Hello, Quartz at Work readers!
Around the world, people are living longer and retiring later. And the natural result, as Quartz contributor Emily McCrary-Ruiz-Esparza writes, is a workforce that’s adjusting to include more older workers in the mix.
In Japan, a labor crunch is so acute that companies have started hiring septuagenarians. In the US, retail and restaurant gigs are filled by fewer teenagers and more retirees. And a recent report by Bain and Company projects that 150 million jobs will shift to older workers by the end of the decade.
Now as companies aim to acknowledge that shift, some employees are finding a new perk in their family policies: grandparent leave. The policy, as it goes, gives paid time off to employees at the birth or adoption of a grandchild.
“Grandparents do so much,” Divya Ghatak, chief people officer of SentinelOne, tells Quartz. “The workforce is changing, people are working longer, and they are still in the workforce when they have grandkids.”
SentinelOne is just one of a handful of companies that have added time off for grandparents to their employee handbooks. Others like Fannie Mae, Booking.com, and Cisco have also started offering the bolstered benefit.
The practice doesn’t just acknowledge an older workforce—it also nods to the realities of multigenerational family care. In the US, more than 7 million grandparents live with grandchildren under age 18, and about half of those grandparents are still employed. In a nation whose own government calls the cost of childcare “untenable,” policies that allow employees to spend time with new grandchildren can also help working parents balance caretaking among more members of the family.
Grandparents are loving the perk, too, McCrary-Ruiz-Esparza writes. Read about how they’re making the most of their leave—and if it might be coming to a company near you.
It may be the late days of August, but the Summer of Strike wages on: This year has seen more than 230 strikes involving 320,000 workers, according to one labor action tracker—far beyond the power of just two years ago, which amounted to 116 strikes and 27,000 workers over the same period.
This month, a patchwork of industries have seen their share of organizing, from craft shop stockists to visual-effects avengers. But it hasn’t stopped there—a number of other industries celebrated labor wins this week. Among them:
🚘 Mustang makers. The United Auto Workers (UAW) are hitting the gas on negotiations, with its union voting this week on whether to authorize a strike. It’s the latest way they’re revving up contract demands against carmakers Ford, GM, and Stellantis.
✈️ Cockpit commanders. At American Airlines, pilots have been bargaining for better pay since late last year. Now their efforts are taking off: they reached a ratified contract this week that will nearly double their salaries, and then some.
📦 Warehouse movers. At Amazon, warehouse employees picked up a victory when the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) accused the retail giant of throttling unionization efforts. It’s not the only charge workers have gotten against the oft-alleged union buster.
46%: The share of US executives who say they plan to invest in generative AI in the next year or so. (It’s 12 to 18 months, to be exact.)
Ever since tools like Chat-GPT, DALL-E, and a slew of Big Tech bots were unleashed on the workplace, AI hype has swept the white-collar world. Now a new survey of 700 corner-office execs teases out how they’re planning to invest in it themselves. Quartz’s Michelle Cheng explains which industries are going all-in on AI.
To hold on to great employees, start thinking of your team like a marketplace. “Workers, particularly younger ones, value opportunities for career growth over other factors including work-life balance or work that makes an impact,” LinkedIn chief operating officer Dan Shapero writes in a guest piece for Quartz. That’s a must, he adds, for managers who want to keep their best employees from walking out the door.
To do that, build what’s known as an internal marketplace, or more opportunities for employees to move between roles and projects within your ranks. Here’s where LinkedIn says you should start.
Send questions, comments, and who’s striking next to firstname.lastname@example.org. This edition of The Memo was written by Gabriela Riccardi.