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Monthly Archives: January 2017

Tips to Get the Most Out of Your Diversity Training

Despite the attempts some employers are making to build awareness of cultural differences in the workplace, their efforts may not be having the type of long-lasting impact they are hoping for, new research finds.

A study recently published in thePsychological Bulletin found that, while many employees gain an initial increase into cultural awareness after training, their thoughts on diversity tend to revert over time.

The researchers found that in order for diversity training to be successful, it needs to be mandatory, delivered over an extended period of time, integrated with other initiatives, and designed to increase both awareness and skills.

In addition, employers should vary up how the training is presented. The study’s authors discovered that employees responded more favorably to diversity training when it used several methods of instruction, including lectures, discussions and exercises.

Kate Bezrukova, one of the study’s authors and an associate professor in the University of Buffalo’s School of Management, said diversity programs have the greatest impact when they are delivered as part of a series of related initiatives, such as mentoring or networking groups for minority professionals.

“When organizations demonstrate a commitment to diversity, employees are more motivated to learn about and understand these societal issues and apply that in their daily interactions,” Bezrukova said in a statement.

For the study, researchers analyzed more than 40 years of research on diversity training. It included a combination of data from 260 studies and more than 29,000 participants across a variety of fields.

After examining all of the past research, the study’s authors discovered that diversity training typically has positive effects on employees’ knowledge and attitudes and behaviors of diverse groups.

However, over time, while employees’ cultural knowledge remained the same or increased, their attitudes regressed to what they were before the training occurred, according to the study.

“The attitudes this training attempts to change are generally strong, emotion-driven and tied to our personal identities, and we found little evidence that long-term effects to them are sustainable,” Bezrukova said. “However, when people are reminded of scenarios covered in training by their colleagues or even the media, they are able to retain or expand on the information they learned.”

Bezrukova said that in the end, diversity training has the potential to make a huge positive impact in addressing biases and prejudice within organizations. The key, however, is ensuring that the training is done the right way.

“At best, it can engage and retain women and people of color in the workplace, but at worst, it can backfire and reinforce stereotypes,” Bezrukova said.

The study was co-authored by Karen Jehn, a professor at the University of Melbourne Business School; Jamie Perry, an assistant professor at Cornell University; and Chester Spell, a professor at Rutgers University.

The Top 7 Workplaces for Women

As gender equality continues to take the spotlight in workplace issues, more women are seeking job opportunities with companies where they’re most likely to receive equal pay and treatment.

InHerSight, a workplace ratings and matching site for women, collected user ratings data on 27,000 U.S. companies across five main categories: equal opportunities for men and women, salary satisfaction, maternity and adoptive leave, top leadership, and management opportunities for women.

While InHerSight used its data to rank the best workplaces in each category on a five-point scale, the top 7 workplaces for women overall include:

  1. Title Source (4.6)
  2. Procore Technologies (4.4)
  3. The Boston Consulting Group (4.2)
  4. The Motley Fool (4.0)
  5. Netflix (4.0)
  6. Facebook (4.0)
  7. NetSuite (3.9)

According to Ursula Mead, CEO of InHerSight, female representation in leadership and management opportunities for women, as well as equal opportunities and salary satisfaction, are strong predictors of women’s satisfaction at work.

Last year, several high-profile companies announced improvements to their parental leave programs, so maternity and adoptive leave became a highlighted factor for InHerSight. Mead hopes that trend continues in 2017.

“The great news about many of these larger companies is that they’re always hiring, and often hiring for a lot of open positions,” said Mead. “For example, a quick look at the Netflix careers page shows hundreds of open positions right now. Of course, there’s a lot of competition for these jobs, but that shouldn’t stop you from applying.”

While it might be difficult to get a job at many of the bigger-name places on the list, that doesn’t mean that you can’t have all those benefits at your current or future company. InHerSight found that reviewing salaries and correcting pay gaps was the policy change women wanted the most at their current employer (more than 31 percent).

“Companies aren’t mind readers – if you want to see changes to benefits or initiatives, you may have to initiate that conversation with your manager or HR team. Most companies want to know how they can better support their employees and will welcome that dialogue,” Mead said.

She also suggested that women hoping to make a change at their company do some initial research on how their company’s policies compare to others and what the options are. “It’s also important to think about your request from the employer’s perspective to demonstrate awareness of what some of their concerns and constraints might be so you can both be solutions oriented.”

6 Creative Ways to Show Employee Appreciation

Anyone can perform a task at work knowing the end result is a salary. However, passion and hard work often stems from affirmations employees hear from their boss or manager. Workers don’t just crave a paycheck — they want recognition, verbal appreciation and encouragement.

