Why are people are quitting their jobs? What should employers and organisations be doing to retain top talent during this turbulent time?

Lena Thompson and Dr Martina Olbert tell Amelia Brand in our latest podcast about why The Great Resignation is still in full swing, and explore ways in which it can be brought to a halt.

 

“IF YOU ALWAYS DO WHAT YOU’VE ALWAYS DONE, YOU WILL ALWAYS GET WHAT YOU’VE ALWAYS GOT.”

– Lena Thompson

 

Unless drastic change happens, then more people will leave, and companies will lose their great talent. This should open minds to new ways of leading, and leaders recognising that for organisations to be successful and to thrive, they have got to adapt to this new world. A new world where each person is recognised for their unique talents.

Exploring the concept of ‘purpose’ and its relation to The Great Resignation, Lena also tells Amelia about the way in purpose is now more powerful than profit and power. Lena also argues that vulnerability is no longer seen as a weakness, but as a crucial aspect of a great leader.

 

“EMPLOYEES ARE LOOKING FOR WORK THAT IS MORE MEANINGFUL AND MORE FULFILLING. I BELIEVE THAT ORGANISATIONS MUST MAKE SURE THAT THEIR PURPOSE IS ALIGNED WITH THE VALUES OF THEIR EMPLOYEES. FOR THAT, COMMUNICATION AND AUTHENTICITY IS REALLY IMPORTANT.”

– Lena Thompson

 

Lena explores a survey by McKinsey into the top reasons why people are leaving their jobs. It found that 35 percent left due to uncaring leaders. Other top reasons included unsustainable work performance expectation, lack of career development, lack of meaningful work, and lack of health and wellbeing support.

Continuing to explore the concept of purpose, Lena highlights how we often do tasks that are not aligned with our strengths, and say “yes” because we are trying to prove how valuable we are.

 

“IT TAKES SO MUCH ENERGY TO BE WHO WE ARE NOT.”

– Lena Thompson

 

In response to this, Lena highlights how it takes a great leader to notice what is happening and telling them to take a step back and figure out what they love about their work.

Also, Martina tells Amelia about the ways in which diversity issues are impacting The Great Resignation.

 

“EVER SINCE WE INTRODUCED DE&I AS A SEPARATE CONCEPT IN BUSINESS CULTURE FOR ORGANISATIONS TO MANAGE, WE HAVE CREATED A WHOLE NEW PROBLEM ON ITS OWN. BUSINESSES HAVE FUNDAMENTALLY MISUNDERSTOOD THE PURPOSE OF DEI, WHICH IS TO CREATE MORE VALUE.”

– Dr Martina Olbert

 

Businesses are not public officials, highlights Martina, and their job is not to represent every single portion of society in a proportional way within their organisations.

Instead, they should focus on making sure that their own organisation is more diverse, and open to collaboration and belonging. People from all walks of life should be respected and feel valued for who they are, Martina argues.

 

“DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION SHOULD BE A STRATEGIC ENGINE FOR ORGANISATIONS TO CREATE MORE DIVERSE VALUE.”

– Dr Martina Olbert

 

This could be innovation, or fundamentally reimagining different parts of the value chain and what your organisations actually create for the world. Martina explores that this could be powered by the fact that different people within one organisation will experience and see the world in different ways.

 

“THE PROBLEM IS THAT WE STARTED LOOKING AT DIVERSITY IN BUSINESS AS IF IT WAS A SOCIAL AND IDEOLOGICAL PROBLEM, BUT IT’S NOT. IT’S A CULTURAL AND A BUSINESS PROBLEM. IT PERTAINS TO HOW WE SEE THE WORLD, AND THE COLLECTIVE NETWORK AROUND OUR EXPERIENCES, VIEWPOINTS, AND SKILLSETS.

– Dr Martina Olbert

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Editor at HRreview

Amelia Brand is the Editor for HRreview. With a master’s degree in Legal and Political Theory, her particular interests within HR include employment law, DE&I, wellbeing within the workplace. Prior to working with HRreview, Amelia was Sub-Editor of a magazine, and Editor of the Environmental Justice Project at the University College London, writing and overseeing articles into UCL’s weekly newsletter. Her previous academic work has focused on philosophy, politics and law, with a special focus on how artificial intelligence will feature in the future.