HR Elements is an exclusive UBA Partner Firm monthly newsletter that delivers insights about timely human resources and employee benefits topics.
january 2024 | navigating corporate social responsibility
Corporate social responsibility (CSR) has evolved from a voluntary initiative to an important business strategy that influencing brand perception, employee engagement, and investor relations. CSR can include:
employee volunteer programs
Current Landscape of CSR
A recent report from Skillsoft highlights a significant increase in CSR investment, with 63 percent of companies investing in CSR initiatives. It is important to note that the motivations behind CSR have shifted, with only 13 percent of respondents attributing it to the desire to "do the right thing," contrasting with 40 percent in 2022. Instead, the major driving factors are now customer feedback, government mandates, and public perception.
Authenticity is the key to successful CSR endeavors. Initiatives should align with a company's values, mission, and core issues. Internal or third-party assessments can ensure genuine integration into the business culture. Both internal and external, education plays a vital role, equipping employees with skills and fostering awareness about the societal impact of CSR initiatives.
Research suggests a potential shift toward environmental, social, and governance (ESG) initiatives overtaking CSR. While CSR covers a broader range of issues, ESG’s focus on inclusion, equity, and diversity is gaining traction and is expected to dominate corporate responsibility in the coming years.
Setting Clear CSR Goals
CSR initiatives can encompass many goals, including social justice, equality, climate awareness, etc. To navigate the complexity, companies must establish clear measures of success. Initially focusing on tangible metrics like donation totals and volunteer hours, successful CSR programs evolve to include key performance indicators (KPIs) such as employee retention, productivity, and societal impact.
The Impact of CSR on Employees
According to Skillsoft's report, 66 percent of employees believe CSR has become more important since 2022. Inclusion, equity, and diversity emerge as top priorities, reflecting the evolving societal landscape. Offering paid time off for volunteer work, training, and celebrating CSR achievements enhances employee engagement and fosters a sense of community.
Benefits for Employers
Improved Brand Perception – CSR enhances a company's image, attracting socially conscious consumers, employees, and stakeholders. Demonstrating a commitment to social change elevates brand value.
Talent Attraction and Retention – CSR aligns with the values of the modern workforce, influencing talent decisions. Purpose-driven companies retain employees up to 40% more than competitors, reducing turnover costs.
Investor Appeal – Investors increasingly consider CSR initiatives, and companies with developed CSR programs become more appealing. CSR aligns with environmental, social, and governance metrics, influencing investment decisions.
What to Avoid
Unrelated Initiatives – Avoid participating in charitable efforts unrelated to your core business focus or ethical standards. Align initiatives with your business and community needs.
Marketing Schemes – Don’t use CSR opportunities solely for marketing purposes. Long-term commitment to socially responsible practices yields authentic and lasting benefits.
Waiting for Industry Standards – Don’t wait for regulations; proactively adopt socially responsible norms to set industry standards.
CSR has emerged as an integral component of corporate strategy, fostering positive change when implemented authentically. As trends progress, organizations need to adjust, giving priority to inclusivity, diversity, and environmental consciousness. Successfully navigating CSR requires a considerate approach, emphasizing authentic impact, well-defined objectives, and unwavering commitment, thereby securing advantages for employees, communities, and the company itself.
DECEMBER 2023 | INTEGRATING AI IN HR
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is profoundly reshaping the landscape of human resources (HR), revolutionizing traditional processes and unlocking new possibilities. From recruitment to employee engagement, HR teams are finding applications for AI that streamline workflows, enhance decision-making, and ultimately redefine the role of HR professionals.
Recruiting AI is redefining the recruiting process by automating tasks such as analyzing resumes, matching candidates with open positions, and even drafting personalized outreach emails. In addition to outside recruiting, AI can assist HR in sourcing talent within the company by assessing internal skill sets.
Performance reviews The ability to analyze large amounts of data means AI-powered systems can analyze employee performance data gathered throughout the year, providing summary reports for performance reviews. This data-driven approach eliminates biases and makes it easier to see trends in each team member's strengths, areas for improvement, and progress over time.
Employee onboarding and offboarding AI can guide new hires through paperwork, company policies, and schedule initial training sessions. Similarly, AI can help manage offboarding tasks like exit surveys and the return of company equipment.
