Álvaro Cárcel, Executive Search Director.
We are approaching the end of 2022, and we can say that it has been a year of many changes in the professional field. Concepts of the most varied have emerged to define the situation we have experienced: "The Great Resignation", "The Quiet Quiting", etc.
In my opinion, this is simply another collateral damage of the pandemic. In the first place, because of the psychological toll that has undoubtedly influenced professional decision-making. Secondly, because companies (in general) were not prepared to manage everything that has come: teleworking, hybrid models, remote team management, etc. At the pace we were at before the pandemic, we would have reached the current scenario, maybe in 10 or 15 years. And such a strong acceleration is not easy to digest.
In any case, it's always good to focus on the data and analyze it. Because the noise sometimes does not let you see the reality.
Why do people leave organizations?
To answer the question, I take as a reference a recent study by McKinsey, which breaks down the main causes why employees leave their companies. The causes are multiple, but I mention below the 5 main ones:
1. Lack of professional development and growth
2. Inadequate compensation
3. Lack of leadership
4. Meaninglessness at work
5. Unsustainable job expectations
These are the causes, but if we go down to the detail, what do each of them mean? In other words, why do they occur?
1. Lack of professional development and growth: It is caused by the absence of career plans, training plans and succession plans.
2. Inadequate compensation: It is produced by the absence of a competitive and well-defined compensation and benefits policy.
3. Lack of leadership: It is caused by putting the wrong person in the wrong position. Normally, the problem comes from a poor definition of key positions and the absence of competency models. Without a good previous definition, it is difficult to get the person right. And as we know, a mistake in a leadership position can destroy an entire team in a matter of time.
4. Lack of meaning at work: It is produced by a lack of purpose. Having a purpose as an organization (or even as a work team) doesn't have to be sophisticated, abstract, or even pompous. It can be something simple and simple. But today, and especially the new generations, they need to connect with higher purpose.
5. Unsustainable work expectations: It occurs, among other reasons, due to poor planning of the workforce, an incorrect distribution of functions, and a lack of consideration for conciliation.
In short, the root of the problem is none other than the lack of strong policies on people in organizations. This is something that we have been dragging, but the pandemic has done nothing but put it on the table with cruelty.
Either we believe once and for all that it is absolutely necessary in organizations to create a strong, business-focused, and strategic people department, or we will continue talking ad nauseam about why companies are constantly losing talent. And of course, always blaming the People department for its mismanagement, when in reality he had never been invited to the party.
I especially like the difference Xavier Marcet makes between "genuine companies" and mere "business structures". As he says, "the difference between a genuine company and a business structure is in the value placed on people." In the former, people are the basis of future projects; In the latter, people are a cost. The former seeks the durability of the community; The latter are temporary and last as long as the business lasts.
In short, the reading is that there are many businesses, but few companies. And we need more companies capable of accommodating and enhancing talent, instead of destroying it, demotivating it and forcing it to look for alternatives (in many cases, in other countries, with the bill that this implies for the country).