By Jorge D. H. Prósperi, 2022
“When Otta.com, a job search platform, surveyed 25,000 workers asking what top qualities job seekers were looking for in their next job, the number one answer was diversity and inclusion along with transparency, respect, meaningful work, recognition and reward for a job well done.”*
The focus in the future will be for companies to create an alliance between management and employees reflecting an inclusive and multicultural working environment with ongoing awareness on individual identity, as well as building a mutually respectful and productive community at large.
“On the employer side of the equation, 8 out of 10 major companies say that they will devote more money to diversity and inclusion in 2022. The Gartner organization states that companies with front line decision making teams reflecting a diverse and inclusive culture will exceed their financial targets and they could outperform their peers by 50% or more.”*
*[The Feldman Report – January 6, 2022, January 7, 2022
Workers holding their company to a higher standard this year.
The Feldman Report Podcast Category Business WWJ – 950 News Radio]
Looking through current socio-cultural-political lenses, these 21st century trends bode well for employers and employees that believe, financially support and will vote for Democracy.
On the downside, leaders and supporters of Republican Trumpism will experience a dramatic decline due to a population that is exponentially and progressively in line with 21st Century global realities. The key word being REALITY.
Republican Trumpism had 4 years of power, control and exposure and it failed miserably. During those four years Corporate America was not only looking at Wall Street but how consumers and citizens were defining “trumpism” – its propensity to promote misinformation, absolutism, obstruction, chaos, corruption, mania for power and control, nepotism, neutrality at best on racism, sexism, xenophobia, gun-violence, White Supremacy and Domestic Violence. Corporate America may be greedy, but it is not stupid.
Corporations spend billions on researching socio-cultural-political trends and the results are that Republican Trumpism is holding on to a segment of society that will become extinct and Corporations are not waiting for attend its funeral.
“Trumpism” now lingers by holding on desperately to an ideology that caters to the “fail-safe 1%” and supporters looking to recapture 20th Century delusions of racial supremacy, isms and phobias. The ideology, founded in the 1930-1950s dogma of Strongmen, Big Lies and delusional realities has always been out of step with the 21st Century.
So what about that daunting “populous base” that holds Republican legislators hostage and trembling? That so called “base” has always been there since the inception of America. History continuously reminds us of the pushbacks that threaten Democracy. America’s struggle to authenticate equity, justice, inclusivity and inalienable rights is the history of America then and now.
What is also a reality is that generations of citizens living in the real world of the 21st century are replacing an archaic segment of society that has lost its self-indulgent delusional relevance. I posit that this is why there is an aggrieved and desperate bitterness often demonstrated by “Republican Trumpism” that is self consuming.
Let’s be clear, Republicans have always had a majority of seats in corporate America. But what is now being scrutinized is the value, price and cost of being associated with “Trumpism.” The alt-right extremism of “Trumpism” is not what the conservative Republican party, nor moderate citizens condone, are willing to live with and mentor as a model for their children to emulate. Most importantly, it is a black hole for corporate America.
Capitalism has awakened to the stark reality that Wall Street and corporations can exist with ethics, moral courage and a conscience. That is, a focus on the greater good and the quality of life of all citizens. A generation of new entrepreneurs, CEOs, Board members, financiers and Business Schools are hearing the message from investors and most of all, from job-seekers and consumers.
Local, state and federal legislators supporting “trumpism” will also hear the calling as soon as campaign money begins to find candidates that align with Diversity, Inclusion and Equity corporate principles, trends and direction.
Are there lessons to be learned between socio-cultural-political ideologies, shifting demographics and 21st Century Business models? Absolutely, unequivocally, realistically and common-sensibly YES!
Let’s keep in mind that surveys, knowledge-based data, and quantitative/qualitative research findings reflect not only shifts in national/international demographics, but also ongoing serious review by corporate, educational and financial institutions regarding their vision, mission and guiding principles pertaining to Diversity, Inclusion and Equity.
Human Resource departments are more astute and focused avoiding hiring individuals who have demonstrated via Facebook, Tweeter, Instagram and/or other social media accounts participation and association with Fascist, racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, White Supremacy, anti-Semitic and Hate Groups. HR departments understand that the time to guard against needless distractions, law suits, embarrassment of brand and litigation is at the hiring process.
