At first glance, it seems redundant, doesn’t it? Renewal and New Year? It’s almost implied. Yet, for so many of us, and for so many organizations, we move from one year to the next continuing with the same behavioral patterns we had in the year before. Whether it’s risk aversion or an inherent resistance to change, staying in our comfort zones keeps us from growing. 

So how do we break out of our routines from years past? A key to change, Forbes says, is to continually embrace new information. And that’s where we come in: we’re here to help!  Our new-for-you newsletter is designed to bring you new information in an easily digestible format: 

  •  One thing to Read
  •  One thing to Know
  •  One thing to Watch
  •  One thing to Share

Each newsletter will provide actionable information relevant to the work we do in recruitment marketing and employer branding. In it, you’ll learn things like the latest employment trends, get a bead on monthly labor reports, and find out about learning & development opportunities to recharge you and your team. Our hope is that it will keep you in the zone and ready to try new things. 

If there’s a topic you’d like to see addressed in our newsletter or want to discuss, please feel free to reach out and let me know. We’d love to hear from you about this, or any other topic you want to discuss!  You can book time with me here or visit our website for “team time.” 

On another note, if you’re planning on being in San Diego next week for #TAWeek, please make sure to stop by our booth next to the registration desk in the main foyer. We’ve got some fun things planned for attendees such as our charging station (for people and tech), a 360 photo booth, and some prizes you won’t want to miss! #NotYourGrandmasGiveaways

Finally, to kick the year off in a celebratory way, we’d like to give recognition to one of our clients, Rahul Yodh, and his team at New Western.  New Western was recently listed as the #11 Best Place to Work on Glassdoor’s Annual list. Congratulations, Rahul and team! 

To all of you, I hope 2023 is your best year yet!

Crystal Miller Lay

Let me start by saying that everything you read in this post is colored by the fact that San Diego is my favorite place on the planet.  There’s not even a close second.  (If you see me in person, buy me a cup of coffee and I’ll tell you the story.  Or, frankly, any story you want.  I really like coffee.)  

With that disclosure in place, let me say that TA Week in San Diego this year was a great show with a ton of highlights.  I’m glad to get to share a few of them with you!

Day One

For the GBS team, the show started with a great content-focused workshop.  Over the course of two hours, Crystal and Jenn dazzled the crowd with their depth of knowledge and simple, meaningful plans for enhancing content creation for EB.  (If you missed it, don’t fret, Boba Fett.  We’ll be seeing it soon as a webinar!)  So many people visited our area over the balance of the show to follow up, ask questions, and talk about partnerships in creating content.  We’ve done a lot of workshops over the years, but it is always satisfying to get to dive in deep with practitioners and help solve some problems.  That’s the best part of any event, and we’re lucky to get to experience it!

The welcome reception was also a great time.  We were lucky enough to be set up in the foyer, so we had a lot of traffic for the evening.  We set up our 360 photo booth and spent the evening helping our hundreds of friends get great shots to remember their trip.  Feel free to check out #TA_Week on Twitter to see some of those videos.

Day Two

Wednesday was the first of two “main agenda” days, meaning two full tracks of sessions.  We spent most of our day in our booth, building out more services for attendees.  Between setting up snacks (who knew protein bars would be such a hit?), a first aid station, multiple charging stations, and a comfortable place to sit and look at the water, we worked to create a comfortable space for friends.  It kept us busy, with a day full of visitors and tech demos with other vendors.

Who caught my eye?  There were a couple that stood out that I’m excited to share!

Cliquify - A platform for distributing Employer Brand content across teams and locations, while maintaining brand standards and controlled user editing.  There was a lot of excitement for their platform, and I heard their name in conversation a lot across the event.  If you deal with content, or if you are looking for a way to distribute the work you are doing in this area, they are absolutely worth checking out!

Joonko - A very interesting tech that helps you convert diverse candidates into employees.  They have a great story, a great team, and are very much worth your attention.  (Also, full disclosure, they were there for me when I realized I had thrown on white socks instead of dress socks that morning and hooked me up with some of their sock swag.  It was on point, and I’m eternally grateful.)

Day Three

This was the big day for Team GBS.  I had the pleasure of serving as Emcee for the day, and it admittedly felt like coming home. Having served in this role at previous #TA_Week events, it was an honor to be back on stage, directing traffic for the day.

