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Opinion | What Your Younger Employees Are Really Thinking

Alexa: Since there was a lot of downtime during the pandemic, people had time to reflect on their values and where they wanted to be with their career. I’m really proud to be part of something that’s actually been coined a term now. The pandemic has been a wake-up call for me as far as, how much time do I want to devote to my career? What do I really want to be doing? Am I really getting paid for what I’m worth?

Adrian J. Rivera: Does anybody have negative feelings about this idea of the Great Resignation?

Bettina: Within our organization, when they assessed their values, a lot of individuals decided it was best to retire. We had so much history within the organization, we didn’t see a lot of turnaround, and so we didn’t realize that we didn’t have a lot of systems in place. They left with all of their knowledge. And they left the rest of us trying to figure out how to do a job without having the process and procedures in place. So for us, it’s basically a wealth of knowledge that we’re losing as an organization.

Cameron: I hear what Bettina said. I had pain from the loss of all of this historic knowledge and legacy employees. But honestly, take it with you, leave, make more money and screw the company that didn’t pay you enough and didn’t treat you well enough while they were looting all the profits. I think it’s wonderful. I celebrate it. I truly cannot stress enough it’s the greatest thing that I’ve seen in my lifetime.

Dontavious: For me, before it got to the point where people were actually being furloughed, there were people who were quitting because they were afraid of getting sick. From my understanding of the Great Resignation, one factor is just fear and concern about how companies are handling the coronavirus: What is the company going to do to try and keep us safe? How are they going to make sure that the facilities are cleaned, and things like that?

Margie Omero: How many people here have felt like they were thinking about their returning-to-work plan through the lens of, is it safe for me to go back to work right now? How many people said that that was a concern for them?

[Six participants raise their hands.]

Margie Omero: Brittney, why don’t you tell us a bit more?

Brittney: I ended up pregnant very early in the pandemic. So I spent the majority of my pregnancy at work in a place where a lot of the people, they didn’t want to wear masks, they didn’t want to follow protocols. We did end up putting dividers in between our desks. And a lot of the older people retired, so it kind of cut down the amount of people we had in the office. But it just really scared me for a while. I was able to convince them to let me work from home toward the back end of our pregnancy, but once it came time for me to come back after my maternity leave in March of ’21, there was no, OK, well, you can work from home to try to keep you and the baby — I have a newborn child in my house. I have a 7-year-old, 6-year-old at the time. And there was no understanding and no concern for the fact that I really was trying to look out for myself and my children. It was just, “No, you need to be here.” If I felt like I had a safety net, I guarantee you, I would have left my job, because it felt so inconsiderate. They didn’t really care about me as a person. They just needed my body there, so that way the work could get done.

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