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At our Forbes Future of Work Summit last week, we heard from a range of former and current CEOs and founders—former American Express chief executive Ken Chenault, Union Square Hospitality Group executive chairman Danny Meyer, BetterUp CEO Alexi Robichaux, Thrive Global’s Arianna Huffington—but the executives sharing the most about the policies and practices being used to navigate this new world of work were CHROs.
These executive leaders have been not only managing a global pandemic and employee communications amid global turmoil, but trying to plug the talent pipeline leaks amid the Great Resignation and now, making tough calls about job cuts as many companies face layoffs. And when it comes to the future of work, they’re charged with decisions about how you’re paid, what kinds of layoffs are ahead, and of course, the workplace drama that’s been happening at Twitter.
“He who shall not be named,” quipped HubSpot chief people officer Katie Burke in our opening panel, making a Harry Potter-themed reference to Elon Musk, is “not just violating fundamental principles of flexibility, ignoring what people in the data tell us people actually want,” but also cutting jobs of people who disagree with him, she said. “To me, that’s not leadership.”
Burke, who joined the event on a panel aimed at discussing hybrid work, suggested it’s a “lazy assumption” to think there’s a link between facetime and productivity. “I think we’ve got to do away with it, and I also think we have to stop giving the mic to white, out-of-touch CEOs who don’t know a ton about how to run the workplace of the future.”
She and others shared how they’re thinking about pay (Shopify’s Tia Silas talked about the company’s new “flexcomp” program that lets workers pick the makeup of stock and cash in their paycheck); interviews (McKinsey’s Katy George talked about replacing its long-standing case study approach in many interviews with game-based assessments to help increase diversity) and productivity software (Walmart’s Donna Morris said that while the company values data and insights, she’s a “nay” on them becoming reality).
As we head into the Thanksgiving holiday, I’m grateful to have had these thought-provoking conversations about real workplace issues that affect us all. I hope you’re preparing for some much-needed time off before heading into the final sprint of the year.
‘A Rejection Of The Craziness:’ Ken Chenault On The Election, The Economy And The Empathy Needed In Job Cuts
Speaking at the Forbes Future of Work Summit Nov. 15 in New York, Chenault, who is also chairman and managing director of the venture capital firm General Catalyst and the lead director at Airbnb, called the efforts to deny 2020 election results “mind-boggling,” said there was “no doubt” Europe was already in a recession and did not mince words about tech leaders who make big job cuts with little show of concern for employees.
Leading a team during a downturn? A new study explains why you shouldn’t be overly optimistic.
Here’s how to balance the job you have with the future career you want.
If you’re applying for jobs and not getting much of a response, here’s what to do about it.
Boost your credibility at work with these tips for improving your communication.
Research shows there are just three things your team needs for success: Autonomy, competence, and a sense their leader cares.
ON OUR AGENDA
Back at the Mouse House: Disney brought back former CEO Bob Iger, after his successor, Bob Chapek, oversaw a pandemic-related collapse in parks revenue, a clash with Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.) and mounting financial losses in Disney’s streaming business, Forbes’ Derek Saul reports. Forbes assistant managing editor Diane Brady writes about the board concerns of bringing back a superstar CEO, and senior contributor George Bradt writes about the lessons of botched handovers, from Disney to General Electric.
Job cuts: This Thanksgiving, be at least a little grateful if you’re employed, even if you don’t love your job. The layoffs keep mounting, including more than 4,000 at HP. Our job cuts tracker is updated here.
World Cup: As the World Cup gets underway in Qatar, here’s how much players from the U.S. and other countries stand to earn. The U.S. will award some prize money from Qatar to its women’s team after the years-long, high-profile labor dispute over the higher pay for the American men’s team, despite the women’s team’s long history of outshining the men on the international stage, Forbes’ Derek Saul reports.
The Saga At Twitter Continues: After Elon Musk’s ultimatum last week, which gave workers two days to decide if they want to stay at the new, “hardcore” Twitter, the new Twitter owner said “I frankly don’t want to be CEO of any company” and hundreds of employees reportedly resigned. Forbes contributors weighed in: Edward Segal wrote about how the ultimatum ramps up the company’s crisis, Mark Murphy reminded us such layoffs aren’t likely to have the effect their leaders desire, and Bryan Robinson wrote about how Musk’s leadership style can be bad for business and mental health.
Quiet No More: The U.S. House voted last week to pass the Speak Out Act, which if signed into law will let employees talk about their experiences with harassment or assault at work by invalidating nondisclosure agreements (NDAs) that force workers to remain silent in these cases. It had unanimously passed the Senate in September and will now head to Biden’s desk for signature, senior contributor Kim Elsesser writes.
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