpacking means that there’s a … [ Read more ]

Tae Hea Nahm

No matter what people say about culture, it’s all tied to who gets promoted, who gets raises and who gets fired. You can have your stated culture, but the real culture is defined by compensation, promotions and terminations. Basically, people seeing who succeeds and fails in the company defines culture. The people who succeed become role models for what’s valued in the organization, and that … [ Read more ]

Mike Krieger

Check in with new managers, too, and make it known that there’s an off ramp if they need it. Even people who thought they wanted the role may ultimately find that it’s making them miserable. Create check-ins along the way, say every six months. “Are you still happy? Do you want to take on more? Do you want to go back to being an individual … [ Read more ]

Mike Krieger

We didn’t put enough of an emphasis on hiring a diverse team in the early stages. This made it all the harder to bring on women and underrepresented minorities and backgrounds once they’d grown. If you’re interviewing your first female engineer, and she shows up and thinks, ‘Wow, this team is huge and all guys,’ that just makes the barrier even higher. That really does … [ Read more ]

How Instacart Uses Data to Craft A Bespoke Comp Strategy

Under pressure, startups have a need for speed that makes freestyle negotiations or plug-and-play comp data resources attractive. But it doesn’t have to stay this way — and it can’t if a company wants a sound comp philosophy, one that prizes equity, transparency and employee happiness. Enter Jeremy Stanley, Udi Nir and Guissu Baier, the VPs of Data Science, Engineering and HR, respectively. They’re the … [ Read more ]

What’s Missing in Leadership Development?

We asked executives to tell us about the circumstances in which their leadership-development programs were effective and when they were not. We found that much needs to happen for leadership development to work at scale, and there is no “silver bullet” that will singlehandedly make the difference between success and failure. That said, statistically speaking, four sets of interventions appear to matter most: contextualizing the … [ Read more ]

David Rock, Beth Jones

Stop telling people to give feedback as a practice, and instead, encourage their employees to learn to ask for feedback. When a person asks for feedback, he or she is much less anxious about receiving it, and the giver feels less anxious too. If employees are encouraged and trained to ask for feedback regularly, they will get it when they need it, and they will … [ Read more ]

David Rock, Beth Jones

At its core, there are two basic problems with performance management. First, labeling people with any form of numerical rating or ranking automatically generates an overwhelming “fight or flight” response that impairs good judgment. It primes people for rapid reaction and aggressive movement. This naturally leads to highly charged, emotionally challenging conversations. Moreover, at least half of all employees will receive a B or C … [ Read more ]

6 Things Every Mentor Should Do

Given how important mentoring is, there’s surprisingly limited guidance about how to become a good mentor. We offer here an informal set of guidelines for good mentorship — a playbook, if you will, for a game that is very much a team sport. While we draw many of our examples from academic medicine, the lessons are pertinent across disciplines.

Bethanye Blount

When somebody knows that their review is going to directly affect their comp, they are just waiting for you to stop talking and tell them what it says on that piece of paper you’re holding. Simply tell your report from the outset that they won’t be getting their comp change then and there. Then you can open the door for vastly more productive conversations around … [ Read more ]

Bethanye Blount

One of the greatest sources of compensation inequity is that question every candidate dreads: What are you making now? It’s a really common practice, and it compounds a lot of biases. If someone is not a great negotiator, for example, or took a lower salary to work in the nonprofit sector, they’re set up to under-earn for their whole career. The truth is, the last … [ Read more ]

Bethanye Blount

The clearest indicator of the values driving a company — your own or one you’re considering joining — is already in motion from the start, in one of the last places you’re probably looking: compensation.

Nir Halevy, Ian Chipman

Typically, contracts contain both “control” and “coordination” clauses. Control clauses tell you what you can and can’t do at work, while coordination clauses help you align expectations. In other words, coordination clauses let workers know what employers want, while control clauses tell them how to do it and, quite often, what not to do. […] The key, is to remember that greater specificity can be … [ Read more ]

Is Performance Management Performing?

Organizations are spending millions of dollars and thousands of hours on performance management. Yet too few leaders are confident that their approaches are supporting the workforce of the future or improving the performance of the business itself.

It is time to revitalize performance management: To become more aware of the diversity of different segments of the workforce, to become open and more transparent, to foster real-time … [ Read more ]