Learning Corner with Jeffrey Pfeffer: As AI Enters the Workplace, Organizations Have to Get Active

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Learning Corner with Jeffrey Pfeffer: As AI Enters the Workplace, Organizations Have to Get Active

The general consensus is clear: automation is poised to transform (or disrupt, if you prefer) present work arrangements in profound ways. Where the jury's still out is just how many jobs will be lost to automation.

Jeffrey Pfeffer

Learning Corner with Jeff Pfeffer: It's Time We Talk About Mental Health at Work

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Learning Corner with Jeff Pfeffer: It's Time We Talk About Mental Health at Work

Mental health is finally getting more attention in the working world. In fact in January, the World Economic Forum held meetings in Davos that featured a dedicated mental health track. The goal? Raise awareness of mental health as a global challenge—outside and inside of the workplace.

Learning Corner With Jeffrey Pfeffer: Why—and How—HR Should Get Into the Workplace Design Business

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Learning Corner With Jeffrey Pfeffer: Why—and How—HR Should Get Into the Workplace Design Business

Two types of topics grab my attention. First, there are the instances when companies think they are saving money by cutting costs, but do so in ways that actually increase turnover and decrease engagement and productivity (thus, pursuing false economies that backfire). Second, there are the pathways to improve human performance that receive too little attention from management and human resources professionals. Workplace design—the physical space where people work—fits both criteria.

Learning Corner with Jeffrey Pfeffer: Break Some Rules in 2021

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Learning Corner with Jeffrey Pfeffer: Break Some Rules in 2021

A favorite article of mine, one assigned in my MBA elective, "The Paths to Power," is Malcolm Gladwell’s 2009 piece in the New Yorker, "How David Beats Goliath." The premise: Underdogs often win competitions by not following the rules or conventional wisdom. David beats a stronger and larger Goliath by using a shepherd’s tool (a slingshot) instead of trying to defeat Goliath using swords and shields—which would play into Goliath’s strength.

Learning Corner With Jeffrey Pfeffer: Employers Can—and Should—Make Every Day Pay Day

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Learning Corner With Jeffrey Pfeffer: Employers Can—and Should—Make Every Day Pay Day

When a former participant in a Stanford executive program invited me to join the advisory board of PayActiv, a company providing employees access to their earned wages between pay periods, I had no idea about the pressing need for what has become a growing industry and movement. Yet giving people access to their money more quickly represents one small but important step to reducing an epidemic of employee financial stress.

HR Has the Power to Change Its Bad Reputation

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HR Has the Power to Change Its Bad Reputation

For years, human resources has been the department that everyone loves to criticize. More than 20 years ago, Tom Stewart, a Fortune editor at the time,suggested that instead of improving HR, the department should be abolished, eliminated, nuked. Unfortunately, public opinionhasn’tchanged all that much since.

Learning Corner With Jeffrey Pfeffer: To Build Trust, Cut Down on Surveillance—Even for Employees Working at Home

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Learning Corner With Jeffrey Pfeffer: To Build Trust, Cut Down on Surveillance—Even for Employees Working at Home

According to a recent article in The Wall Street Journal, at least one type of business is flourishing in our COVID-19-induced world of remote work: companies selling tools that permit employers to monitor how employees spend their time. The chief executive officer of ActivTrak, a company providing employee monitoring software and user behavior analytics, remarked that inquiries had been "a little insane" lately. Teramind, another vendor in the space, has also experienced a tripling of inbound inquiries since mid-March—along with a sizable uptick in additional licenses requested by existing clients to track more users within their organizations.

Learning Corner With Jeffrey Pfeffer: Why It’s Important to Include Age in Diversity and Inclusion Efforts

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Learning Corner With Jeffrey Pfeffer: Why It’s Important to Include Age in Diversity and Inclusion Efforts

At Stanford University, during the 2018-2019 academic year, virtually every meeting of the faculty senate included a report—or two—on the university’s diversity efforts. Yet ageism was never addressed—and continues to go unnoticed. According to a faculty colleague, the former dean of the School of Engineering, who is now the Provost, appointed a strategy committee packed with young faculty members simply because, to use her highly inopportune phrase, "they are the future."

Companies need a mindset shift on employee health

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Companies need a mindset shift on employee health

Mental and physical health is front and center as a result of the pandemic. COVID-19 has exposed the many problems of inequity and access that plague US health care. Although many employers offer what they consider to be generous health coverage — and many have expanded their mental health offerings in response to the psychosocial strains of the pandemic — substantial challenges remain.

Learning Corner with Jeffrey Pfeffer: Less Is Better Than More When it Comes to Incentives

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Learning Corner with Jeffrey Pfeffer: Less Is Better Than More When it Comes to Incentives

Some years ago, Men's Wearhouse founder George Zimmer came to a class I taught to discuss a case study I had written on his company.

Learning Corner with Jeffrey Pfeffer: Want to Make Leadership Development Effective? Tell the Truth

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Learning Corner with Jeffrey Pfeffer: Want to Make Leadership Development Effective? Tell the Truth

Social science isn't as alluring as most feel-good leadership talk. Recently, a large public accounting firm where I delivered a presentation on influence and power told me that their head of human resources wanted a more "inspirational" presentation on leadership than what I was preparing. Material based on the facts of organizational life and relevant social science research wouldn't be uplifting enough for their new cohort of leaders, the head of HR said.

Learning Corner With Jeffrey Pfeffer: COVID-19 Changes Everything—and Nothing—About Managing Workers

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Learning Corner With Jeffrey Pfeffer: COVID-19 Changes Everything—and Nothing—About Managing Workers

COVID-19 has seemingly changed everything. Many people who are lucky enough to have jobs work from home. Children go to school at home, with parents expected to provide oversight and help with learning. College students and older kids have returned home to shelter in place. One result of all of this being at home:Multitasking is now the new normal. A CEO who has a 3- and 6-year-old told me that she (with help from her husband) was simultaneously running a company, a daycare center and a school.

Learning Corner With Jeffrey Pfeffer: How to Redesign Jobs to Improve Employee Health & Company Performance

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Learning Corner With Jeffrey Pfeffer: How to Redesign Jobs to Improve Employee Health & Company Performance

Employers today face an epidemic of workplace stress and depression that takes an enormous toll on employees and company performance. In late 2019, the American Institute of Stress pulled together "42 Worrying Workplace Stress Statistics" from a variety of sources, including Gallup, Korn Ferry and the American Psychological Association. Some of the most troubling revelations:

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