In this roundup of HR Web Cafe News, we offer a collection of noteworthy articles from our recent reading list, including a report on workplace class action litigation, leadership training, a roundup of ideas on The Great Resignation and what HR managers can do to bolster retention. We also offer thoughts on hybrid work arrangements, and close with a few items from the lighter side.

Workplace Class Action Payouts Unexpectedly Grew During Pandemic in 2021
Insurance Journal

Seyfarth’s 18th Annual Workplace Class Action Litigation Report says it examined a record number of 1,607 class action rulings in 2021. The analysis includes all rulings in the federal and state court systems.

The law firm reports the aggregate amount of the top 10 private monetary settlements in each of five categories of workplace class action lawsuits; employment discrimination, wage and hour, Employee Retirement Income Security Act, statutory private actions and governmental employment. Altogether, the total of the top ten settlements in each of the categories was $3.62 billion in 2021, surpassing the previous high of $2.72 billion set in 2017 and dwarfing the $1.58 billion paid out in settlements in 2020.

Leadership Training Shouldn’t Just Be for Top Performers
Navio Kwok and Winny Shen, Harvard Business Review

A by-product of the leadership development paradox is that the “rest” are typically excluded from those opportunities, creating disparities and perceived inequities within organizations. A longstanding finding of health and policy research is that unequal societies with large gaps between the haves and have-nots have a poorer quality of life. Likewise, organizations with larger gaps between those who do and do not receive development can also be susceptible to organizational disparity.

The Great Resignation

Toxic Culture Is Driving the Great Resignation
Donald Sull, Charles Sull, and Ben Zweig, MIT Sloan Management Review

Research using employee data reveals the top five predictors of attrition and four actions managers can take in the short term to reduce attrition.

The Great Resignation? More like The Great Renegotiation
Greg Rosalsky, NPR

However, most Americans quitting their jobs merely seem to be aiming to get better jobs. While we are living in a bizarre pandemic economy with countless strange trends, this isn’t necessarily one of them; it’s pretty standard to see a swell of workers quitting their jobs for greener pastures when the job market is strong and there are lots of shiny opportunities available. When the stars align as they’re aligning now, workers gun for better pay, perks, flexibility, and treatment. Bargaining power has shifted in their favor.

Employee Retention: Your Employment Brand Is Key
Sharlyn Lauby,  HR Bartender

The last thing that companies want is to spend a lot of resources hiring employees only to have them leave in a few weeks or months. I’d like to believe that everyone agrees with me on this. That’s why it’s important not only to have a good recruitment strategy but also a good employee retention strategy.

Formerly Retired Workers Can Help Ease Your Labor Crunch
Rebecca Deczynski, Inc.

How to make their reentry to the workforce as seamless as possible.

Why Health-Care Workers Are Quitting in Droves
Ed Yong, The Atlantic

Since COVID-19 first pummeled the U.S., Americans have been told to flatten the curve lest hospitals be overwhelmed. But hospitals have been overwhelmed. The nation has avoided the most apocalyptic scenarios, such as ventilators running out by the thousands, but it’s still sleepwalked into repeated surges that have overrun the capacity of many hospitals, killed more than 762,000 people, and traumatized countless health-care workers.

Related: Nearly 1 in 4 U.S. Hospitals Have ‘Critical Staffing Shortages’

How to conduct a ‘stay’ interview with your employees, and why you should
Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic, Fast Company

Although organizations have been obsessing over the “war for talent” for two decades, it is surprising how often they will end up losing valuable employees for avoidable reasons, such as not knowing they are disengaged and open to other opportunities. A familiar outcome of this cycle has employers trying to match or improve their competitor’s offer to retain the employee, only to realize it is too little, too late.

Hybrids and the Post Pandemic Workplace

Here’s how leading-edge companies are redesigning for hybrid
Will Bunch, Human Resource Executive

Rite Aid may find itself on the cutting edge of envisioning what the white-collar workplace will look like in the post-COVID-19 era, but it’s hardly alone. As the two-year anniversary of the pandemic approaches, scores of companies are weighing how much employees can continue the popular work-from-home option, how often workers want to come into an office and for what tasks, and what these smaller offices, mainly designed to foster collaboration and teamwork, should look like.

Why hybrid work is emotionally exhausting
Alex Christian, BBC

Optimism among workers soon gave way to fatigue. In Tinypulse’s survey of 100 global workers, 72% reported exhaustion from working hybrid – nearly double the figures for fully remote employees and also greater than those based fully in the office. Voyles says the small sample size reflects a wider trend; she believes it’s the disruption to employees’ daily routines – and the staccato nature of hybrid – that workers find so tiring.

ESI EAP benefits list

HR Web Cafe News Quick Takes

From the Lighter Side of HR Web Cafe News …

Tired of all the bad news? Check out USA Today’s Best of Humankind Awards. The awards highlight everyday people who demonstrated the highest levels of kindness, generosity, compassion, and perseverance. If you missed the TV special, you can watch it here. Refreshing!

Feeling stressed? Click to relax – turn sound on.

It’s important to get your exercise in no matter what the weather. Many of us have treadmills or other fitness equipment at home, but in days of yore, fitness equipment was a little rudimentary and most of the equipment was only available at gyms. Here’s a glimpse of what fitness looked like in a 19th century gym! Be sure to scroll down to see the entire array of equipment.

A fun new comic based on the workplace: – here’s a sample:

Recent HR Web Cafe News blog posts

Get help if you suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (S.A.D. )
HR trends for 2022 and a recap of 2021
The Great Resignation and what employers can do to recruit and retain good employees


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