Corporate America is linked to consumerism. That is, what consumers buy and where, when, how and why they buy it. But corporate America is also aware that consumers and citizens are also job-seekers that increasingly understand the socio-cultural-political-corporate matrix.
Job seekers in the 21st century are demanding from employers collaboration, cooperation and authenticity of meaning and purpose. This is in contrast to “Republican Trumpism” built on absolutism, isolationism, obstruction, blind loyalty and autocracy.
It is a blatant choice between skepticism, incredulity, supremacy and autocracy based on the past, versus veracity, credibility, trust, inclusivity and Democracy focused on the future.
I posit that the same values being demanded by job seekers and employees in the 21st century coincide with democratic values, norms, attitudes and philosophy. Corporations, large and small businesses, are now paying attention to job seekers and employees that value independent critical thinking, dynamic collaboration, without fearing change.
Covid 19 and its variants have reconstructed old normals regarding absolute corporate power and control. Small and large businesses now notice that hiring practices and standards will require focus, not only on the bottom line, but how workers are valued and treated. That is, with dignity, respect, recognition, economic validation, ongoing professional development, secure pensions, family health insurance and profit sharing.
Covid-19 also created a new generation of startup entrepreneurs that originally worked for traditional companies. Downsizing and mergers resulted in termination of blue and white collar jobs.
With or without a college degree, this segment of the workforce faced new personal challenges as to whether to seek employment with companies with familiar business models or risk beginning a new enterprise allowing for independence, ownership, creativity, imagination and self empowerment. Some of these personal objectives and goals were not lost only on startup entrepreneurs, but influenced job seekers, job seeking platforms and employers.
The following is a synopsis of the employee-employer trends as reported by:
Tim Minahan, Harvard Business Review – May 31, 2021
Developing Employees – What Your Future Employees Want Most
Denise Lee Yohn, SmartBrief – October 12, 2021
“What employees want from employers”
Daniel Zhao, Glassdoor, Economic Research – December 8, 2021
Glassdoor Workplace Trends for 2022
} Hiring quality dependable workers will continue to be challenging
} Maintaining quality dependable workers will depend on company credibility and trust
} Job seekers will be more inclined to research and shop for jobs using new job recruitment tools, software and platforms
} Remote work options will grow exponentially as the “remote work genie”, only available to few before the pandemic, is now out of the bottle
} Employers will prioritize Diversity Equity and Inclusion (DE&I) action and accountability
} Employees, job seekers and society at large demanding substantive action from companies on (DE&I).
} More transparency and ongoing development on DE&I awareness and issues with employees having a say on shared goals, processes and leadership accountability
} Employees forming DE&I committees with management in order to become aware of current research and knowledge bases with a focus on community
} DE&I study groups, committees and think tanks becoming an integral part of research and findings rather than isolated videos and annual events
} Workplace community will expand beyond company walls
} Employees overwhelmingly expect flexible options
} Employees want to re-imagine how productivity is measured
} Employees want to work with a diverse team
} Employees want to work with managers that are communicative, creative and supportive
} Employees expect managers to address ongoing mentorship, learning and professional development rather than just supervise
Why and how is this happening? Let’s keep in mind that job seekers consist of several generations as novices as well as experienced workers. Companies now face several challenges at the same time. These new job seekers are willing to move from existing jobs within a state and out of state.
Due to Covid 19, more workers decided to retire or change jobs. Consumers have become more savvy and selective in how, what and why purchases are made. A franchise that is determined to remain racist or sexist by way of CEO ideology or company management loses business, as consumers are more politically astute and ready to shop elsewhere.
The 2021 February Oracle Report provided 10 industry leading organizations that are embedding Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) throughout their businesses. Each of the companies are breaking new ground with a variety of strategies that put diversity, inclusion, and equity at the center of their organizations.
