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Exit Interview by Patrick Donegan – Newsletter #76

By: Patrick Donegan

For some time, I’ve been looking for one “source” that curates modern takes on HR Tech, perspectives from the people who build it, and its impact on enterprise — something that’s tailor-made by professionals for decision-makers.

I never found it — so I decided to build it.

Every week, I’ll be sharing fresh insights on tech platforms, design, data, and the future of work — straight to your inbox.

My Thoughts

It’s a short week here at SEI, which means a slightly shorter than usual Exit Interview. On Monday, we observed the freshly-minted Juneteenth federal holiday, giving our team an opportunity to rest and us as leaders time to reflect on our current initiatives — like we do in our latest consultant spotlight — and expectations for a diverse and positive workplace. Whether in the wake of changes outside our control or in the light of important days like Juneteenth, we must remember that open dialogue and empathy are two of the most powerful tools for creating more successful organizations. 

Tech Innovation At Work

Microsoft has unveiled new machine learning 🤖📚 tools for improving audio quality on Teams calls, announced in a blog post last week. While the new features can’t help that coworker who always forgets they’re on mute, echo-cancellation, background noise suppression, and live corrections for poor room acoustics 🎸 will definitely make wearing headsets on calls safer for your hearing and sanity. But by far, the best update Microsoft announced is interruptibility. At long last, attendees can chime in on a conversation without derailing the flow of a meeting, something I imagine keeps many employees from speaking up or contributing ideas. The highly-disruptive 😏 feature is the result of more than 30,000 hours of crowd-sourced speech samples and recorded meetings to train Microsoft’s AI. 🧠 The future is now, folks.

GIF: GIPHY

MGM Resorts 🎰 has unveiled its new L&D program 👨‍🏫 built on virtual reality-based immersive learning. Headed by Mandi LaRue, MGM’s director of organizational effectiveness, the project offers employees a chance to experience different roles within MGM, preparing them for vertical, lateral, or horizontal movements. 🪜 Training is done through VR modules created using onsite filming at MGM properties, producing a hyper-realistic experience that builds on cross-functional skills. Dive deeper here.

The Changing Workplace

Polygamy, a conversation topic once exclusive to the latest TLC docuseries, is getting rebranded. In an interview with Business Insider late last year, Adobe Chief Product Officer Scott Belsky shared his predictions for the workplace trends of 2022, during which he coined a somewhat odd term: polygamous careers. 💻 🤔 💻 Today’s workers place an incredibly high value on job satisfaction, growth, and new experiences, and the reality is that it’s hard to get it all in one place (but just in terms of careers, obviously 😅). In 2020, professional development and concerns about income led to more than 35% of the US workforce taking on freelance work — a statistic that’s only going up. Get a better understanding of what career polygamy means for HR leaders and executives in this piece from Culture Amp. 👈

IMAGE: INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF MACHINISTS AND AEROSPACE WORKERS

Apple has officially joined the union revolution. ✊ Last week, 65 of the nearly 100 employees at an Apple store 🍎 in Towson, Maryland, became the first in the US to unionize. Like Starbucks, Apple employees say they experienced a “nasty” campaign of union-busting tactics from company leadership. In a video produced by More Perfect Union, one employee recounts an experience wherein management pointed out that Black employees were once barred from joining American unions, seemingly attempting to pervert modern social justice ideals in an effort to discourage organizing. Despite their efforts, the location is now represented by the Apple Coalition of Organized Retail Employees, the newest members of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers.

Editor’s Picks

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Patrick Donegan

Chief Strategy Officer

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