Branch Weekly Roundup - Exploring the World of Work

Let’s take a look back at the world of work and the news, people, and stories that are shaping it. Welcome to the Branch Messenger weekly round-up.

In the News The recent devastating hurricanes -- two of which have hit the United States in the span of 14 days, have caused major upheaval in Florida and Texas. One of the largest segments of people impacted were hourly workers. In the exodus of people escaping the storms, many were forced to leave their jobs. In some instances, hospital workers were essentially trapped at their work. There are a lot of questions about how the storms affected hourly employees and The Atlantic has a good article that looks at some of the challenges they face, including a look back at some of the changes that came from Hurricane Katrina.

Happiness Matters There's something to be said about happy people. Happiness can impact creativity, overall well-being, and even the type of job we have. So, we were excited to read TIME's survey results of the 'happiest states' in America. As a company headquartered and devoted to the city of Minneapolis, we were delighted to see that Minnesota came out on top. Score one for Minnesota Nice, eh?

Rounding out the top five were: Nebraska (5), California (4), Hawaii (3), Utah (2), and Minnesota (1).

You can check out the results here.

Flippin’ Hours for Burgers For the crew at the Grand Rapids McDonald’s, life after Branch is one where employees are able to track their shifts and trade with colleagues if they need to. We spoke with one of their managers about how that adjustment has helped keep the team focused and productive. They're a unique bunch that considers themselves a close family. We also learned they use Branch to celebrate each other's accomplishments, beyond the frontlines of one of America's busiest fast food enterprises.

It’s All About the People Few people have bridged the world of corporate HR to that of frontline employees better than Steve Browne. As the executive director of HR for Cincinnati's LaRosa's Pizza, Steve works to make sure their 1,200 employees at 14 stores are happy and productive. When he's not working, he passionately devotes much of his time to engage others in the world hr. He's a writer and speaker who works hard to spread the word of developing 'deliberate people passion.' We spoke with him earlier this week about how he does it.

Targeting Holidays It's never too early to think about that holiday shopping list. Target is doing all they can to prepare for you, too. This week, they announced a massive surge in staffing by hiring 100,000 employees to cover stores during the November and December. That's a 43 percent uptick from last year when Target brought in 70,000 additional employees.

What We’re Reading This Week Jon Acuff is a best-selling author based in Nashville who writes about staying motivated. Many of his stories and books are geared towards creative and freelancers, but his message works perfectly for many of the workers who use Branch. In his recent book, "Finish" published this week, he tackles the world of tackling our goals, mainly that the myth of trudging towards them at all costs is not the best way to think about our work. Instead, he suggests making things more fun. There's no point being miserable in seeking your goals, and in fact, success comes from the things we enjoy.

See anything interesting about the world of work? Share your story in the comments below.