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Let’s start off on the right foot

“An ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure.” —Emmanuel Acho


The skinny

The “diversity paradox” is hindering organizations to make real change at the core of their corporate culture.

Diversity paradox?

Basically, the diversity paradox is when you hire employees that “fit your culture” but that culture is essentially damaged. It’s wanting diversity, but also wanting people who “jive” with you and your team.


Very. It’s a difficult truth to realize for many organizations. Even if they try their hardest to recruit and retain diverse employees, if their company culture doesn’t/can’t adapt to change, then there’s no use. Hate to say it, but many organizations have been doing it very wrong for a very long time.

Tough love.

Sometimes that’s necessary. There are many discriminatory practices that have been carried over from the past that simply don’t work now. For example, requiring a certain amount of continuous experience. For many who suffer from discrimination or harassment in the workplace, their career trajectory may look like a ladder instead of a smooth upward trend.

What else?

Disability is often left off of the hiring to-do list. Employers could target various colleges and programs that work directly with people of varying disabilities. Don’t overlook the overlooked.

Good point.

Hope you’re taking notes. One more key point, focusing on diversity for only entry-level roles is not a good thing. If you aren’t hiring diverse talent at the leadership level, you could be setting yourself up to fail. That and, you may be contributing to building a toxic workplace culture.


The goal at the end of the day has to be about changing the core culture of the workplace, which could mean completely sinking the old way of doing things. There’s going to be discomfort and missteps but after this past year, a little discomfort could go a long way in building a diverse and inclusive workplace.

Further reading: AI could be introducing bias at your organization.

Totes quotes: “What are you pretending not to know? How many people are being held back based on someone’s ignorance? How many people have not been referred to your company because their differences were not seen as an asset? Who do you work with who is holding people back?” —Jackye Clayton, DEI strategist for SeekOut

The skinny

Latest study reveals a gap between how employers think their employees are doing financially and how employees feel they are doing.

What do you mean?

Well, let’s back up shall we. With over 40% of households reporting declines in income over the past year on top of stagnant wages, employees are about to lose their minds and are in desperate need of support. But unfortunately, it looks like employers are living in lala land when it comes to realizing that their employees are hurting.  

Sunshine and rainbows?

Something like that. 87% of employers rated their employees’ financial wellness as good to excellent, while the majority of employees rated their financial wellness as average. And that rating has steadily declined since 2018.

Averagely concerned.

Throwing down. Just like a friendly ghost scene, employers are understanding that they need to support employees financially, but they’re kind of smashing the pot when it comes to follow through. And not in a sexy way.

What do you mean?

In that survey, two-thirds of employers felt extremely responsible for their employees’ financial wellness, up from only 13% in 2013. However, 40% of employers offer no solutions to help alleviate employees’ financial burdens. But at least both employers and employees agree, more can be done to support financial wellness.  

Ok, like how?

Financial coaching paired with traditional offerings like HSAs and FSAs is a good start. But don’t be late to the financial wellness party. Recent data reveals that employees are more interested in benefits like financial wellness tools than they are in health care coverage, paid time off, and mental health support.

That’s surprising.

For sure. Remember that party? Not only should you not be late, but you best start gathering your party favors. As the pandemic subsides, expect to see a massive shift in hiring trends as many people are itching to change jobs due to burnout.

Further reading: Youngest workers facing financial crisis.


The skinny

Dedicating yourself to active listening, although challenging, proves hugely transformative.


Hey! That’s exactly the opposite of what I’m saying. Listening, not just hearing, is a lot harder than you may think.

Ok, tuning in now.

Good. The basics of good listening are familiar: Maintain eye contact, nod, use “I” statements instead of “you” statements but also, and I mean this in the best way possible, shut up.


That’s right. This might sound simple but shutting up and giving someone the room to speak is a lot harder for many people than you think. One way to remember to give someone the floor is to rearrange the word listen.  


Not quite. The correct answer is silent.


We love mnemonic devises. Another listening tip: Summarize and build. After a person is finished speaking, take a little bit of what the person said and add a little bit to it. This is called reflective listening and it not only shows the person that you’re listening, but also allows them to correct any misunderstandings.

Got it, repeat a little bit.

Good. Now, another key listening tool is to be patient. This is especially true with those closest to us. We assume that we already know what the person is going to say so we tend to only half listen and we may even interrupt. Listening with intent means you are actually focusing on what the person is saying, not thinking about a response in your head. Think of all the details you lose disappearing into your own argument. 

Been there.

Same. Just remember that listening is an act of power. When we listen to somebody, we have to listen beyond our own notion of what they’re going to say. We have to listen louder than our own thoughts and listen beyond the lines of our own privilege.

Totes quotes: "How do we listen beyond the narrative that locks people in? How do we acknowledge our power to let people live out loud beyond the captured voice, in the full-throated body of their lives?" —Sandhya Dirks, reporter and radio producer.

Here’s something to…

Benefits Insight Dashboard

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