Why a People-First Culture is the New Priority (Part 1)

By Geraldine Woloch-AddamineOct 6 2022

1- What about the Great Resignation or the economic downturn factors?

The Great Resignation is not an isolated phenomenon but rather an ongoing trend – The numbers have been pretty much steady for the past few months. Even in an economic downturn, retaining top talents is critical to sustaining productivity.

We begin to realize the high cost to the organization’s performance of relationship deteriorations within teams and its impact on the social capital of companies.

The simple calculation of the salary replacement doesn’t make sense anymore. It’s somewhat costly collateral damage for companies due to poor cooperation among teams, impacting their collective performance.

In this context, a cultural shift with a people-centric priority appears to be the best solution to stop the workforce from quitting for greener grass.

One constant emerges when looking at all the 2022 workplace trends and insights curated by experts: the people-first approach drives better engagement and retention.

Indeed, the prism of the Great Resignation drama shows multi-angles to the same pain. If people don’t feel valued or respected in their work and don’t benefit from fair compensation and treatment for their work commitment and sacrifices, they’ll look for better opportunities. ASAP.

We needed a better understanding of what people viewed as unacceptable personal sacrifices. What extra dose of stress will be too much? The straw that breaks the camel’s back. Let’s dig in.

2- Goodbye loyalty or why people quit their jobs

Research shows that the top predictor of attrition is a toxic corporate culture.

Other factors are:

  • Job insecurity and reorganization
  • a high level of innovations (stress is high on new project delivery).
  • a failure to recognize performance
  • or a poor response to Covid 19.

Even with the pandemic transition toward more in-person collaboration, returning to the office and its politics might be another good reason to quit.

People leave their companies because they do not experience a supportive atmosphere and culture. They don’t feel valued enough by their managers or organizations for their work sacrifices. Or they don’t feel a sense of belonging at work.

In a nutshell, people want to feel respected for who they are and their professional sacrifices. They want a better work-life balance. And it’s mostly a question of a motivating culture versus a poor work environment.

We never wanted a pandemic to understand that productivity correlated to a high-performing culture. However, it’s nothing new.

The Glassdoor ranking was the pioneer in pointing out the importance of culture in talent attraction and retention. Still, all the research confirms that an investment in a people-first culture outperforms competitors even in a challenging market. Take Costco or Trader Joe’s. They are the perfect examples.

We shouldn’t forget that If the best leaders emerge from a crisis, it’s also true for companies that demonstrate great core values.

More than ever, it’s time to build a new hybrid culture that matches the new employee’s expectations. And while promoting trust and transparency as core values are the new must-haves for fostering the best employee experience, it all happens at the team level.

Next month, in part 2 of our article, we’ll explain why the future of work is about trust and transparency and how teams are the cornerstone of high-performing organizations.

To be continued.