United States

The serious risk of losing talent in an organization ft. Christy Pruitt-Haynes


Hello. My name is Christy Pruitt Haynes. I am a consultant and facilitator with NeuroLeadership Institute. I'm from Nashville, Tennessee, and I've worked in human resources, diversity and strategy for over 25 years. In addition to that, I am a public speaker who speaks on those same topics, quite often.

I think that companies have a real opportunity to utilize technology, to diversify their workforce. One of the first ways is something that we've been reintroduced to as a result of the pandemic. And that's using things like zoom and other platforms to almost make employees, location agnostic, meaning technically someone can work in any part of the world and still interact with their coworkers as if they're face to face.

We've had all of these platforms previously, but over the last two years, we've really seen how they can transform the group of employees or potential employees that we can recruit from. In the past, organizations have often focused on just recruiting within a small location around their offices, but now we're able to work with people in any location, any time zone because of technology like this. I think one other way that it can really help is technology helps to even the playing field, if you will, for individuals with different disabilities.

As an example, someone with a visual disability can either enlarge their text or have their computer speak things to them, or read things to them from the screen. People with other types of disabilities, whether they be physical or cognitive, have that same ability to really use technology, to give them the opportunity to do the same work that others are doing in a way that works well for them.

Individuals with disabilities is one of the largest unemployed groups in many countries because of difficulty accessing information. But we find that with technology, we're able to remove that barrier and companies can then work with people with all types of situations and bring them into the workforce and include them in all of those day to day interactions

Right now, not only in the United States, but in so many countries around the world, we are seeing what many are calling the great resignation, meaning employees are choosing to leave for a number of different reasons. I think one of the biggest ways to mitigate that risk is to provide employees with flexibility, given the opportunity to work in a location that works best for them, whether that's in an office or remotely also allowing individuals to select their own business hours. Things of that nature really helps someone create the type of job that works well for them.

It's interesting with this generation, we see so many people being familiar with what we call a gig economy, meaning they don't feel the need to work for one employer. Instead they may have different consulting jobs and things of that nature with a number of different organizations that just reinforces the idea that so many employees now are looking for that flexibility. We no longer are a population that's looking to go with one company and stay with them 30 years.

I think our parents and grandparents did that, but we don't see that as much for those individuals who are entering the workforce and organizations have to acknowledge that. Providing flexibility is one way to do so. I think another thing that companies have to do is really focus on making sure once someone is in an organization, they are truly in that organization, meaning they have a voice.

They are listened to, they are included in key conversations and decisions. Oftentimes we may see a great deal, especially with diversity, a great deal of diverse talent at the lower levels of the organization, but we don't see them moving up to higher positions. That can be because they don't have that same opportunity and access to senior leadership, mentor opportunities, training and development and things of that nature. So when organizations can truly tap into the talent that everyone brings, they then make them feel like they are a true part of that company.

And that increases the likelihood of them staying and being with that organization for a number of years, as opposed to quickly leaving, to find a company that better fits their culture and personality. I think the last thing I would really love for everyone to hear is a quote that I use quite often. And this really deals a great deal with diverse me.

The goal is not to think and act alike, but to think and act together

Meaning companies shouldn't look for individuals who are all going to think and act in the exact same way. Instead, the focus should be on pulling together people who can work together collaboratively and use all their joint resources and knowledge to create the best solution for those organizations. When that happens, not only does the company benefit, but the individual feels as though they are proud of the work that they're doing and they're accepted for who they are. So again, the goal is not to think and act alike, but to think and act together

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