Employee engagement AI-driven survey tools can automate the gathering of employee feedback and analyze responses to identify trends and areas of concern.
Talent development and training AI can create personalized employee learning and development plans by analyzing their goals, skills, and career ambitions. This customized approach keeps employees engaged in career development, fostering continuous improvement.
Workforce planning AI tools can analyze current workforce skills, industry trends, and company strategic plans to predict future hiring needs.
HR Chatbots and Virtual Assistants AI-driven chatbots can serve as 24/7 HR assistants, providing instant answers to employee benefits or policy questions, saving time for the HR team, and improving response time for the employee.
As a resource in HR’s toolkit, AI helps:
Improve efficiency. Automating repetitive tasks and streamlining processes allows HR professionals to focus on strategic initiatives. By leveraging AI, HR professionals can save time, reduce human errors, and ensure a more thorough and objective data evaluation.
Reduce costs. AI analyzes large datasets to identify patterns and trends, enabling cost-effective solutions for recruitment and employee training.
Make better decisions. AI eliminates biases in HR processes, providing data-driven insights for more informed decision-making, from hiring to compensation planning.
When adopting AI tools, remember that AI has limitations.
Incomplete picture: AI tools may reject qualified candidates based on rigid criteria. HR professionals should dive deeper into data outcomes, using intuition and experience to make informed decisions.
Data privacy and cybersecurity: Organizations must prioritize data security to ensure that employees’ and customers’ personal information is secure.
Over-reliance on AI: HR professionals should be cautious of solutions promising to replace every existing tool. Using AI to enhance current processes may be a better use of resources.
Future Trends As organizations continue to embrace the integration of AI in HR across different functions, HR leaders recognize its potential in areas such as performance management, payroll processing, recruitment, onboarding, and employee records management. While AI offers unprecedented efficiency and insights, HR professionals must balance technology and the human element in HR processes.
november 2023 | REVIEWING YOUR BEREAVEMENT LEAVE POLICY
Losing a loved one is a deeply emotional and mentally challenging experience. It is a time when individuals need support, understanding, and time to grieve. Bereavement leave is a compassionate gesture and a vital benefit for employee well-being.
What is bereavement leave? Bereavement leave is a form of paid or unpaid leave that employees can utilize when dealing with the death of a close family member or loved one. While many organizations traditionally limit bereavement leave to immediate family members such as parents, siblings, children, and spouses, some employers extend its use to cover the loss of any loved one.
No federal law in the United States mandates that employers provide bereavement leave, but approximately 88% of companies offer some paid bereavement leave. Otherwise, employees may need to use their accrued paid time off (PTO) or sick days to take time off for bereavement.
How can I best support employees? When employers offer bereavement leave as a discretionary benefit, they support their employees’ mental and emotional well-being in many ways.
Employees who feel valued and cared for are more likely to remain with the company. Supporting them in difficult times is as important as recognizing their successes.
Paid bereavement leave supports employees in their grief and promotes their engagement and productivity when they return to work. Offering paid leave ensures that employees have one less worry during a difficult period, signaling their well-being is a top priority.
As workplaces evolve to include more than the traditional "nuclear" family, employers can be more inclusive by acknowledging close bonds employees may have with other relatives, close friends, and other non-familial ties.
Offering a short time off to begin healing can help prevent longer-term absences.
Giving employees time to support others experiencing a loss by attending funerals underscores the importance of acknowledging grief and offering support.
How can I craft an effective bereavement leave policy? While bereavement policies will vary among organizations, it is important to document the policy in the employee handbook if the company has one. There are several key elements that should be included in any comprehensive policy:
Definition of Bereavement Leave Clearly define what constitutes bereavement leave and the types of relationships that qualify, which may extend beyond immediate family members to include pets, extended family, or stepfamily. Duration of Leave
Specify the leave period, whether it varies for different relationships, and whether it is paid or unpaid. Address any time limits on unpaid bereavement leave.
Related Obligations Identify the obligations that qualify for bereavement time, such as attending funerals and participating in legal planning.
Request Guidelines Provide clear instructions on how employees can request standard bereavement leave and any additional time they may require.
Supplemental Benefits Highlight any supplementary benefits, perks, and resources available to support grieving employees, such as flexible schedules, Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs), or Employee Resource Groups (ERGs).