Of course, it’s easy to say “thank you” or “good job” and be done with it; but there are countless ways to show your support and respect for your employees. Business News Daily asked business owners and experts to share the best ways to make your employees feel more appreciated.

“[Put] the power of recognition and reward in their hands. I use apps and programs like YouEarnedIt to give my employees the power to give each other kudos for good work done. I let my team members choose their reward, too, because not everyone wants a cash bonus or a gift card.”

“It could be done as a request to share. When we let people know we value what they have to offer by asking if they’d share their story, tips, methods, etc. with others, it provides validation to them that they do have something of value to offer, and it boosts their self-confidence and self-esteem in the process. This doesn’t mean we add a training function to their currently overloaded job, but it could be sharing at a team or organizational event, award ceremony or even in a newsletter.”

“Let them make decisions that matter and can impact the company. Verbal appreciation is important, and bonuses or other perks are appreciated, but ultimately, showing someone that you trust their opinion and expertise is far more valuable.”

“My favorite forms of appreciation include unexpected treats like group lunches or a shortened workday. I also like activities that add value for both the individual and the company, including team-building challenges and fully paid continuing-education courses.”

“Leaders need to be specific in expressing their appreciation so that it reinforces behaviors through positive feedback for the employee. Instead of a generic ‘great job,’ be specific — for example, ‘I really like how you’ve pulled the discussion back together – You’re an exemplary collaborator.’ Being specific also adds meaning and inspires the employee to further develop their skills in that particular area.”

“I think the most valuable way to recognize an employee today is through time —that is, time off, time to do something else besides work. It could be family, a hobby, or a charity, or a short vacation. I don’t think it needs to be routine or regular, and has the most value when it’s unexpected.”

6 Best Apps for Business Travel

Instead of managing every aspect of your business trip, why not let your smartphone do some of the heavy lifting? The right mobile apps can help you get where you need to be, comfortably and on time. And when you get there, they can make it easier to track expenses, meet remotely and be productive on the go. Here are our picks for the smartphone apps that no road warrior should leave home without.

Available for: Android, iOS, Windows Phone

There’s no better way to keep track of your travel expenses than the Concur smartphone app. Concur makes it easy to snap a photo of each new receipt in seconds, so you can ditch the paper. From there, you can add a new “quick expense” with just a few taps, with the ability to go back in and add details to each entry later. And if you did lose track of your receipt, Concur lets you import data from credit cards. Once your trip is done, the apps lets you fire off reports to your manager for reimbursement.

Available for: Android, iOS, Windows Phone

There are dozens of different ways to get held up in the airport, and that’s a big problem if you’re trying to catch a business flight. GateGuru makes navigating the airport easier. For starters, it gives you quick access to your itinerary from your Tripit account. It also lets you view airport security wait times, so you know if you need to get there early. You can even see a structured list of restaurants and shops, which could really come in handy when you’re passing through unfamiliar airports.

Available for: Android, iOS, Windows Phone, BlackBerry

Tripit is a handy app for tracking and managing the details of your business trips. It lets you track flight information, view and share all your itineraries and even syncs your travel calendar between iOS and Android devices. It can also pull in weather updates to alert you to incoming storms that could affect your trip. And once you’ve arrived at your destination, Tripit can recommend restaurants and hotels. The app also includes a basic expense-tracking tool for easier reimbursement later.

Available for: Android, iOS, Windows Phone, BlackBerry

The Skype app is a great tool for connecting with colleagues, co-workers and clients when you’re traveling away from the office. The app lets you make video calls using the front-facing camera on your smartphone for face-to-face meetings from anywhere. You can also remotely join staff meetings that are scheduled during your trip. Plus, the Skype app includes a handy address book for managing all your business contacts, making it easy for you to connect using just a few taps.

Available for: Android, iOS

Tired of getting stuck in the middle seat on business flights? The Seat Alerts app can monitor airline bookings and alert you when the seat you want becomes available. The app can help you find a window or aisle seat right up until the time the flight departs. That way you can lean against the window to catch some sleep, or snag an aisle seat for more leg room and a quicker exit when you reach your destination. The app can even simultaneously monitor seat availability on multiple flights.

Available for: Android, iOS

Finding a decent parking spot can be a nightmare, especially if you’re traveling in an unfamiliar city. The Best Parking app can help by steering you toward the cheapest and most convenient parking garages and lots, helping you save money and time. It currently only works in 105 cities and 115 airports across North America, so it won’t be much help during international trips.