Maite Delgadillo
Director of People, Experience and Services
Scania Mexico
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Expert Contributor

The Great Resignation, the Great Awakening, the Great Opportunity

By Maite Delgadillo | Thu, 11/11/2021 - 09:06

For some time, I have been hearing about a wave of resignations that have been and will continue to occur as a result of the pandemic. Experts tell us that people in general have begun to value certain things that previously might not have felt so important and that is why many associates have decided to resign from organizations with which they do not feel any connection to their values, with their organizational culture (the one that is practiced, not the one that is on the wall and on the official website of the organization) or with the reason for being with the same organization. Others have decided to resign because they want to continue having the opportunity to work remotely (and their organization does not allow such a scheme) or because they are not willing to continue working for a company that during this pandemic was not able to see people as more than a number.

What do I think as a Human Resources professional about this Great Resignation? Well, to begin with, I would call it the Great Awakening of the associates and the Great Opportunity for the organizations.

Let's talk about the Great Awakening. As I have already mentioned, I think that the associates have removed that blindfold and have begun to see and value things that they did not before. They have realized that they spend practically more than half of their time at work. Therefore, they have realized what they want to be investing half their life in. They want to be in an organization with which they connect, in which they feel challenged, understood and, above all, valued. Congratulations to them! I am very pleased that as a working society we have awakened, which will lead organizations to continue growing in terms of employee experience, that will lead us to continue innovating, to continue working on continuous improvement. I've heard for a long time that in the future, no one is going to want to work for a company that is not sustainable, that is not aligned with the sustainable development goals. Do you know what I believe? That the future has already reached us, that it is already here and that more and more associates are going to be more and more demanding with organizations as far as the associates’ experience is concerned. That’s great!

So, does that mean that organizations are going to become slaves to the associates? It is right there where I find the Great Opportunity. Since the collaborators have removed the blindfold and now see more clearly what they are looking for in or from an organization, the chances of having associates working within an organization without being engaged with their values or mission are now very low, so, Welcome resignations! I believe that associates and organizations have the right to fight for their dreams, their ideals, for what they are looking for, which undoubtedly must have a point of convergence between the two. The organization has the right to have associates who are committed to its mission and the associates have the right to be in an organization that they believe in. It’s the convergence of ideals so that they can grow as professionals but also as individuals.

If this is not happening in the organization, welcome the Resignations, but above all welcome the strategy of a human resources that employs a proactive approach (anticipated). Normally when a person leaves an organization, we ask the employee why they are leaving. In other words, what is it that they offer the company to which they are going? But the question that we must ask is to ourselves as an organization: What did we stop doing or offering as an organization to that associate? Listen and do an introspective exercise as an organization, complete a proactive analysis, measure the engagement of associates, ask them what are their reasons for being a part of the company? How engaged are they with your values, with your organizational culture? How engaged are they with their leadership? We should start measuring why people are with us, not just why they leave us, because if not, we could be losing talent that was definitely engaged in the past but for whom something might have happened along the way, and that engagement got lost.

If you are in an organization whose talent strategy has been very satisfactory in the last few years, you have had a low turnover, your engagement surveys have been the highest and the organizational climate the best, congratulations! As an organization, you have strategies that worked in the past, but could it be possible that these strategies will no longer work because perhaps, they were crafted for associates who no longer exist? For collaborators who have changed? Just as they changed, our strategy must transform and adapt, always based on really listening to your associates.

It is essential that we, as organizations, transform ourselves proactively and at a much greater speed than the transformation that we are experiencing as a society. Without a doubt, the associates in organizations are no longer the same as before the pandemic. I do not mean they are different people. I mean they want different things from an organization, from a leader. Our duty is to take care of the experience of our collaborators and to transform ourselves at the same or greater speed than our associates are changing. Don’t wait for them to quit to ask them why they are leaving. It’s better to ask them now. What do they want from an organization? What do they like? Why are they in your organization? Within your company, how can they see their life mission fulfilled? Ask them how happy they are in their job. Ask them why they are here.

If after doing everything, the employee discovers that he/she wants to leave, then yes, their resignation is welcome, because not all people are made for all organizations and the other way around. People have the right to be happy in their work but organizations also have the right to have happy and proactive associates. If at the end of the road there are people who leave, accompany them until the very last moment that they are with your organization, taking care of their experience until the very last moment.

I have always believed that a happy and engaged employee is equal to one or more happy customers because in the end, everything starts and ends with people.

Photo by:   Maite Delgadillo