Grief is a life-changing experience, and bereavement leave provides the emotional space employees need to cope with the logistical and emotional aspects of the death of a family member or loved one in a healthy way. It is a proactive measure in promoting mental wellness, both within and outside the workplace.
Even if employers provide just one paid day of bereavement leave, it sends a powerful message to the team – that they are valued, deserving of care, and that the company stands by them during challenging times.
OCTOBER 2023 | tHE NEED FOR A MODERN DRESS CODE: STAYING RELEVANT IN CHANGING TIMES
Updating a company's dress code might not be the most pressing concern for HR departments and managers, but it's crucial in today's evolving workplace. As work dynamics undergo significant shifts, including an influx of younger employees and the prevalence of remote work, reevaluating your dress code policy is essential to ensure it aligns with current cultural and workplace norms.
Company Dress Codes: Still Relevant
While some argue that dress codes are antiquated, they remain essential for organizations. Your company's dress code communicates its culture and expectations to employees who serve as the face of your brand. In certain industries, like healthcare or manufacturing, dress codes are necessary for safety and compliance. Even in remote or non-client-facing roles, employees should consider their attire for virtual or in-person meetings.
Time for Change?
Your employees are vital to your organization's success, so their input matters, especially when dress code policies directly affect them. If you adhere to an old-school dress code, it's time to reassess its relevance to your business and your employees' expectations. If safety, legal, or client-facing reasons don't require a strict dress code, consider relaxing it.
Your dress code should mirror your company's culture and values. Many companies have maintained the same dress code for years, often calling for formal attire and restrictive rules about tattoos, piercings, and hair colors. However, cultural standards have shifted, particularly with Millennials and Gen Z entering the workforce. Your dress code should align with your company's values and help attract the right talent.
Competitor Analysis Investigate what other businesses in your industry say about company attire. Employees might prefer competitors with more flexible policies, which may hinder staff retention.
Safety Considerations Remember that specific industries mandate dress codes for safety, such as steel-toed boots and hard hats in the construction industry. Assess clothing, jewelry, and hair options for safety.
Client Messaging Evaluate the message you want to convey to your clientele. Consider practicality against employee comfort for non-client-facing roles.
Company Culture A company's dress code reflects its culture and values. A more relaxed dress code can foster a fun environment, enabling employees to express themselves.
Realistic Standards While flexibility is valuable, some standards such as maintaining good hygiene, are necessary. Ensure your policy is rational and non-offensive. For example, allow visible tattoos but request coverage of offensive content.
Clear Communication After revising your dress code, communicate it transparently. Include it in your employee handbook, have employees acknowledge it, and discuss the changes with teams. Address concerns and be clear about noncompliance consequences.
A modern dress code reflects a company's adaptability and understanding of shifting workplace norms. Updating your dress code policy is not merely a matter of attire but an essential step in staying relevant and attracting and retaining top talent.
SEPTEMBER 2023 | SALARY TRANSPARENCY IN JOB POSTINGS
The importance of pay transparency is on the rise as more organizations now include salary ranges in their job postings. Recent research from Payscale indicates a significant increase in employers adopting this practice, with the percentage of job postings featuring pay ranges jumping from 22% to 45% in 2022.
Promoting pay transparency is not just a trend; it's a strategic move for employers. It helps them attract top talent and demonstrate their commitment to fair compensation practices. A recent SHRM survey found that employers reported receiving more and better-qualified applications to their post when pay ranges were included. This momentum behind pay transparency is driven by a combination of factors, including employee demand and legislative requirements in various states and cities.
The introduction of federal legislation underscores the significance of including salary ranges in job advertisements. Social pressures also play a role in this shift, with platforms like TikTok and voices from Gen Z advocating for more open conversations about pay. The growing emphasis on pay transparency makes it a priority for employees to take proactive steps.
Here are some tips to foster a transparent compensation culture:
State the salary range clearly. When crafting job ads, provide a specific salary range that accurately reflects the compensation for the position. Avoid vague language like "competitive salary" or "negotiable."
Provide context for the salary range. Alongside the salary range, offer additional information to help candidates better understand the compensation structure. Explain factors influencing the final salary, such as experience level, education, or job responsibilities. This transparency empowers candidates to make informed decisions and manage their expectations.