The panel addressed Diversity and Inclusion: Going Beyond the Benchmark – Insights from Workplace Intelligence’s Panel of HR and Diversity Leaders
The participants were:
Tina Mylon Senior Vice President, Talent and Diversity of Schneider Electric
David Rodriguez Chief Global Human Resources Office and Chief Diversity Officer, Marriott
Anne Walther, Head of Human Resources, Mainland Europe, Middle East, and Africa HL Supply Chain
Cleo Thompson, Group head of Inclusion and Diversity, Marks & Spencer
Rachael Bickersatff, Leader of Diversity and Inclusion, Co-op
Camille Chang, Vice President, Human Resources and Global Chief Diversity Boston Scientific
Michael Alicea, Chief Human Resources Officer, Nielsen Connect
Kim Drumgo, Chief Diversity Officer, Anthem
Ken Barrett, Global Chief Diversity Officer, General Motors
Maria Ferrao, Chief Financial Officer and Chief Diversity Officer, Siemens Energy
“The panel focused on the reality that while the topic of diversity and inclusion (D&I) isn’t new, 2020 was a wake-up call for companies to reexamine their D&I initiatives. Advancing workplace diversity is more important today than ever before. Consumers are taking their business to companies with a proven commitment to D&I. A growing number of laws and requirements are being enacted to support greater diversity in the workplace. Employees are looking to leadership to make a difference. Organizations must evolve or risk a shrinking candidate pool, reduced market share, and ultimately, lost profitability.” Other findings were:
} Thinking globally, but acting locally, with new strategies to engage customers and talent via community programs in more than 100 countries.
} Enabling diverse career paths across roles and regions.
} Embedding D&I throughout the employee experience such as offering internal gigs and flexible work arrangements to improve inclusion, growth, and trust.
} Fostering authenticity and employee well-being with programs that support human connectivity and purpose in society.
} Structuring their organization with accountability for D&I initiatives with multiple Chief Diversity Officers throughout the company.
Another factor that employers understand is that the crop of new job seekers were raised and schooled in a totally different socio-cultural environment than their parent(s). Businesses now face competition of enticing young dependable quality workers keeping in mind the candidates perspective and perception of working environment, management roles, communication, home/workplace options, professional growth, technology and compensation packages. In today’s job-seeker markets, the candidate may have more questions than the interviewer.
HR Departments and hiring committees are looking inward rethinking hiring practices and processes that articulate clearly the institution’s commitment to DE&I initiatives. This requires HR Departments to expand research and knowledge bases on the depth and breadth of Diversity. HR Departments see each hire as potentially enhancing, not only quality and productivity, but the well-being of the community.
The antiquated HR required videos on Diversity in the workplace, often demeaning and insulting, are being phased out. The token one day diversity workshop “Let’s Celebrate Difference” is being replaced by long term substantive and authentic D&I initiatives that become ingrained in the culture of the institution.
Small businesses that hire workers for 89 days, terminate them before reaching seniority, then hiring a new group of workers for another 89 days are becoming not only antiquated but exposed for their greed and insidious practices. Want to guess the political party such management supports?
Yet another reality is that the American student and the educational process, (elementary through college) has changed, along with their international counterparts. For the past 40 years, curriculum mapping across all subjects has been evolving connected to business models that promote critical thinking, systemic inquiry, experimentation, collaboration, clarity of communication, and quantitative and qualitative research.
Corporations have increasingly become aware that the changing demographics in America is accented by first and second generation daughters and sons who are the first to have graduated from high school or college. These daughters and sons are now part of a workforce that challenges HR departments on meritocracy.
These daughters and sons of immigrants have made their parent(s) proud, by not only simply graduating, but being celebrated via Advance Placement, IB Diplomas, Dean’s List, Honor Roll, Cum Laude Society, National Merit Scholars, honored by fellow students and faculty as Valedictorians and admissions to four year colleges. Counselors and teachers who recommend to Jimmy and Karen to take calculus but Pedro and Alicia to take home economics is long gone. The notion of an opportunity being a matter of simply attending school, must now be an opportunity of access and worth.
These young scholars have settled the debate on affirmative action. Their parent(s) may have sacrificed without ever having walked into a classroom, but they made sure that their children would and did.
Once viewed as a negative, corporations acknowledge that being bi-lingual and bi-cultural is an asset that provides the institutions amplified perspectives, ideas and pro-active change. Diversity of thought breeds creativity and drives innovation and problem solving. Drawing from a culturally diverse talent pool allows the institution to attract and retain the best talent.
Republican Trumpism is the antithesis of what 21st Century corporations, schools and societies are experiencing and focused upon.
That is – the future – looking forward – working toward a quality of life that is shared – continuing to define and authenticate truth, logic, reason, wisdom, emotional intelligence, moral courage, common sense, mutual respect, collaboration, consensus, compromise, opportunities of worth –
all core values of a Democracy – of human beings –
that happen to be workers, consumers and citizens.