Friday Faves is our weekly blog series highlighting a few select pieces from the REG team’s reading lists. You can catch up on past Friday Faves on the archive

The Top 10 Findings on Resilience and Engagement

Anne says: Resilience and engagement – there is no shortage of articles and opinions on these topics. In fact, I did a Google search on “Resilience in the workplace” and returned 69,000,000 – the oldest article displaying in the first five pages was 2018 – and of course, the majority were dated 2020. No surprises there.

Why then, would I select yet another article for this week’s Friday Fave?

Because this is a research-based, global study with a stunning 26,000 participants and the findings are collated in relatable contexts to enable leaders to put strategies into action, and authored by the ADP Research Institute. The project, titled The Definitive Series: Employee Engagement, includes some academic review pointing out the gaps in research, but with a swipe at some of the 69 million search results they confidently state:

“The practitioner community has produced a similarly large number of “white papers.” However, the majority of these lack methodological rigor and objectivity, raising concerns about the credibility of their conclusions.”

A significant claim, but also a prompt to evaluate the quality of information we’re consuming and accepting without questioning the background or methodology that enables the authors to arrive at their conclusions. The article provides their definition of resilience and engagement, in particular, the correlation between the two states – see the image below.

The top ten findings they describe as “the most intriguing” are also visually presented in the Executive Summary on the ADP site. Although I didn’t find any of the results surprising, it was interesting to review concepts that we were aware of prior to the pandemic, still remaining relevant and amplified during the disruptive work patterns of 2020.

Here are the top 10 findings:

  1. Trust is everything.

  2. One is the loneliest number.

  3. Office space isn’t essential.

  4. It’s good to be in tech.

  5. Nurses and teachers are suffering most.

  6. The unknown is scarier than change.

  7. The honeymoon (effect) is over.

  8. Members of Gen Z are no less resilient than their elders.

  9. Relationships boost resilience.

  10. Resilience and engagement levels rise with your role.

The value of understanding these findings provides some insights into opportunities to reconstruct hybrid models of working. Findings #1 – #3 are stand out items for me. We need to rethink how we work in teams, how we won’t be co-located as a team for some time yet and the need for connecting, and how to combine these two items to develop trust. At #6, the fear of the unknown wraps up the need for internal communications to ensure transparency and authenticity versus spin messages.

The final message from the author is another reminder, remember, we’ve heard this before:

“Leaders need to see their employees not as “labor” but as the messy, complex, emotional beings they are — dealing with real-world human challenges, just like they are.”

You can watch a YouTube webinar presentation (1 hour duration) of the results from The Definitive Series: Employee Engagement as well. Don’t wait too long, though, as it’s only available until 10 March!

Read: https://sloanreview.mit.edu/article/the-top-10-findings-on-resilience-and-engagement/

MIT’s 10 breakthrough technologies for 2021

Jakkii says: 20 years ago, MIT started compiling an annual list of what they deem to be the most important emerging technologies of the year. Back then, technologies on the 2001 list included Digital Rights Management, biometrics, and natural language processing. This year, the list has some already-familiar technologies as well as some that are “a few years off” changing our lives.

The list:

  • mRNA vaccines

  • GPT-3

  • Data trusts

  • Lithium-metal batteries

  • Digital contact tracing

  • Hyper-accurate positioning

  • Remote everything

  • Multi-skilled AI

  • TikTok recommendation algorithms

  • Green hydrogen

That’s quite a set of technologies! The article gives a brief overview of each technology, and also links through to a feature article for further reading on any you find particularly interesting or want to know more about. Some of these, of course, will be immediately familiar as I mentioned at the start: we’ve all heard of mRNA vaccines, even if we don’t know much more about them than that they are the type of vaccine developed in our battle against covid.

We’re all familiar with contact tracing technology, too, though what I found particularly interesting about MIT’s inclusion of contact tracing in this year’s list was that its importance is probably more what we can learn from our failures for future pandemics than necessarily what it did (or is doing) for us with covid.

And, of course, ‘remote everything’, another on the list directly attributable to covid and another most of us are intimately familiar with, from remote work to remote school to remote health. In particular, the article notes the success of remote schooling in Asian countries, and the incredible benefit of remote healthcare in some African nations bringing health care to people who otherwise wouldn’t have access to it as they live in areas with chronic shortages of doctors.

Of those perhaps less familiar, one I was particularly intrigued by is the multi-skilled AI. The idea here, essentially, is to combine multiple senses in one AI in an attempt to allow these AI to develop a greater understanding of the world around it, and, perhaps, bring AI closer to human-like intelligence.

Read: https://www.technologyreview.com/2021/02/24/1014369/10-breakthrough-technologies-2021/

Friday Fives

Hybrid workplace

Remote work

Collaboration, communication, engagement, and culture

Community management and moderation

Privacy and data

The great Australian Facebook stoush

Social media

Extras

This is interesting: How Dolly Parton became a secular American saint

Things that make you go hmmm: Who put Pantone in charge of colour?

Space: A 1990s iMac Processor Powers NASA’s Perseverance Rover

Podcast: How YouTube swallowed the world

Friday playlist: City of Melbourne’s Looking Out, Looking In (Volume 1)


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