Maintain consistency and proactive communications. Ensure consistency in communicating the salary range throughout the recruitment process. Be proactive in addressing any questions or concerns candidates may have regarding compensation. Encourage open dialogue and provide opportunities for candidates to discuss the salary range and negotiate within the parameters provided. This level of transparency builds trust and creates a positive candidate experience.
While employers may have concerns about the administrative aspects and potential limitations of disclosing salaries, it's vital to recognize the profound impact of pay transparency on trust and competitiveness. Companies that embrace this practice may gain a competitive advantage by fostering trust with candidates. In an era where employees increasingly seek organizations that value their contributions and promote pay equity, embracing pay transparency is a strategic move. It not only attracts top talent but also helps in retaining and engaging employees in the long run.
august 2023 | employee learning: develop in-house or hire a vendor?
When it comes to fostering a positive workplace culture, investing in employee learning and development is essential. One decision you may face is whether to develop learning programs in-house or hire external vendors. Each approach comes with advantages and considerations. Let’s explore both options.
Developing In-House Learning Programs
Developing in-house learning programs allows you to tailor the content to your organization's needs and culture. It will enable you to align the learning initiatives with the company's strategic goals, fostering a sense of ownership among employees, and avoids sharing of confidential data. In-house programs can also be cost-effective if you have the necessary expertise and resources.
In-house programs are ideal for training on company-specific programs or policies but may not be appropriate for employee-specific training for degree or certificate programs for career development. Employers should also consider the time commitment for planning, delivering, and staffing in-house programs.
Hiring External Vendors for Learning Initiatives
Engaging external vendors brings a fresh perspective and expertise to the table. Vendors often have specialized knowledge and experience in developing comprehensive training programs. They can provide a broader range of resources, tools, and learning methodologies. However, it is crucial to thoroughly vet vendors, ensure their offerings align with your organization's values, and consider the associated costs. External vendors may offer a more comprehensive selection of training programs, but the content may be too generic for employees to apply the training to specific work situations.
When planning an employee learning program, consider a balanced approach that involves a combination of in-house programs and external vendors, depending on the organization's needs, available resources, and desired outcomes. The focus should be on creating a learning culture that empowers employees, fosters professional growth, and aligns with the organization's strategic objectives.
JUly 2023 | CHAT GPT: HOW TO SET AI PARAMETERS AT WORK
ChatGPT is revolutionizing online search technology and transforming many business processes. The tool enables users to enter a query and receive a detailed response, taking context and intent into account. Many companies (Morgan Stanley, Stripe, and PwC) are working to leverage this customizable AI language at an enterprise level. Progressive organizations want to stay ahead of the AI curve and set policies around usage.
A few best practices on ChatGPT usage will help your organization make the most of this powerful tool.
1. Be transparent with your leaders. ChatGPT is a powerful tool. It enables employees to better allocate resources, automate certain tasks, and focus on strategic initiatives. However, 70% of employees using ChatGPT do so without their boss’ awareness. Under-the-radar usage can lead to problems down the road. Establish an approval process for using ChatGPT on work assignments. Clarify use cases and assess the risks.
2. Customize ChatGPT content. AI is a great starting point for memos, newsletters, policies, and interview questions, among other tasks. However, unedited content may sound cold or robotic. Fine-tune output by personalizing AI-generated text. Update the query results to use your company’s “voice.” Add examples that bring the document to life and account for organizational nuances.
3. Double-check the facts. ChatGPT is not flawless. Like other information from the Internet, results may include inaccurate data or outdated material. The free version of ChatGPT does not include content more recent than September 2021. As a result, users should build in extra time to proof output. Check links to verify accuracy. Validate codes, dates, and numbers.
Though ChatGPT is in its infancy, there is no doubt it will change the way companies work and service clients. New issues will arise as ChatGPT continues to evolve. HR practitioners play a pivotal role in establishing office guardrails and expectations around AI.
JUNE 2023 | STORYTELLING: DO YOU HEAR THE BEAT?
Stories are all around you. People tell themselves stories all the time.
Your manager, teams, and clients are 22 times more likely to remember new data if it is wrapped in a story.
They are the glue that holds your ideas together. But people tend to spend little time purposefully honing their storytelling craft. Two techniques you can apply to amplify your stories are identifying beats and expanding details.
When you hear the word “beat,” you may think of a favorite song or tune. Storytelling “beats” propel a narrative forward in much the same way that music progresses from verse to chorus to bridge. Beats are meaningful points of change in your story. They contain central points and are communicated with gravitas.
