Here’s the Latest WE:Brief – WE keep you in the know – October 2022!

“New research found that most workplaces are continuing to invest in the least effective well-being tools for workers.”


Kate Lister‘s insight:
An Australian study of 1,000 randomly-selected workers found that most workplaces are investing in the least-effective well-being tools. This may be a small survey population, but it’s consistent with a large body of research on workplace stress and the ‘value’ of interventions.  


Employee assistance programs (EAP) are the most-provided and least-utilized well-being tool. Their effectiveness was found to be only slightly higher than doing nothing. 


The most effective tools were: AI well-being bots, well-being apps, well-being workshops, and coaching. Unfortunately, they are offered far less often than EAPs.


The real problem, according to this Psychology Today article, is that none of these solutions address the real cause of burnout and stress:
   – Unachievable job demands (reported by 94% of respondents)
   – Workplace relationships (91%),
   – Harassment (88%)


Leaders are wringing their hands about employee stress, but most are not addressing the underlying causes such as unrealistic expectations, being continually asked to do more with less, poor management, employee surveillance, microaggressions, and more. 
Unless and until employers do something about the root cause of employee stress, they are simply putting a bandaid over an artery.


You can download the study here.


City plans to provide tens of millions of dollars in subsidies to revitalize the LaSalle Street corridor
Kate Lister‘s insight:
In Chicago, California, and elsewhere office-to-residential conversions are on the rise. Plagued by high vacancy rates even before the pandemic, many older office properties have become financial liabilities. With the help of tax credits, subsidies, and lower lease rates, some are seeing new life as affordable housing. 


Drawing on research of transformative companies, PwC authors suggest ways executive teams can disrupt themselves and become leaders in the digital age.
Kate Lister‘s insight:
Successful digital transformation takes more than just going digital. It requires “…dynamic combinations of a knowledge base, processes, technologies, data, skills, culture, and organizational models…”


This article offers seven ‘imperatives for success’ that also apply to workplace transformation:
1) Reimagine your place in the world
2) Embrace and create value via ecosystems
3) Build a system of privileged insights with your customers
4) Make your organization outcome-oriented
5) Invert the focus on the leadership team
6) Reinvent the social contract with your people
7) Disrupt your own leadership approach


Each of the above is covered in detail in the article.
“Workplace experts talk about the changing approach to workplace management, hybrid work strategies, and how best to ensure a safe and healthy workplace environment. Read the key takeaways from their discussion.
The panelists included:
– John Raspin, Partner and Director of Energy & Environment at Frost & Sullivan
– Brett Spindler, Senior Director Building Enterprise Solutions at Schneider Electric
– Sander Grünewald, Global Head of Real Estate Advisory at KPMG
– Henriette Weiss, Global Head of Workplace Solutions at Philips Real Estate
– Peter Ankerstjerne, Chief Strategy Officer and Chairman of the Planon North American Board


“Even in organizations that remain committed to offering employees significant remote or hybrid work, there is often a desire among leaders to foster togetherness with a return to in-person learning events. But as learning professionals, the authors hear many myths when it comes to what in-person learning and other in-person experiences can actually achieve.”
Kate Lister‘s insight:
The article, written by EY’s CLO (formerly Ernst & Young) and a social psychologist, makes a research-based argument that many popular assumptions about the superiority of in-person experiences and learning are patently false. It goes on to explain why virtual experiences are better in some circumstances, when it’s best to be face-to-face, and how to make the most of in-person time. The myths they bust include:


1) Myth! — In-person learning is more effective
2) Myth! — In-person events help create/strengthen culture
3) Myth! — People should come together to get a break from their screens
4) Myth! — Networking and connection can only be done in person


To make the most of in-person events, the authors suggest making them voluntary, strategic, and intentional with recommendations for how to do that.
Savills USA | After enjoying the comfort and psychological safety of working from home during the pandemic, introverts are more reluctant than most to return to the office.
Kate Lister‘s insight:
My name is Kate and I am an introvert. And I’m not alone. Between a third and a half of the U.S. population leans toward the introversion end of intro/extraversion scale. For much of their lives they have been forced to ‘fake it if they want to make it’ in a world that wasn’t designed for them. With all eyes open to the importance of having a diverse, equitable, and inclusive workforce, this short paper offers advice for how and why it’s time to start taking the needs of this silent minority seriously.

Companies with employees in the European Union (EU) could be affected by a landmark proposal to regulate the use of artificial intelligence across the region.
Kate Lister‘s insight:
EU countries are hammering out a landmark proposal to regulate the use of artificial intelligence (AI) across the region and, in some circumstances, around the world. The EU AI Act would establish a sliding scale based on the risk of misuse of the data. The higher the risk, the greater the scrutiny. In some cases, technologies will be banned altogether. As it’s currently proposed, AI systems used in employment contexts, including people analytics, would be labeled high risk. This could have broad implications for, among other things, people tracking technologies. Like GDPR, this could also set the stage for the development of similar laws in non-EU countries.
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