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People Geekly #34

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Issue No. 34, brought to you by Culture Amp
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Welcome

This is the thirty-fourth issue of Culture Amp's weekly email updating you on all the best #peoplegeek news around.

"New research shows that HR leaders are great "people people" but not as strong in external focus. Makes sense."

josh bersin (@Josh_Bersin)
Draining ambition (2 min 45 sec)

A study that asked more than 1,000 men and women across US companies two questions: “Do you aspire to top management within a large company?” and “Do you have the confidence you can reach top management?” found some rather interesting (and depressing) things. Turns out that women with two years or less of work experience slightly led men in ambition, but for women who had more than two years on the job, aspiration and confidence plummeted 60% and nearly 50%, respectively. The conclusion: companies drain women's ambition.

The perfect job (4 min)

Americans love the fairy tale ideal that there is a perfect person, job and situation out there just waiting to be found. But research shows that, as far as the job hunt goes, that is not necessarily the case. Studies have shown that people who find a suitable job and then grow into it, stay at the job longer, and in the long run are happier, than those who believe they found their perfect job right off the bat. Patricia Chen, a graduate student at the University of Michigan, divides people into two camps: "fit theorists" and "develop theorists." According to Chen, an employee may not love what they do at first, but can still be happy and successful as long as they believe they will come to love the job eventually.

Everyone dreads the annual performance review - the employee, human resources and the manager who has to sit down and tell the employee how they’ve been doing. Many companies are doing away with the annual review for other methods. Studies have found that more effort and resources are put into preparing for the annual meeting than it’s worth. The results are often skewed and leave the employee feeling less motivated and less productive. Adobe has adopted a check-in method, and Accenture also says it will be moving away from the traditional method. Avi Singer of showd.me shares his thoughts on how the review should be a little of both worlds.

Workaholism (6.5 min)

Work addiction is just as devastating to a person and their relationships as any other form of addiction. According to psychotherapist Bryan E. Robinson, workaholism is "an obsessive-compulsive disorder that manifests itself through self-imposed demands, an inability to regulate work habits, and an overindulgence in work to the exclusion of most other life activities." People who suffer from work addiction find they are unable to relax. One woman in a support group tried to watch a Netflix movie and says, “I don't know how I'll ever do that again," adding, "It feels undisciplined. It feels wasteful." This seems to be a problem for most workaholics, who make up an estimated 10% of the US workforce. Fortunately, there are work addiction groups to help.

Diversity debt (11 min)  PICK OF THE WEEK 

Diversity debt is one way to look at diversity in a company. As Andrea Barrica writes "The more people your company hires until you have a diverse team […] the more diversity debt your organization has accrued.” Here she lists some ways that company can do better at building diverse teams, noting that debt starts to accrue after the 4th hire, and is really hard after 20. Other tips include examining your job postings for language that alienates women, minorities, parents and older people; avoiding whiteboard technical interviews; educating yourself about unconscious bias and devoting resources to finding women in leadership positions.

BONUS link: Read our CEO Didier Elzinga's response to The New York Times' piece on Amazon.

Events

We’re proud to be sponsoring the Tech Inclusion Conference. Learn what's currently being done around tech diversity and inclusion, discuss initiatives that have worked – and those that haven't – plus explore new solutions together. This conference is for the whole tech community: engineers and designers, entrepreneurs and policymakers, university faculty and corporate executives… of every race, gender, age, ability and geography. Register here

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