Here are the top news stories in talent & organization from this week.

Why company culture matters, now more than ever

Failures of culture have been the single biggest destroyers of value in the last five years, argues Laszlo Bock, which is why the time to invest in company culture is now. As Google’s senior vice president of people operations from 2006 to 2016, Laszlo grew the company’s workforce from 6,000 to 76,000. “And no, it wasn’t about the free food, lava lamps, and beanbags, if you ask him,” Michael Schneider notes. “It was about making work a little more enjoyable and productive each day.” In this Inc. article, Schneider summarizes Laszlo’s three reasons why culture should matter to organizations now: 1. Organizations need to monitor and invest in their internal brand just as much as the external. 2. The data on culture shows a clear economic impact. 3. People technology has advanced enough to help with both employee engagement and conflict resolution. “Culture is not a buzzword anymore. With the evolution of the workplace, organizations have to leverage cultural strategies now to drive organizational alignment, foster ethical/risk-averse behavior, and as a result, positively impact the bottom line through increases in productivity,” Schneider concludes.

Five keys to retaining millennial employees

Millennials can get a bad rap for being disloyal, but that reputation is undeserved, argues Ashley Stahl. “It can’t be forgotten that commitment is a two-way street,” she writes in Forbes. “That’s why businesses need to evaluate where they are misaligned with the needs of this generation.” Stahl believes it is crucial for companies to understand what attracts millennials to a specific workplace and lists five characteristics they look for in a job: 1. Money isn’t a priority—millennials prefer a career that is more aligned with their core values, passion, and improvement of work-life balance. 2. Career growth is a constant necessity—millennials seek to grow knowledge, experience, and expertise as quickly as possible. 3. Millennials want to grow their careers quickly. 4. Frequent feedback is important for millennials in order to stay on their desired career growth. 5. Purpose is a core value—they yearn to connect to a company’s mission and values. “I’m not placing blame. I am, however, pointing out that things can be improved to help both companies retain employees and for millennials to find a place they can truly commit, grow and give back,” Stahl writes.

American Banker ranks “The Most Powerful Women in Banking”

Cathy Bessant, chief operations and technology officer at Bank of America, tops American Banker’s “Most Notable Women in Banking” list for 2019. “From wrestling with the potential impact of Brexit to charting a course for responsible artificial intelligence, this year’s Most Powerful Women in Banking have faced many challenges during the past year,” the magazine notes. Behind Bessant in the top 10 are Ellen Alemany, chairman and CEO of CIT Group; Nandita Bakhshi, president and CEO of Bank of the West; Diane Reyes, group general manager and global head of liquidity and cash management at HSBC; Anne Finucane, vice chairman of Bank of America; Jane Fraser, Citigroup’s chief executive for Latin America; Thasunda Duckett, chief executive of Chase consumer banking for JPMorgan Chase; Diane Morais, president of consumer and commercial banking products for Ally Financial; Stacey Friedman, general counsel at JPMorgan Chase; and Andrea Smith, chief administrative officer at Bank of America.

How to support the workforce shift in insurance

Historically, male, white and middle-aged employees have dominated the insurance workforce, that but dynamic is starting to shift, claims Bethan Moorcraft. “Diversity and inclusion is starting to make its mark on the insurance industry,” she writes in Insurance Business America. “Today, there’s a lot more diversity in the insurance workforce in terms of gender, age, ethnicity, sexuality, religious beliefs (the list goes on), than there was 20 years ago.” Moorcraft argues that building inclusive workplace cultures in insurance will also require setting up affinity groups, and mentorship and sponsorship programs to support employees from all backgrounds. The magazine will host two Women in Insurance conferences exploring these topics, on Oct. 3 in San Francisco and Oct. 10 in London.

For more news on the insurance workforce, see our page here.

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