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New Year, New Job? It's what one third of your people are thinking!

At Peopletopia, we were delighted to take on new people to join our team at the start of the year. It felt like an injection of energy, of potential and surge of excitement for the new things yet to come in 2020. What a great beginning.

I compared this sense of excitement with a report by the Korn Ferry Institute, (recently published here ). The report shows that according to their survey, one third of your professionals are probably thinking of leaving your organisation.

One third? That's an alarming number isn't it?

Part of this is to be expected, at the turn of a new year, we naturally turn to thoughts about changes that we might want to make in our lives and in our career, but the bit that I found most interesting is that many of these people are thinking of leaving because of a mismatch between company culture an personal values.

We spent a good deal of 2019 and will be spending plenty of 2020 working with organisations on their business values and culture. What does our experience tell us on this? That employees find little more frustrating about the subject than a leadership team that doesn't practice what it preaches. In running group sessions with hundreds of employees to discuss the situation in their business, there is one complaint more common than any other. The leadership team will send down a message similar to "Our values are at the heart of everything we do" - it sounds great...until you realise that a significant proportion of your people can site examples where the leadership behaviours of your organisation are directly at odds with the values. That leads to a culture with a divide: them and us.

It is simply not enough to say that values are important. You may be doing some great stuff in trying to bring those values alive, they might be evident from your recruitment process through every process in the business, but if you have a group of leaders and senior managers who don't exhibit a commitment to those values in their actions, then you have very little to make those values meaningful, which in turn means, that your values don't reflect the actual culture of your business.

Employees need to see that the values are important, not to be told that they are. How does every member of your leadership team demonstrate your values in their day to day actions? What happens if any of them exhibit behaviours that don't match with the values?

Does every leader hold themselves, their peers and the managers in their team accountable to the values? Do you encourage me to tell you and call out the things that damage our values? (And do you visibly act on it?)

When it comes to values and culture, these things are critical if you really are committed to making values meaningful. Look at the business culture that you have right now, if it's not where you want it to be, you probably need to look at your organisational values and think about what you are all doing to either support or weaken them.

Don't tell people that values are important, show them in everything you do and everything that you say. Be brave, it can be difficult, but if you want to build the culture that you are proud of, you need to start with values based behaviours. Use them to build a culture that people love being a part of, that way, you won't lose a third of your people just because a new year has started.


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