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What we're reading: Rethinking employer brands, annual reviews, professionalism, and more

Written by: Marc Schultz
Published on: Jul 19, 2019

reading july

Though it isn’t always easy, it’s often helpful to take a step back and rethink the way we do things – from recruiting and hiring to compensating our people, communicating at meetings, structuring the office, and engaging our people. Here’s a roundup of perspectives to help you reconsider your approach to those challenges, and more.

Harvard Business Review: Why we need to rethink “employer brand”
The reason your employer brand needs to align with your overall organizational brand, and a three-step process for making it happen.

Stanford Social Innovation Review: The bias of “professionalism” standards
This thoughtful piece looks at the commentary of activists who place typical American workplace standards for employees squarely in the nation’s tradition of systemic race-based oppression, “explicitly and implicitly privileg[ing] whiteness and discriminat[ing] against non-Western and non-white professionalism standards related to dress code, speech, work style, and timeliness.”

The Guardian: We froze the salaries of 20 executives – and it improved the lives of 500 employees
A newly-minted healthcare company CEO enacts a bold plan to increase productivity, slash turnover, and honor the contributions of his lowest-paid teammates: “I challenged the chief financial officer to see how deeply we would have to freeze wages in order to reach our goal of a base rate of $15 per hour. The answer was that we did not have to go very deep.”

The flexible workplace
Entrepreneur: Thinking of starting a remote business? Think very carefully.
Five things to consider before ditching the central office – including the way it affects recruiting, vetting, and hiring new people – with tips for making the most of this popular new model for doing business. 

Forbes: How the first 15 minutes of Amazon’s leadership meetings spark great ideas and better conversations
The innovative practice making meetings better at the world’s biggest retailer? Reading in silence. Instead of a bullet-pointed slideshow, leaders are tasked with writing out presentations in a narrative; everyone then takes time to read it at the top of each meeting, forcing them to put aside distractions and “deeply understand it so they can have a much better discussion.”

Entrepreneur: 4 things leaders misunderstand about performance reviews
If you’re wondering whether performance reviews are worthwhile – as they’re doing right now at businesses large and small – here are some points you might be overlooking.

Harvard Business Review: Why you should create a “shadow board” of younger employees
Tackle two challenges – disengaged younger workers and changing market conditions – at once by formalizing a group of junior employees to work with senior leaders on strategic initiatives. Here’s a look at how these “shadow boards” helped some major companies turn around flagging sales, stalled projects, and flawed processes.

Marc Schultz is communications editor at Work for Good.