Take the example of proposing a healthcare benefit change to leadership. The beats in this presentation may be an inciting incident (an employee needing help), complication (benefit not available), climax (HR finds a work-around), and resolution (proposed new benefit). Your beats support the story arc in a familiar way, with a beginning, middle, and end. Our brains are designed to respond to stories. Stories are compelling in situations calling for change or action.
A good story arc moves the plot forward, but the details bring the story to life. Your job as the storyteller is to identify the relevant information. Stories with names, dates, and figures invoke emotion. For example, two different reactions may be produced from hearing about a “client” or “Jill, a long-tenured client based in Oklahoma.” The latter helps your audience imagine a real person. When you bring quantitative data to support your storyline, the same effect is produced. A story explains the meaning of numbers and aids the listener in understanding complex information. This combination engages both sides of the brain.
Storytelling is a powerful method to build relationships at work. And this skill can be developed by tapping into your creative mind. Think about your organization and how it could uniquely benefit from refining this skill.
Could your sales department engage more personally with clients?
Could leaders be more vulnerable in their communications?
Now is the right time to add storytelling to your workplace toolkit.
may 2023 | exit strategy: outplacement
Downsizing and workforce reductions are difficult decisions for any business. Outplacement services can help ease the transition for displaced employees and the employer. Outplacement is an employer-sponsored benefit to help workers develop skills and tools to find new employment after being terminated or laid off. A 2021 Mercer study showed that fewer than 45% of companies used outplacement services for most terminations.
In today’s economic climate, it may be time to evaluate whether utilizing an outplacement service makes sense for your organization.
Here are some of the top reasons employers choose to use outplacement.
Helps exiting employees. Losing a job is one of the hardest things a person can go through because it affects so many facets of their life. Enrolling exiting employees in outplacement services provides them with resources to begin a new job search and helps to build their confidence. Services may include resume writing, interview workshops, and dedicated career coaching.
Protects employee morale. Remaining employees often struggle following the departure of work colleagues. They worry about the welfare of departing staff and the security of their own jobs. Companies that offer outplacement may ease this transition and support the morale of the employees who stay onboard.
Preserves company brand. How a company treats its employees upon arrival and departure says a lot about the organization. A company’s reputation can be tarnished when it fails to support employees in the last stage of the employee lifecycle. Offering departing employees an outplacement benefit helps maintain the company’s brand in the talent market.
Identify your company’s goals in offering an outplacement program before meeting with potential vendors. The quality of their services and client relationships is an extension of your organization, and you will want to ensure you are comfortable with their approach.
apriL 2023 | are "love contracts" outdated?
Love is in the air, and workplace romances are on the rise. In a 2022 Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) study, 33% of participants reported a past or current workplace relationship. It may be time to update your relationship policy. However, creating a non-invasive policy that provides clear guidance can take time and effort.
As you update or develop your policy, consider these areas:
Word choice. A common part of a workplace relationship policy is a “love contract.” This document confirms the consensual status of a romantic relationship and confirms both parties will follow the company’s sexual harassment policy. Some employees may find this term outdated and not take it seriously. Update using modern verbiage like “relationship consent” or “consensual relationship” contract.
Employee types. Are all relationships off limits? Or just certain relationships? Dating up and down the employee hierarchy has long been a point of concern related to favoritism and workplace harassment. Spell out those relationships that need to be flagged.
Local laws. Various jurisdictions have employee privacy laws that restrict employer oversight. Are you able to restrict activity for remote workers?
Culture. Evaluate what makes sense for your organization. Employees may feel like this is an invasion of their privacy. And it may not make sense to limit relationships at a globally disbursed company. It is also imperative to consider your HR team’s time and availability. Do they have the bandwidth to monitor employee relationships?
Most will agree that workplace relationships will happen, regardless of the restrictions. The critical piece is identifying what formula makes sense for your organization. As an HR leader, how can you put meaningful structure in place to support workplace romantic relationships in a healthy way?
MARCH 2023 | CONNECT EMPLOYEES WITH YOUR ENVIRONMENTAL, SOCIAL, AND GOVERNANCE (ESG) STRATEGY
People want more from their jobs. Expectations have grown in leaps and bounds in the area of corporate sustainability. As a result, many job seekers are looking for employers that support ESG (environmental, social, and governance) efforts important to them.
