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Talent and HR News Weekly Roundup: Best of Focus on Employees


Talent and HR News Weekly Roundup: Best of Focus on Employees

As part of our "Best of" series, this week we're taking a look back at anything with a focus on employees. From engagement to motivation, take a look at the highlights from 2014: 

1) No Managers Required: How Zappos Ditched the Old Corporate Structure for Something New from Fast Company

"No more job titles. No more managers. No more hierarchical decisions. By this time next year, Zappos’s 1,500 workers will be organized into something called a holacracy.  Holacracy is a little known organizational management system that’s is gaining a toehold in the business world. Zappos, so far, is its biggest adopter. Holacracy takes its name from the Greek word holos, a single, autonomous, self-sufficient unit, that is, at the same time, dependent on a larger unit. Think of a human cell’s relationship to the entire body."


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Why It Sucks to Work At [Company]

There's no shortage of complaints on workplaces over at Glassdoor. And I remember freaking out when I managed Marriott's employer brand and an employee at a branded hotel did this. We all have the things we love and hate about work, workplaces, bosses, co-workers etc.  So I'm never surprised when a company's lackluster performance unearths tons of complaints about what it's like to work there. The latest victim? Bloomberg's piece on Fab. Fab is an online retailer with a modern, hip, usable edge. CEO Jason Goldberg is the former founder of Jobster and the Bloomberg article posits his current startup culture as rough, to say the least.  I won't repeat some of Sarah Lacy's excellent points on the topic, but I will say to anyone who has or wants a job:

You are responsible for understanding a company's culture and its implications.

And, you can leave any time you want.

Successful companies should have a defined culture. Startups should work to define one. Both should hold employees accountable.  And employees can decide whether to stay or go.

This is the concept of being at at-will employee.

Some of the stuff Fab does might bother you.  Some not. Me, I'm a rule follower so I appreciate a tight run ship like Fab has. I hate jerks, so I would have loved GE's "no as***le" rule. And the only hokeyness I want in my life is my alma mater, so Zappos' antics probably wouldn't be for me.  The point is, I know what matters to me, and I took the time to figure it out. That's why I left my last job to start this business.

Do companies have to do a better job of being clear about their culture? Yes. But in the meantime, you can find out by doing some digging on your own:

- look for social cues in employees and company-sponsored social media channels

- ask employees how things are celebrated (if at all)

- ask employees what's the best and worst thing they've seen at work

- pay close attention to the office when you go to interview

- look for themes in the answers you get

Be a cultural anthropologist.

Then exercise your right to search for jobs in companies that are a fit for you. In the meantime, we'll work on getting the companies to do a better job with their culture.


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