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People Geekly #85

Issue No. 85, brought to you by Culture Amp
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The People Geekly 81
 Tweet of the week (2.5 sec)

"HR needs to be less plonky (and take itself less seriously) and be more creative to engage more people" - Adam Ferrier #ahrinc

Rhonda Brighton-Hall (@rhonda_bh)
The People Geekly is sponsored by Culture Amp, the employee feedback and analytics platform for companies that put culture first. If you'd like to learn more about gathering and analyzing data to help make better decisions, our Culture Amp People Geeks would love to chat with you! 

Over two years, researchers from Harvard Business School and Cornerstone OnDemand, observed the seating plan changes of 2,000 people at an unidentified company. People’s productivity was measured by how quickly tasks were completed. According to the study, the more productive people seated together, the better for others’ productivity, effectiveness and quality of work. The reverse was true for those sitting near “toxic” workers. The researcher’s solution to open office plans? Seat high-productivity employees who generally produce lower-quality work styles near slower paced people who generate high-quality work - the positive effects of each style will rub off on others. 

What is a Love Culture? (4 min)

San Francisco based Chewse, defines their culture as a “love company.” CEO Tracy Lawrence says, “We live wholeheartedly and bring our hearts to work. That means we deal with the racy topics of emotion and love. We intend to prove out a new way of doing business, where you treat people with compassion and humanity. ” She discusses how this model is not only in line with the high-growth of a startup, it’s deeply complementary to its success. 

People Geekup
Asking For Salary History Now Illegal in Mass. (6 min)

Massachusetts has become the first state to prohibit employers asking about salaries before a job offer is made. It will also require a salary to be stated up front by hiring managers. The law is being heralded as a “groundbreaking effort to close the wage gap between men and women.” As women are paid 97 cents for every dollar a man earns, according to the US Census Bureau, there is hope that this law will ensure that historically low salaries do not follow women (and minorities) throughout their careers. 

Mandating a Positive Work Environment (7.5 min)

Creating a positive company culture is a common aspiration for workplaces, but could it get a company in trouble? According to the New Yorker, “In late April, the National Labor Relations Board issued a ruling against T-Mobile for that very aspiration...” They had included a provision in their employee handbook that required workers to “maintain a positive work environment in a manner that is conducive to effective working relationships.” People thrive in positive work environments, but mandating a positive attitude isn’t the best way to workplace happiness. It’s better to allow employees autonomy which in turn fosters emotional positivity. 

The Head of Employee Experience role at Airbnb combines traditional human resource functions of recruiting and talent development with marketing, real estate, facilities, social responsibility, and communications. Breaking down each area, Airbnb’s employee experience is explored, like their food program and library. The question raised is not whether the idea of workplace as an experience will be addressed by other companies, but when and how. 


August 18, 2016 - Auckland, NZ @ Vend
August 23, 2016 - New York, NY @ Tumblr
August 26, 2016 - Melbourne, VIC @ No Vacancy Gallery 
August 31, 2016 - Los Angeles, CA @ The Honest Company 

Other Events
August 11, 2016 - Udemy Presents The Evolution of HR in Business @ Quadras Conference Center 

If you’d like to host a People Geekup in your city, send us a note

In Episode 6 of the Culture First Podcast Culture Amp's People Operations Manager Stacey Nordwall joins the show to talk about designing a culture first office space.

The Culture First Podcast is released bi-weekly and explores what it means to be a culture first company. See options to subscribe here

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To learn more check out the Culture First Blog, Insights Blog, Culture First Podcast and Culture x Numbers.

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