Diversity & Inclusion

A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of attending a diversity & inclusion workshop sponsored by Capital One. First off, it was very refreshing and supportive of them to put this all together without any pitch or catch. Just a great learning experience.

Nowadays diversity has become such a mainstream topic in the world of tech, but what does that word really mean? Too often, diversity means fulfilling a quota of some sort to have different employees with different skin colors or gender working at your company. But why is that important??  

Reminded me of the old lemmings game

Reminded me of the old lemmings game

Although the word was never said, diversity helps you avoid groupthink.  Why is Mark Zuckerberg touring the US? Probably because he realizes that his company is pretty homogenous compared to his userbase. With increased diversity, you get more creativity and higher productivity. If everyone thought the solution to energy was in fossil fuels, would we have Tesla today? 

While I won't list out EVERYTHING we went over, here were some key highlights:

Rooney Rule - In short, the Rooney Rule originally came from the NFL where they require teams to interview one minority candidate when looking for a headcoach. It's since been applied more broadly to the world of HR and recruiting. According to Quartz, Facebook, Pinterest, Xerox, and Amazon have adopted it already. 

Stereotyping - How often do you catch yourself stereotyping in your regular life? We're all guilty of it in some degree I suppose but how often do you realize you're doing it when reviewing a resume? People have suggested eliminating even the candidate's name so you don't infer that the candidate is a particular race or gender. 

Bias Against Yourself - This was new to me but I have seen and experienced this anecdotally amongst friends and loved ones. Men apply to jobs when they only meet 60% of the qualifications but women only apply when they meet 100%. Source

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Conclusion - I know moving forward that I will be balancing diversity with the need to move quickly. It's important to create a diverse and inclusive atmosphere so that colleagues have different opinions and aren't afraid to speak them, but also to be able to decide and execute...especially at a small startup. 

From a company perspective, it's something we'll definitely keep top of mind as we shape our core values.  From a product perspective, we've already had discussions around how to help our customers engage and retain their diverse workforce and also how to helpdiversity candidates lean in more at work. Comments always welcome at rfung@orzo.io

Is there still the concept of job loyalty?

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What do you think of when you hear the word "loyalty"?  For me, it's definitely a dog. A lovable, loyal dog that's always by your side through thick and thin.

When we're talking about job loyalty though, it's a little different. Having spoken to CEOs and other business leaders, one thing they do think about is that nowadays, employees (*ahem* millennials) expect to be promoted quickly and start to wonder where their career is heading after 12 months on the job. If you consider the fact that it takes roughly 3 months for an individual to learn the culture, systems, processes, etc of a company to fully make an impact, that’s a pretty aggressive timeline to move up. Yet, this is more and more the standard.  Economically speaking, the numbers speak for themselves.

But, when changing jobs, the average employee sees a pay increase between 10 and 20 percent.
— Payscale - https://www.payscale.com/career-news/2016/06/4-benefits-of-job-hopping

Too often though, people focus only on the money. At the bottom of Payscale's list is the idea of employee engagement. Keeping employees excited about what they do is important, but what if companies can do that and retain their top talent? 

By the way, the other 2 benefits mentioned are expanding your network and learning new skills. If you're already at a company with a culture you like, transferring to another group gets you the benefits of learning, new networks, and excitement all without uprooting to another company. 

I also listened to this short high level podcast courtesy of Bloomberg that gave a nice macroview of why job loyalty is shifting. In short, they talk about:

  • the disappearance of unions
  • introduction of automation
  • globalization creating competition with low wage overseas labor
  • shift in corporate culture

It was the last one on corporate culture that got emphasized the most. Historically, companies had a mindset of taking care of everyone (employees, shareholders, management) but nowadays, the focus is more on maximizing shareholder value. 

Like what you see? Have other suggestions for future topics? Shoot me a quick note at rfung@orzo.io.  

Predicting the future

Scifi tv and books have you believe that one day we’ll have flying cars and sentient robots. Now, today there are companies like Airbus developing flying personal vehicles and AI continues to get more sophisticated everyday to the point that Elon Musk has stated his fear for killer robots.

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Now as the rest of industry is pushing forward, why shouldn’t HR? I came across this great article highlighting 3 Technology Trends in HR (https://www.tlnt.com/3-trends-that-are-putting-the-focus-back-on-the-human-in-hr/).

1.     Adoption of cloud computing – Workday probably comes to mind for most here but many companies still operate with their legacy on premises systems. Online platforms have become the standard everywhere else in our daily lives; why shouldn’t that be the case for HR? In fact, if you’re already using other cloud-based systems, you should ideally be able to connect all of them together for enhanced insights and productivity.

2.     Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning – There’s a great deal of buzz around these words nowadays but that’s also because the potential of it is so great. Isn’t it both magical and terrifying how Google knows what you’re searching for before you finish typing or how Netflix gets so good at recommending different movies for you?

The article talks about how the US Army is using a recruiting chatbot complete with avatar. Much of the machine learning technology happens under the hood so it’s hard for anyone to see it actually in action. Yet, if companies truly understood their employees, they should be able to recommend or surface different opportunities to help them develop their career and stay engaged.

Startup mentality – The article talks mostly about staying agile and the “consumer-ification of the entire employee experience.” As someone that has worked in big companies in the past and now at a startup, I can understand why big companies want to embrace a startup mentality and why others can’t afford to.

For those that make that decision though, they recognize the fact that they now live in a world where a computer sits in your pocket all day and strangers pick you up in their Uber cars. The fact is the world is rapidly changing and it is important to at a minimum, stay abreast of the trends. Otherwise, you potentially become that old antiquated company that people’s parents work for, but no one else wants to join.

 

Why Orzo?

A long time ago, in a galaxy that is our own…

People were hired into a company, worked there for 40 years, and peacefully retired.

Nowadays, the more likely case is that people work at a company for a few years and leave for something different either voluntarily or not. Now that this trend is firmly entrenched in today’s work culture, it is more important than ever for companies to do whatever it takes to retain their most important asset…their skilled workforce.

Now what if I told you, you could work at the same large company year after year and find yourself regularly challenged and excited at work? It’s our hope at Orzo to achieve exactly this scenario.

We found that the #1 reason people leave a job is due to lack of growth opportunity. Through our internal mobility platform, employees can continue growing in the same company, keeping them happy and keeping the company firing on all cylinders.