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The best investment? Your employees. | Purposeful Connections

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What's the deal with ESG? Lately, the "anti-ESG" movement has been gaining momentum across the US, and analysts predict it will play a significant role in economic conversations surrounding the 2024 presidential election. Alan Murray's column in CEO Daily summarized the current situation well - and found that few big companies are backing off their ESG plans. This doesn't surprise me, because it's not about what you call it ("it" being ESG), it's about investing in core business issues, aligned with employee, community, customer, and other stakeholder needs. As the anti-ESG rhetoric inevitably builds over the next few months, companies would be wise (if the stories in this edition are any indication) to turn inward and focus on their employees.

Finally, these past two weeks brought exciting news and wins to our team here at CCOP, including:

A brighter future for BIPOC at work. It's been nearly three years since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic and the murder of George Floyd - two events which converged to painfully reignite the drastic "state of inequity" in the US. While many organizations responded with heartfelt and no doubt well-intended efforts, recent reporting from Harris Poll and Hue reveal not all that much has changed. "Unfortunately, as the year ended, organizations and the economy have pushed against growing employee empowerment." Four out of five BIPOC employees say their employer has not made progress in recruiting diverse candidates, nor have they created more equitable environments for employees of color. // Harris Poll: State of Inequity 2023 - Envisioning a Post-Pandemic Workplace, Hue: State of Inequity

How good is your job? Jobs reports can be misleading to those only looking at the topline numbers. For example, the December 2022 BLS jobs report showed 223,000 jobs added. Sounds great, right? Nearly 70,000 of those jobs were in the leisure and hospitality industry, known for low wages and lack of healthcare and retirement benefits. Another 78,000 jobs were in the education and health services sector - also a female-dominated and low-paying sector. So yes, jobs are being created, but are they good jobs? This issue highlights the importance of more nuanced data and contextualization, especially when it comes to data that influences economic policy. Further, experts recommend adding a layer of analysis to better determine what constitutes a "good" job. MIT's Good Jobs Institute says good jobs should, at the bare minimum, involve fair treatment, a promising future, psychological safety, and a sense of mission and purpose. // FastCompany: 6 choices companies can make to create jobs that people love

Are your employees 'actively disengaged'? There's a good chance the answer is yes. New research from Gallup found that 75% of employees globally are either not engaged, or actively disengaged in their jobs. The leading reasons behind this growing disconnection from work include unfair treatment, unmanageable workloads, unclear communication from managers, and lack of support from managers. Additionally, employees are indicating an increased disconnection from their organization's mission or purpose - a good reminder that simply articulating a purpose is not enough. It must be fully embedded in an organization in order to influence behaviors, culture, operations, and growth. // Triple Pundit: 'World's broken workplaces' need to prioritize engagement, Gallup: State of the Global Workplace Report

Are your skills in demand? Each year, LinkedIn tallies the most in-demand job skills, and this year's results indicate the growing need for leadership rooted in empathy and trust. Leadership and management top the list, as companies wrestle with a still-ongoing 'great resignation' and tension between office, hybrid, and remote work - all of which have created a perfect storm for disjointed teams and unhealthy cultures. "That ability to retain the right folks really comes down to having good managers and leaders, as well as really great communication skills throughout an organization." Plus, these "soft skills" make for more adaptable employees - a vital trait given the pace of change in business today. // Fortune: The most in-demand skills right now are basically about being a good boss


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