Weekly Pulse by William Meller | Week 44, 2021





Weekly Pulse is a content curation and highlights from readings, books, videos, podcasts, insights, ramblings and other interesting things I discovered and digested during the last week.

In the end of this page, you will be able to subscribe for the Weekly Pulse by William Meller Newsletter and can receive more findings like that in your Email.

So, let's go with some discoveries from last week!

#1 - Why companies should add class to their diversity discussions
#2 - The Forgotten Dimension of Diversity
#3 - Inclusive Cultures Have Healthier and Happier Workers
#4 - Why Reverse Mentoring Works and How to Do It Right
#5 - Mentoring Millennials
#6 - How to Brainstorm — Remotely
#7 - How Chinese Retailers Are Reinventing the Customer Journey


Why companies should add class to their diversity discussions

Source: Harvard Business Review

Most big companies today have diversity and inclusion programs focused on issues of race and gender in the workplace. But in these initiatives, very few companies include socioeconomic class as a dimension. 

That can make white-collar workplaces alienating to professionals who grew up in blue-collar households — people scholars call “class migrants.” Class migrants report lower levels of belonging in the workplace, feel disadvantaged by lack of knowledge about the “rules of the game” in a corporate office, and are less often seen as a “good fit” due to arbitrary measures. 

Employers who exclude class from discussions about diversity and inclusion risk losing or alienating talented employees. Including class as a factor that is considered when establishing hiring, onboarding, promotion, and evaluation processes makes these systems fairer to all employees — especially to class migrant white men who may be excluded from diversity or inclusion initiatives, and to employees of color, as people of color are more likely than white people to be class migrants.



The Forgotten Dimension of Diversity

Source: Harvard Business Review

Workers who come from lower social-class origins in the United States are 32% less likely to become managers than those who come from higher social-class origins. That represents a disadvantage even greater than the one experienced by women compared with men (27%) or Blacks compared with whites (25%). Social class disadvantage in the workplace prevails in every major economy around the world.

In discriminating against people who come from a lower social class, we’re discriminating against a majority of the workforce—a grossly harmful indulgence, especially when you consider what happens if you don’t discriminate. According to the author’s research, GDP is higher per capita in countries where more managers come from lower social-class origins.

Companies pay a lot of attention to issues of gender and race, and for very good reason. In this article, the author argues that it’s time to focus equally on social class disadvantage. In doing so, he notes, firms reinforce their efforts to combat other forms of disadvantage. He explores the root causes of the problem and lays out the most promising interventions that are emerging from research and practice to help remediate it.



Inclusive Cultures Have Healthier and Happier Workers

Source: Boston Consulting Group

Employees in inclusive companies have more positive work experiences than those in noninclusive companies. Supporting employees’ mental and physical health is critical. So is creating an environment where people can be their authentic selves.

Companies around the world, especially during the COVID-19 crisis, have made great strides in implementing programs to promote the physical and mental health of their employees. It is now time to devote resources and attention to developing an inclusive culture.

By ensuring that all employees feel free to be themselves — and that their diversity itself is valued — organizations will be rewarded with a healthier, happier, and ultimately more productive workforce.



Why Reverse Mentoring Works and How to Do It Right

Source: Harvard Business Review

Many companies struggle to attract and retain Millennial talent. A few are experimenting with reverse-mentoring programs to address that problem. These programs can increase retention, help senior executives become more sophisticated about social media, drive culture change, and promote diversity. 



Mentoring Millennials

Source: Harvard Business Review

The makeup of the global workforce is undergoing a seismic shift: In four years, Millennials—the people born between 1977 and 1997—will account for nearly half the employees in the world. In some companies, they already constitute a majority.

Millennials view work as a key part of life, not a separate activity that needs to be “balanced” by it. For that reason, they place a strong emphasis on finding work that’s personally fulfilling. They want work to afford them the opportunity to make new friends, learn new skills, and connect to a larger purpose. 

That sense of purpose is a key factor in their job satisfaction; according to our research, they’re the most socially conscious generation since the 1960s.



How to Brainstorm — Remotely

Source: Harvard Business Review

When people are working remotely, it can be difficult to get everyone scheduled for meetings at the same time, particularly if people are spread across time zones. 

For brainstorming, though, this can be a blessing. Because you actually don’t need the group to be together to come up with the best ideas. The groupthink theory shows that, during idea generation, individuals think differently about a problem if they work alone. But when you bring the group together to generate ideas, they tend to think alike, converging on a common solution.

Considering the problem-solving work will happen virtually, you can bring people from different parts of your organization who might not have been able to attend in person. So don’t start with a list of people you want involved in your session. Instead, identify the roles and expertise you want and then find people who fit that description.



How Chinese Retailers Are Reinventing the Customer Journey


Source: Harvard Business Review

The Economist opened 2021 with a cover story headlined “Why Retailers Everywhere Should Look to China.” It’s not hard to see why. China is both a large and a fast-growing retail market—worth about $5 trillion in 2020—and highly digitized. And the pandemic has made digital every retailer’s strategic priority. 

The authors draw from their research on Chinese retailers to explain five lessons that Western companies can learn from China as they develop their own digital market offerings:

  • Create single entry points where customers can access all their potential purchases.
  • Embed digital evaluation in the customer journey.
  • Don’t think of sales as isolated events.
  • Rethink the logistical fundamentals.
  • Always stay close to the customer.

In China, online sales have grown about 25% in each of the past seven years and reached about $1.9 trillion in 2020, when they amounted to some 25% to 50% of total retail (compared with 10% to 20% in the United States). More than 90% of those sales are on mobile devices, compared with less than 50% in the United States. So it should be no surprise that Chinese companies and individuals have led the way in developing video retail, social commerce, community retail, retail-as-a-service, and many other new digital channels, including the super app, which provides an all-in-one experience for consumers by accessing various services and offerings.




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