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Workplace trends

France is overhauling its parental leave

After the country saw the lowest number of births since World War II last year, France announced last week that it would improve its parental leave policies to pay better and allow both parents, not just the mother, to be with their children for the six months following the birth. This demographic shift reflects a significant blow to the country’s traditionally strong profile, having been an outlier in population growth for decades compared to other European countries like Germany, Italy, and Spain. However, these policy changes could prove highly impactful given that while French people are currently having fewer children, pro-family Unis pour les Familles association says that the pattern is not the result of a lessened desire to have more children, but rather due to economic concerns. According to a recent Opinionway poll for the association, some 28% of respondents said that raising children in France today simply costs too much.

Proximity bias may hinder growth for remote workers

While employees continue to push for remote work flexibility, new research suggests that it may be holding them back when it comes to career growth. According to an analysis by employment-data provider Live Data Technologies, in 2023, remote workers were promoted 31% less often than people who worked in an office, either full-time or on a hybrid basis. They also receive less mentorship and less feedback that would help them improve, particularly among women working remotely. Research by KPMG furthers these concerns, with nearly 90% of surveyed chief executives saying that when it comes to favorable assignments, raises, or promotions, they’re more likely to reward workers who come to the office. All this said, remote workers also exhibit higher levels of overall well-being and less burnout, so it may simply be a matter of what matters most to each individual.

The AI corner

The impact of AI may depend on the economy

The International Monetary Fund published an analysis saying that nearly 40% of all global employment will be impacted by AI, replacing some and complementing others. Per the research, advanced economies are expected to face greater risks but also more opportunities to leverage the benefits of AI than emerging and developing economies. In fact, the research predicts that roughly 60% of jobs in advanced economies could be impacted, with half benefiting from increased productivity and subsequent higher wages and the other half seeing reduced demand for labor that was once done by humans. In contrast, emerging markets and developing economies are expected to face fewer immediate disruptions from AI, but with many of these countries lacking the infrastructure or skilled workforces to harness the technology’s benefits, AI could worsen inequality among nations over time.

Microsoft topped Apple as the most valuable public company

For more than a decade, Apple was the stock market’s undisputed winner, but a transfer of power seems to be taking place, with Microsoft surpassing Apple in market value  – a shift most experts say reflects the importance of new AI technology to investors. While Microsoft and others have been developing new generative AI businesses, Apple has been fairly absent from the conversation. The result? Microsoft, Nvidia, and Alphabet completely outshined Apple’s performance, with a combined value increase of $2.5 trillion last year. So although the tech industry still dominates the stock market, the companies that seem to be “winning” are those who have effectively placed generative AI at the forefront of their future business plans. This isn’t the first time Microsoft passed Apple in recent years, but analysts believe that this change could be more indicative of a fundamental shift in the tech industry altogether.

What motivates your team members?


Back in the 1960’s, American psychologist David McClelland developed his theory of needs, also known as the Achievement Theory of Motivation, which suggests that everyone is driven by a need for achievement, affiliation, and power – particularly in the world of work. He concluded that as humans, we all crave a combination of these three needs, but most of us are primarily moved by one in particular. Due to this natural variance, McClelland argued that being able to identify the dominant need for each person on your team is key to being a successful leader.

Why? Well, because the more you can understand what uniquely motivates each of your team members, the more effectively you can structure their work, provide them with meaningful incentives and responsibilities, recognize their achievements, and retain them.

So, how can you effectively motivate each of your team members?

Identify dominant needs

Try to identify what motivates each of your employees by considering what seems to excite them at work, how they react to working with others, how they respond to feedback and recognition, and what they typically focus on in growth-related conversations. From there, you can start to uncover their most dominant needs and identify how to tailor your management style to match them.

