Picking the right subject line is crucial to opening up communications because 47% of people decide whether to open an email based on the subject line alone, according to a study by Salesforce. Using the subject line to ask for advice, using a referral or meeting place and making it personal have the highest open rates, advises Stephanie Lee.
Chief HR officers are critical to helping boards plan for executive succession, as well as understanding whether the talent exists to execute strategic plans, says Wina Woodbury, who has served on boards and as a finance chief. "Being up to date on trends in executive compensation, new skills training, and what associates and candidates look for from their employers will make the CHRO most effective in their position and most valuable to the board," she says.
Men are often perceived to have high levels of leadership potential and hired for that, while women often require proven track records and accomplishments to receive the same perception, according to University of Kent research. For leaders to really be inclusive, they have the be aware of unconscious biases and actively try to correct them for themselves and their teams, writes Robin Moriarty.
Employers should address gender pay gaps by examining and revising hiring, promotion, compensation and talent management guidelines, write Tom McMullen and Andres Tapia from Korn Ferry. "For example, it has been well established that women tend to get promoted based on past performance, while men often receive promotions based on their perceived potential," they write.
Some companies create an HR information systems department to convey HR's needs to the IT department. "We have to understand their business very deeply to make it execute flawlessly for them," says Jim Rhodes, vice president of HRIS at Emerson Electric, who also works with the chief HR officer and other HR executives.
Leaders should have a good sense of self-awareness and understand how fast to enact changes, says John Schuster, a Merryck & Co. mentor. "Leaders can go too fast so that people can't keep up, or move too slowly, which happens a little less often, so that the change doesn't get enough steam behind it," he says.
Get the HR, legal and procurement departments involved when starting to build a structured freelance program, and make sure intellectual property concerns are addressed, executives say. "Set aside the assumptions that you're used to operating with regarding the best approach to solving a problem," says Liane Scult, senior freelance program manager at Microsoft.
HR can find and hire people with intellectual or developmental disabilities through the help of specialized agencies. "These employees are excited to come to work and are so proud of working here," says Laura Williams, HR director at a Courtyard Marriott in Philadelphia.
Afthonia Lab CEO Tanul Mishra has been practicing Krav Maga -- a military self-defense method designed in Israel -- for about a decade. She says the mental presence required quiets the mind while the physical aspect is "a great way to vent built-up energy and stress."
Virtual reality and other technologies can help improve employees' emotional intelligence and empathy, but watch out for potential downsides, writes Diana Wu David. Employers can use VR to show employees what it's like to be someone and install mobile apps to encourage better habits, but companies must respect people's privacy and make ethical decisions, she writes.
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