As pandemic restrictions ease, it’s clear that one big change to the way we work is here to stay: hybrid working. However, these environments run the risk of creating new inequities and exacerbating those that already exist. For employers to ensure fairness, maximize performance, and maintain cultural cohesion in hybrid work arrangements, they need to consider these five practical dimensions of inclusion when designing hybrid policies and navigating new ways of working.
Recruitment and Remote Onboarding
With recruitment and onboarding practices shifting to virtual in the last year, many new hires had never met their future teams in person before accepting their jobs. Many HR decision-makers believe they will continue interviewing graduates virtually in the future. This approach has benefits: First, it reduces the cost of entry for graduates from lower socioeconomic backgrounds who may not be able to relocate for a job. It also provides an opportunity to review existing onboarding practices and take into account the different experiences, backgrounds, and expectations new team members bring in.
To create a more consistent onboarding experience, we can take lessons from what we learned during the pandemic about how people best received information while at home. For example, universities that moved their teaching online found that chunking long lectures into approximately 15-minute bursts worked best. Firms can create a catalog of short videos that describe all aspects of onboarding, such as walkthroughs on how to set up technology and navigate processes. The employer can then bring together new joiners for a session where they ask questions about the videos in small groups of five people or fewer. Together, the video catalog and intimate seminar set the scene for a consistent onboarding experience while catering to individual needs.
An important part of being successful at work is having the right setup and training to do your job. Remote work places increasing value on being technically capable, and getting up and running when working from home has become an essential skill. For those who are less tech savvy, setting up a makeshift home office did not come naturally. Others may not have even been provided with the necessary equipment or have the means to purchase it — exposing an equity gap. Before the pandemic, an onsite IT technician would typically set up an employee’s laptop, phone, and monitor; troubleshoot any network or software issues; and generally be on hand for those prevalent “How do I do…?” questions. Giving people an option during onboarding to self-select their level of technological savviness can help employers determine and schedule remote IT assistance so employees are provided for. READ MORE
by Grace Lordan, Teresa Almeida, and Lindsay Kohler
In the wake of George Floyd’s murder, corporate interest in DEI is higher than ever. But has this increased attention racial justice and inequity led to real, meaningful change? The authors conducted interviews with more than 40 CDOs before and after summer 2020 and identified four major shifts in how these leaders perceived their companies’ engagement with DEI.
Mid-career women are often surprised by the levels of bias and discrimination they encounter in the workplace, especially if they’ve successfully avoided it earlier in their careers. After speaking to 100 senior women executives, the authors identified three distinct kinds of bias and discrimination faced by mid-career women. They describe each bias and conclude with recommendations for overcoming them.
Bain research shows that men and women have consistent motivations when it comes to work, across factors like financial orientation and camaraderie. They also have similar attitudes on inclusion, with fewer than 30% feeling included in the workplace. Despite a lack of intrinsic differences, women and men continue to have different outcomes and experiences at work, due to meaningful imbalances in occupation choice, prioritization of flexibility, and the perpetuation of biases.