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  • Banned Topics of Conversation - May 1, 2024

Banned Topics of Conversation - May 1, 2024

PLUS: Biden's laws to overtime workers, an employee onboarding planner & more.

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Mayday, mayday! 🚨 We need some more HR inspo! Enter: our first newsletter of the month, where we uncover the latest trends, insights and resources to help you smash your HR goals.

In today’s edition:


The conversation topic that workers want banned

say 'no'

Small talk, as we all know, can sometimes be excruciating. But it’s a necessary skill in networking and in the workplace, whether it’s to fill awkward silences, open conversations or bond over shared experiences.

And while some conversation topics should be avoided altogether in a professional setting, there’s now talk of banning certain things.

In fact, given the choice to ban a single topic from ever being discussed at work, almost half of 5,993 American workers surveyed for the biannual CNBC|SurveyMonkey Workforce Survey voted for politics (47 %). 🗳️

This was followed by:

  • Pop culture (12 %)

  • AI (10 %)

  • Sports (9 %)

  • The economy (6 %)

  • The weather (5 %)

  • TV and film (4 %)

But is banning talk of politics (or any other topic, for that matter) from the workplace a good idea? 🤔

Probably not.

If anything, it could stifle open communication, creativity and collaboration, while it may also foster a culture of fear, resentment and disengagement among employees — which goes against everything that HR stands for.

Even Google CEO Sundar Pichai weighed in on the subject, saying that debate is healthy and can serve innovation. “This is a business,” he wrote in a blog post. “Not a place to act in a way that disrupts coworkers or makes them feel unsafe.”

As an HR pro, the trick lies in not banning conversation topics from the workplace (which you could argue infringes upon freedom of speech) but in developing guidelines and policies for respectful communication, as well as in providing training on diversity, inclusion and sensitivity.

— Chris Leitch


An enforced new rule ensures workers who earn less than $ 58k in a year and over 40 hours a week are paid for any additional hours worked. [Market Screener]

Most US workers prefer face-to-face interactions with their coworkers, but burnout is still at the forefront of their job. [HR Dive]

AI powered tools are set to improve the efficiency of workplace meetings and reduce unnecessary clutter. [WIRED]


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You hired someone new… Now what?

Employee onboarding planner

It’s time to welcome them to the family and introduce them to your company’s policies and processes. And our handy Employee Onboarding Planner will help you do just that — from before their first day through to their first three months.

Another masterful HR gift coming your way next week :)

Employment law expert Jake Sitman explains how to best update your employee handbook to protect your business. [Voices of HR]

Workplace experience expert Kaylyn McKenna draws detailed comparisons between the most useful HR tools. [Business News Daily]



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Created with care by Chris Leitch, Joanna Zambas, and Electra Michaelido