September 2015 business news roundup: What you should know
September saw one retail giant in the news for its focus on employee and consumer health, while financial institutions turned their attention to protecting customer data. Parental leave also remains a hot topic, putting human resources management in the spotlight.
Check out this quick list of last month’s business news trends and takeaways, courtesy of New England College of Business:
Banks are taking innovative measures to heighten customer security
The takeaway: In response to recent data breaches, credit card issuers are using EMV (Europay, Mastercard and Visa) chips to improve security by creating unique, secure transaction codes each time a card is used. This technology is expected to make it increasingly difficult for hackers to access consumer data, and is expected to be used by 600 million Americans by the end of 2015. Additionally, Bank of America has launched a new app that could spark a new security trend in mobile banking, as it allows customers to sign in using Touch ID.
Target is promoting healthy habits for employees and customers
The takeaway: Target has recently announced it will be providing its employees with a free FitBit activity tracker, and will offer employees an extra discount on fruits and vegetables. The store is increasing its selection of organic and natural foods as well, offering customers a greater variety of healthy options. These changes have been made under new CEO Brian Cornell in order to revamp the company's reputation as an advocate for the fitness and wellness of its employees and customers. Target's effort mirrors that of other large companies such as CVS, which recently highlighted the payoff from removing tobacco products from its shelves.
Netflix parental leave policy is under scrutiny
The takeaway: Human Resource Management professionals, take note: In August, Netflix announced its new flexible parental leave policy, allowing new parents up to one year of unlimited, paid parental leave. Parents can return to the office as they please during the 12-month leave period. The policy aims to provide workers with more authority and generate company growth, yet has been called into question by activist groups such as the Working Families Party in San Francisco. These groups are questioning the fairness of the policy, which is applicable to some workers and not others. Moreover, workers in tech companies with similar policies (such as unlimited vacation time) have been found not to take advantage unless top management sets an example.