Of the participants surveyed in the Randstad 2022 Workmonitor study, 50% said they would decline an offer from a company that doesn’t share their beliefs on environmental issues. And, once hired, employees want to engage with ESG efforts.
Here are three ways to include employees in ESG initiatives.
Make ESG accessible. ESG measures the sustainable and ethical impacts of an organization’s financial investments. Share information about ways the company is supporting ESG efforts. Offer volunteer opportunities to drive societal impact on related causes. Tip: Identify a cause that leverages the unique skill set of your employee population.
Apply ESG to policies and practices. Incorporate the firm’s ESG strategy throughout the organization to increase accountability. For example, include corporate sustainability background in new hire onboarding. Tip: Select vendors who promote sustainable work products and services.
Create ambassador opportunities. Provide key information and resources to employees who are energized by the corporate ESG strategy. Employees are pivotal in sharing corporate sustainability efforts with their internal and external networks. Tip: Build an ESG advisory board so employees can contribute from the early stages.
Part of building a successful talent acquisition strategy requires understanding what is important to your target population. Research shows the youngest population in the workplace puts a strong emphasis on corporate sustainability. To attract these people, employers should communicate their sustainability efforts so that others know about your company’s contributions.
FEB. 2023 | UNPLUGGED: CREATING TIME TO THINK
In today’s “always on” work culture, it is not uncommon to be in a virtual meeting, viewing a presentation, and checking your phone simultaneously.
Your time is precious. Research shows it takes almost 23 minutes to get back on track after being interrupted.
Getting space to think without phone and computer alerts interrupting you can be challenging. In response to this tech invasion, some are joining the “unplugged” trend and disconnecting from gadgets.
Here are a few digital detox strategies to get started.
Start small. While Tiffany Shlain, author of 24/6: The Power of Unplugging One Day a Week, employs a tech-free day a week, you may want to start with a more manageable goal. Try scheduling screen-free time for short spurts (15 – 30 minutes) and work your way up.
Update your calendar. Blocking time to unplug will help you to follow through. Pick a day of the week when it is less likely you will be disturbed. Notify colleagues when you will be offline.
Hide technology. Power off your phone and laptop. Tuck away electronics in a drawer or another room when they are not in use to avoid being sidetracked. Grab your notebook or use a whiteboard instead.
Schedule in-person meetings. Your thinking time may include an in-person tech-free brainstorming session with colleagues. You may notice that your relationships improve sans technology. You can better observe body language and tone in this setting which may be missed in an email or text.
Friday, March 3, is the National Day of Unplugging. This tech-free 24-hour period is devoted to doing anything other than using your devices. Think of this day as an experiment for you. See if a device detox invites new ideas around your work. Try looking at your projects from a 30,000-foot view. What new discoveries can you make?
JAN. 2023 | WHY BEST FRIENDS HAVE BENEFITS AT WORK
You likely remember your first work friend. They showed you the ropes and helped you navigate office politics. Today, research shows that work best friends are not just nice to have, but also play an essential role in employee engagement and retention.
Fostering a buddy-friendly environment can reap benefits in many ways.
Increased job satisfaction. Friendships contribute to employee well-being and fulfillment. A 2019 PwC study showed that friendships increased worker satisfaction by 50%. Studies also show that happy employees are more productive.
Lower turnover. Employees with friends at work are less likely to look for new jobs. They feel a sense of belonging that may deter them from looking elsewhere (even during the Great Resignation).
Improved skill building. Employees may be more comfortable asking a friend for help or understanding. This is especially helpful in a remote environment where shadowing or observation may not be possible. Work friends are a wealth of information. They function as an additional knowledge transfer outside of formal training.
Alternative support. Work friends offer a unique perspective. They comprehend the intricacies of your work environment that friends or family may not understand. Peer coaching naturally occurs between friends, enabling employees to reflect on their career journeys and problem-solve.
The 2022 Workforce Purpose Index reported that almost half of the employees surveyed found it difficult to make friends at work. As a leader and HR partner, you can play a role in encouraging friendships on the job. First, take a sincere interest in getting to know your employees. Pair new hires with experienced staff who may offer a different vantage point. Dedicate a part of regular meetings to topics other than work. These small interactions contribute to making work fun and may cement new friendships.
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