  • Achievement – If your employee has a strong need for achievement, it means they are most motivated by setting and accomplishing goals. They appreciate a good challenge and want to see progress as well as receive timely, relevant feedback on their work. These kinds of team members typically work best on projects that highlight their skills and where success is achieved through dedicated hard work.
  • Affiliation – Employees with a deep need for affiliation want to feel a sense of belonging and community at work. They care about feeling connected and love collaborating with others. These team members would be most likely to stick around due to loyalty to the organization and to their teammates.
  • Power  – Those whose dominant need is power are motivated by authority and control. They seek opportunities to demonstrate their leadership and make important decisions, and many enjoy competition and really influencing others’ opinions. They are eager for status in their jobs and look for ways to demonstrate their expertise.

Tailor your style

Of course, everyone on your team has a combination of all three needs, but understanding what specifically motivates each person to perform at their best can vastly improve your ability to support and manage them. So, once you have a general idea of what seems to drive each of your team members, it’s time to put it into action.

  • Achievement – For those you think are motivated by achievement, be sure to set clear goals in their work and to give them projects that are challenging but appropriate for their skill sets. Be intentional about providing them with intentional feedback along the way to demonstrate your investment in their success, and when something goes well, acknowledge it. For these kinds of employees, the most meaningful rewards are typically in the form of promotions and career growth. Compensation can also play a role in this need by serving as a tangible marker of success, but someone with a high need for achievement would likely still crave the satisfaction of overcoming obstacles rather than simply receiving monetary rewards.
  • Affiliation – Those who seem to be motivated by affiliation typically perform best when they feel that they have meaningful relationships at work. So do your best to seek out opportunities for them to collaborate with others, and encourage them to find mentors within your organization. Additionally, try to plan team lunches or fun group outings to help them get to know others on the team on a more personal level.
  • Power – For those you believe are motivated by power, look out for ways in which they can take on more authority and play a key role in strategic decision-making. Try to establish clear quantitative KPIs so that they can really measure their success, and make sure to spotlight their achievements in larger forums so that others can recognize their impact as well. A meaningful way to reward these kinds of employees is through increased responsibility and influence. So as these team members grow, keep an eye out for ways they can develop their leadership and management skills.

Adjust as you go

Recognize that these needs can change over time, depending on the opportunities and experiences that unfold for your team members at work. For example, someone may have joined your team with a great desire to build meaningful relationships and establish a sense of community, but fast-forward to a few months later once they have close friends on the team, and their needs may shift – they may start looking for more power or be interested in a greater sense of achievement. So, when it comes to navigating employee needs and motivations, don’t just assume that what’s worked before will always work. Be sure to consistently check in and adjust your management approach for different team members as you go. This way, you can continue to empower your employees and help them maximize their potential over time.

Water cooler chatter

Marlene Engelhorn, an Austrian heiress, is asking 50 strangers to help her allocate her €25 million ($27 million) inheritance. Believing the government doesn’t tax the wealthy enough, Engelhorn sent a survey to 10,000 Austrians and will select 50 individuals of different backgrounds from the group who she deems most representative of the population to help determine how to distribute the fortune she received ​​from pharmaceutical giant BASF.

“It was accumulated because other people did the work.”
Marlene Engelhorn, Austrian heiress

S&P 500 companies spent $65 million on their executives’ use of corporate jets in 2022, which is up 50% from 2019, per the WSJ. Meta alone accounted for $6.6 million of this from Mark Zuckerberg’s and former COO Sheryl Sandberg’s flights in 2022. Companies claim that flying corporate is safer and more efficient for their leaders.

“The vast majority of S&P 500 companies do not offer this perk.”
Rosanna Landis Weaver, Executive-Pay Analyst at As You Sow

Question of the week

Last week’s answer: Two workdays/week

This week’s question: Which company’s CEO gave all 60,000 employees his personal phone number?

Just for laughs

Claiming the camera isn't working on a zoom meeting
Arielle is a writer and storyteller currently serving as a content marketing manager at When she’s not busy writing, you can find her walking outside for hours on end or planning her next travel adventure.

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