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HR Research Radar: 5 New, Must-Read Reports

Posted by Heidi Erdmann-Sullivan on 6 Jul 2017

Five new, must read HR research reports

There’s no shortage of compelling workplace research published in the first half of 2017.   But for many of us, there’s a shortage of time to dedicate to finding it.

Found: Five essential reports to put on your HR radar.

Here are links, snapshots and a few stand-out stats from each key report – two established, annual reports, and three new to the scene.  Whether it’s the state of the American workplace, better understanding how race and ethnicity impact the economic state of Millennials, advancing women, gaining a global perspective on managing human capital, or standing up to unfairness in the technology sector, each report contains critical research about the challenges we face now, and the opportunities that lie in the years ahead.  

1. Gen Forward: A Report on the Lived Economic Lives of Millennials
Published: June 2017

What it covers:  None of the major studies about Millennials have taken an in-depth look at how race and ethnicity are impacting the economic opportunities and outlook of this generation - until now.  More than 1,750 diverse Millennials from across the U.S. participated in the "first of its kind" Gen Forward study.  Led by the University of Chicago, this initial report summarizes responses from what will be a series of ongoing,  bi-monthly surveys.   From employment status, to benefits received, to workplace discrimination, to personal finances and outlook on the future of individual success, this is a critical study, helping us to better understand the complexities of the most diverse American generation yet.    

Stand-out stat: "White and Asian American Millennials employed in full-time positions receive more benefits from their employer than African American and Latino/a Millennials."

2.  Kapor Center for Social Impact: The 2017 Tech Leavers Study
Published: April 2017

What it covers:  Brand new to the research scene, the Kapor Center’s Tech Leavers Study provides an unprecedented and in-depth look at why employees leave technology companies: unfairness.  2,000+ U.S. employees who had voluntarily left their jobs in technology participated in the study, sharing their personal experiences, and citing the key reasons for their departure: toxic cultures, lack of diversity and inclusion, and rampant unfairness (bullying, harassment, racial discrimination).  The report conservatively estimates that unfairness alone costs tech companies $16B a year in employee replacement costs.

The report helps illustrate that while unfairness connects those who have departed, experiences based on race, gender and sexual orientation are varied.  Its sections provide a detailed analysis of tech’s lack of diversity and why it matters, key reasons for turnover, addressing toxic cultures, as well as the costs in inadequately addressing these problems.  It also provides sound recommendations for facing this reality, ways to make impactful changes, and how to commit to righting the way for the future. 

Stand-out stat: “Unfairness is most pronounced in the tech industry: employees in tech companies were significantly more likely to leave due to unfairness than technical employees in other industries (42 percent vs. 32 percent).”

3.  2017 Deloitte Human Capital Trends: Rewriting the Rules for the Digital Age
Published: February 2017

What it covers: Everything. Deloitte’s 5th annual report gives HR professionals and business leaders around the world a clearer understanding of the breadth and depth of change occurring with the digitization of the workplace. The report was authored with supporting data from 10,000 HR and business leaders surveyed across 140 countries. 

It takes an in-depth look at 10 key areas, including the organization of the future, the employee experience, digital HR, leadership, diversity and inclusion, the augmented workforce, AI and more. And each section provides clear steps that organizations can take to begin to successfully respond. Includes mini case studies, a plethora of charts, tables and graphs, filled with compelling stats, and clear, old vs. new rules side-by-sides. 

Stand-out stat: “Nearly 80 percent of executives rated employee experience very important (42 percent) or important (38 percent), but only 22 percent reported that their companies were excellent at building a differentiated employee experience.”  

4.  Gallup State of the American Workplace 2017
Published: February 2017

What it covers: First published in 2010, the State of the American Workplace is now in its third iteration.  Based on data collected from nearly 200,000 employees through Gallup Panel and Gallup Daily tracking over 2015 and 2016, this report gives a clear, and often startling view, of the state of the employee experience - and lack of engagement - in the U.S.

Each section dives into the core areas of attracting, retaining and engaging employees, and why there’s a dire need to recognize widespread employer shortcomings - and tackle them head on.  It calls for leadership across all areas of organizations to make bold changes in response to the issues that come with our modern workforce.  Chock full of eye-opening statistics, this report will keep you reading page after page.

Stand-out stat: “Only 33 percent of employees are engaged at work, and 51 percent say they are actively looking for a new job.”

5.  IFC: SheWorks Knowledge Report: Putting Gender Smart Commitments into Practice at the Workplace
Published: December 2016

What it covers: A member of the World Bank Group, The International Finance Corporation (IFC) led the SheWorks initiative in partnership with 13 leading, private sector companies and 3 strategic partners.  A two-year program that aimed to better the workplace for women, and put mechanisms in place to ensure their advancement, the SheWorks Knowledge Report is the culmination of this partnership.  Each participating company committed to a minimum of 3 initiatives that better supported women in their organization, collectively making an impact on 300,000 women by 2016, while demonstrating a positive impact on company bottom line.  Their experiences and key learnings are shared in the report.

To better support its business case, the report compiles strong supporting data from the best global research about women in the workplace, particularly the integral role they play in an organization’s overall financial success.  Individual sections focus on leadership and management, measurement and progress reporting, anti-sexual harassment mechanisms, successful recruitment and retention, and more. The individual stories and case studies, expert advice, as well as concrete “lessons learned” at the end of each section (based on direct feedback from the 13 participating companies) make this a compelling read and new best practices go-to.

Notable quote: “The benefits of having more women in leadership roles include better firm performance, particularly during periods of economic volatility, and greater ability to minimize high-risk financial transactions and serve markets dominated by women.”

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