Applauz Blog

Content We’re Loving: The Best of March 2022

Published: April 12, 2022

Last Updated: March 21, 2023

  3 min read

By: Michelle Cadieux

Content We're Loving gives 2-minute synopses of noteworthy stories and reports from the world of work and people management. Here is the best of March!

💛 Every month, Content We're Loving gives you 2-minute synopses of the most noteworthy stories and reports from the world of work, HR, and people management. Check out the best of February

After a long winter, the HR sphere appears to be waking up. Many HR professionals and business leaders are facing the challenge of returning to the office and mass hiring.

This month, we explore how to easily screen for passion when evaluating candidates.

Next, we look at new research by Harvard Business Review sharing key insights that will help your company get hybrid work right.And lastly, we dive into the fascinating analysis by MIT Sloan researchers. They combed through 1.3 million Glassdoor reviews to uncover the anatomy of toxic cultures.

inc-article-0-750x300Employees With This 1 Quality Are High Performers

From: Inc Magazine
Topic: Recruiting, hiring,

Managers and HR professionals may agree that passion is important. However, many companies overlook this factor in a rush to fill vacancies. 

The author warns: overlooking passion can lead to something called "dysfunctional retention." This is when indifferent employees are hired or stay, but they don't feel inspired by the job. And ultimately, they perform poorly.  

As the author puts it: "having the ability to perform at a certain level is different than having the desire to."

So how can you assess passion? The author offers the core components of passion:

  • A long-term commitment to a specific domain. Someone who is dedicated to making an increasingly positive impact on a specific domain over a sustained period of time.
  • A curious disposition. This person becomes excited when faced with a challenge and wants to pursue that challenge, seeing it as an opportunity to succeed.
  • A connecting disposition. When faced with a challenge, a person actively reaches out to connect with others who can help them address it.

The author closes with examples of interview questions that can help you screen for these qualities. For example, "how do you stay up to date in your field?" "What makes you most excited about this role?" and "What do you think we can do better?"

Read the full article

Harvard Business Review Cover5 Key Trends Leaders Need to Understand to Get Hybrid Right

From: Harvard Business Review
Topic: Return to office, remote work

Globally, the "return to office" or "hybrid work" trend is growing, and many companies are having trouble finding the right strategy.

Microsoft has released a report highlighting five key trends leaders can leverage to empower their teams in the coming year.

Employees have different priorities when it comes to work and life:
Compared to before the pandemic, many people have put their mental wellness and family first. As such, people are looking for companies with a positive culture, well-being benefits, a sense of purpose and meaning, flexible hours, and more than two weeks' vacation time not far behind.

Managers feel wedged between leadership and employee expectations:
54% of managers surveyed believe their leadership is out of touch with what employees want. However, 74% of managers say they don't influence to make necessary changes. This author asserts there is a clear gap that needs to be addressed.

Leaders need to make the office worth the commute:
According to the author, leaders must be intentional about the who, where, and why of in-person gatherings and set new meeting etiquette that gives everyone a chance to talk and contribute during meetings.

Flexible work doesn't have to mean "always on."
Microsoft data shows that remote employees spend more time working on evenings and weekends. To make flexible work sustainable, teams must set new norms that establish boundaries, so one person's flexibility doesn't become another's "always on."

Rebuilding social capital looks different in a hybrid world:
Fostering social connections must be prioritized for leadership as many people have lost social connections during remote work. Create the conditions for relationship-building, and encourage teams (especially remote and new employees) to prioritize networking and in-person connection.

Read the full article

MIT sloan article coverWhy Every Leader Needs to Worry About Toxic Culture

From: MIT Sloan Management
Topic: Employee engagement, company culture

Researchers from MIT have dug deeper into the topic of company culture. The analysis sought to find out what makes a company's culture truly toxic.

By analyzing 1.3 million Glassdoor reviews, the team identified the phrases and topics that led to the biggest drops in a Glassdoor company's culture score.

They found five major signs of toxicity.

Incivility and disrespect 

When employees complained that their colleagues lacked civility or did not care about the feelings of others, their culture scores dropped. At both the individual and company level, respect toward employees rises to the top of the cultural elements that matter most.

Non-inclusive environment 

This study looked at exclusion and discrimination based on gender, race, sexual identity and orientation, disability, and age. But also exclusion based on nepotism. Or a more general non-inclusive culture, for example, reviews containing terms like "cliques," "clubby," or "in crowd."

Unethical behaviour 

Unethical behaviour consists of integrity and ethics in an organization. The Glassdoor rating of a company dropped by .62 due to unethical behaviour. Reviewers used words like "shady," "cheat," "deceive," "mislead," "make false promises," and "smoke and mirrors" when describing companies they deemed unethical.

Cutthroat competition

Coworkers undermining each other strongly correlated with a negative culture score. Reviewers used phrases like "dog-eat-dog" and "Darwinian" and talked about coworkers who "throw one another under the bus" "stab each other in the back." This is not about the rare conflict or uncooperative teammates. In such cultures, workers secretly root against or actively undermine their own peers. 


Bullying, yelling or shouting at employees, belittling or demeaning subordinates, verbally abusing people, and speaking down to employees are the most mentioned hostile behaviours in the sample. Bullying like this is rare, but it has a huge impact on a company's culture. 

Read the full article

A Happier Workplace


Subscribe and join our community of curious HR Professionals and Managers.