Crystal started the day with me, serving as our opening keynote discussion and then leading a session on neurodiversity in the workplace.  She shared some of the great work and research she’s done in this realm and invited two of our clients to join as well.  We heard stories from Rahul Yohd, VP of Talent Acquisition for New Western, and Erica Weber Whitmore, Director of Talent Acquisition for McKinstry, and their work around building inclusive workplaces.  While they have very different cultures and approaches, they both have great stories and successes to share.  If you’d like to get the one-pager from this session, you can grab it here! 

We also had some fun giving away a couple of fun attendance prizes, including a Louis Vuitton Neverful MM and a Kindle Scribe.   Keep an eye on our Facebook page to see who walked away with those!

And, like most great events, it ended too quickly.  I’m already looking forward to next year, though we also have the summer virtual event in July to keep us warm.  The SRSC team are great partners and are absolutely worthy of your consideration if you’ve never attended an event.  We made some great connections, and have some budding new partnerships as souvenirs.  2023 is off to a great start.  Here’s hoping you’ll join us on our journey for the rest of it!

It's an iconic saying from a movie, and then Broadway show, that has an outright cult following. It's even the movie quote I chose for the Yeti cup GBS gives to all of team members (fun fact, we all get personalized mugs with our favorite movie or TV show quotes!). I've got a lot of love for Mean Girls, but I don't want to be a "Mean Girl."

Unfortunately, bullying doesn't just exist in the movies... nor does it remain relegated to our collective childhoods. Workplace Bullying is the repeated or ongoing mistreatment of an employee by one or more other employees. For the targeted employee, the abuse is threatening, humiliating, or intimidating in nature, eroding psychological safety in the workplace for those targeted and those witnessing it. In the United States alone, statistics reveal 4 out of 10 employees are actively experiencing it and cases are on the rise. 

The Workplace Bullying Institute - because bullying is so prevalent we need an Institute to study it - reports that over 79 million workers have been affected by workplace bullying. In today's climate where bullying behavior has become somewhat celebrated in certain circles, an estimated 6.6 million workers declared themselves perpetrators of workplace bullying or stalking behavior.  And lest you think remote work has helped the situation, let me assure you it has not.  As outlined in the table below, there is a qualitative difference in the various work types, with remote workers experiencing the highest percentage of bullying. 

This disparity is unsurprising. It's generally easier people with unchecked aggression and bully mentalities to harass people online as they don't have the immediate accountability associated with face-to-face interactions. Studies show online harassers not only believe they're less likely to face consequences for their behavior... they actually are less likely to get caught or called out by others for their behavior. 

The Bully, the Bullied and the Employer Brand 

Online workplace bullying can take many forms, most commonly: 

  •  harassment (insults or threatening behavior)
  •  spreading rumors
  •  outing confidences and secrets with the intent to embarrass or discredit
  •  exclusion
  •  work is monitored closely without cause, reducing worker autonomy
  •  wrongful blame or sabotaging work, including taking credit for the targeted's ideas

Obviously, none of these are great for employees' mental well-being. Being subjected to these behaviors cause real mental harm and isolates them in your workplace. The org suffers, too. While increased absenteeism is common among bullied with up to 4 times the number of sick days in a month, "presenteeism" is on the rise.  Presenteeism is when someone shows up for work, but they aren't really fit to be there. As a result, they have lower productivity (up to a 154% reduction in performance) and display a host of behaviors associated with low psychological safety in the workplace, such as: 

  •  difficulty concentrating and making decisions
  •  lowered quality of work due to helplessness and disorientation
  •  lack of participation in team work and discussions, due to loss of self-esteem and confidence
  •  increased stress and anxiety levels, leading to a reduction in overall physical and mental health

For the organization, this behavior impacts more than the targeted individual(s). The ripple effect hits the organization with consequences as well, such as first increased absenteeism followed by the increased attrition of bullied employees and those who witness the behavior. Additionally, bullying behavior in the workplace leads to loss of trust and loyalty, negative culture shifts due to toxic work environments, and poor team dynamics. These things are not only likely to reduce business productivity and profits; they're likely to show up on employee review sites such as Glassdoor, damaging employer brand reputation. 

While those working in talent attraction, employer brand and recruitment marketing may not be able to directly put an end to workplace bullying, there are things that should be done. Work with HR and your employee comms team to establish and communicate an Anti-Bullying Policy that encourages open communication, safe reporting (and encourage screenshots of the behavior for reporting with remote workers). Publish this, along with your commitment to zero tolerance, on your career site. Ensure there's a process for handling online complaints on social media and employee review sites. The goals should include acknowledging the seriousness of the complaint and moving the conversation offline for proper reporting. In doing so, you can help your organization demonstrate your commitment to your team's psychological safety on National Pink Day and every other day of the year. 

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