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

How to measure inclusion in the workplace

Inclusion is key to creating organizations in which employees feel a strong sense of belonging and are able to perform at their peak, yet it has proven difficult to measure, argues Paolo Gaudiano. “We can develop a list of activities and events that should be experienced equally by everyone, and find out whether any individuals have felt ‘incidents of exclusion,’ i.e., negative experiences that they felt were the result of their ethnicity, gender, age, sexual orientation, physical ability, or other personal traits,” he writes in this Forbes blog post. Gaudiano lists nine “inclusion categories,” which everyone in the organization should be able to enjoy: access and participation, skills use and assignments, learning and growth, compensation and benefits, promotion and career opportunities, work-life balance, recognition, respect, and workplace interactions. “You will find that the more an individual differs from the ‘normative majority’ of the organization, the more likely they are to report incidents of exclusion across these categories,” he writes. “By quantifying inclusion through these categories, leaders will be able to find out the specific areas that represent the largest risks and most significant opportunities.”

In the war for talent, a strong employment brand is key

In a candidate-driven market, a robust employment brand is critical, claims Kim Pope. “Leading companies understand that today’s candidates are effectively customers and that the employment brand basically acts as a shop window,” she writes in this WilsonHCG blog post. “By looking at your shop window, a customer (candidate) should be able to see what you are selling, i.e. your company values.” She advises companies to clearly articulate a career path progression for each employee, and to hyper-personalize every step of the candidate experience. Employment brand strategies must be holistic and target all types of employees, not just permanent workers. “This is particularly important when you consider contingent talent comprises up to 36 percent of some organizational workforces—it’s important this segment is not overlooked,” she notes.

Disclosure of workforce policies yields dividends

Companies that publish their workforce policies on issues like pay equity and paid maternity leave can generate up to three percent more return on equity than their peers that don’t, according to a new study. JUST Capital analyzed 890 of the largest publicly traded U.S. companies on their approaches toward key human capital management issues. “This assessment of the current state of worker-related policies across corporate America revealed a sobering picture: It’s still the wild west of workforce policy disclosure with little direction on how to best measure issues like pay equity, paid time off, paid parental leave, flexible work, diversity and inclusion policies and targets, provision of day care services, worker training policies, and tuition reimbursement,” writes JUST Capital’s CEO Matthew Whittaker in a commentary for Fortune. The study found that only two percent—18 of the 890 companies analyzed—disclosed their workforce policies on all nine issues, but those that did so generated up to three percent higher return on equity than their peers. “The market, and indeed society, cannot begin to benchmark and incentivize enhanced performance on these critical workforce issues until more companies disclose their actual policies as the first step,” Whittaker writes.

Pivot to the future with reskilling and diversity

“Pivot to the Future: Discovering Value and Creating Growth in a Disrupted World,” a new book by Accenture’s Omar Abbosh, Paul Nunes, and Larry Downes, tells the story of the company’s transformation “to the new”. In an excerpt in Business Insider, the authors reveal how Accenture, facing disruption of its core consulting business in 2014, embarked on a massive reskilling of its workforce as part of its strategic pivot to a “digital-first” future. “Management’s responsibility, we agreed, was to make sure our people would have the skills they needed to serve current and future clients,” they write. “So since 2015 we’ve invested approximately a billion dollars in employee education every year.” They also highlight the importance of diversity and inclusion for success in a wise pivot. “Here, Accenture has experienced tremendous gains in recent years, thanks to the singular and uncompromising leadership of our then-CEO, Pierre Nanterme, who made inclusion and diversity a priority,” the authors write. “By 2018, we had increased the number of women in our workforce to 42 percent. Women now comprise more than 45 percent of our new hires, putting us well on the way to our goal of gender balance by 2025.”

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