March 9, 2018

The Roundup: Hack your work day, rethink talent strategies, and #PressforProgress

This week, productivity patterns can help us be more strategic at work, and rethinking talent management approaches can address the skills gap. Plus, International Women's Day 2018 sheds light on how communication can help to change culture.

Hack your workday with the science of timing

New York Times best-selling author and behavioral science writer (and one of Ceridian’s 2017 INSIGHTS keynote speakers) Daniel Pink says in his new book that we should use our daily mood and mental patterns more strategically at work.

Pink used a range of studies – psychological, biological, and economic – to inform the research for When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing. Speaking with NPR, Pink says he found that people tend to move through the day in three stages – a peak, a trough and a recovery – during which our energy and thinking patterns change. During peak times, which for most people is in the morning, we’re better at analytical work. He adds that mood follows a similar pattern, which also affects performance.

What does this mean? As noted in Quartz, we should use these patterns to be more strategic about our workdays, especially meetings.

“’The only criterion we use [for meetings] is availability,’ says Pink. What we should all be doing instead, he says, is treating timing as a strategic decision, because our mood and mental capacities fluctuate dramatically throughout the day.”

Rethink talent management strategies to address the skills gap

LinkedIn’s monthly U.S. workforce report for March 2018 highlights the skills gap employers and employees alike are facing in today’s world of work.

While the report specifically dives into the banking and financial industries, its takeaways regarding the skills gap are applicable across industries.

In particular, employers can narrow the gap by being aware of their own labor market dynamics, and equipping their employees with the appropriate education and skills, not just for their current state, but future as well.

This is where HR leadership can have a strategic impact by reimagining their talent management strategies and employee experience. A greater focus on building leaders from within with on-going education and training helps leading organizations stay ahead.

Related: Four tips for effectively engaging today’s workforce

International Women’s Day 2018: Pressing for progress at work

For this year’s International Women’s Day, one of the messages that emerged for employers as brands, thought leaders and individuals shared their stories, their action plans and their progress is that communication is key to creating a culture of change.

Big brands were demonstrative of their support for gender equality, with several prominently featuring their own female employees as part of their campaigns.

This Swedish financial trade union launched a video sharing how children react to the concept of the gender gap, with the goal of communicating to the industry’s younger workers that gender equality is a priority.

And Google parsed its search data. Workplace representation, access to education and sexual harassment were three of the top search interest topics in the past week. Of the top five searched “how to” questions about gender equality in the last year, one was “How to improve gender equality in the workplace.”

Employers, take note – supporting these conversations and creating a platform for them in the workplace is a critical step towards progress.

Related: Changing minds: Four steps to create a culture shift at your company (IWD 2018)

Danielle Ng-See-Quan

Dani is the Senior Manager, Content Marketing at Ceridian.

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