How Uber is shaping your talent strategies.

Talent Strategies
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Susan Fowler.

Two words that have shaken Uber at its core.

What happened to her was awful. It was unlawful, unjust and just plain disgusting. Her 3000-word blog post “Reflecting on one very, very strange year at Uber” has opened Pandora’s box to the toxic culture inside Uber. Last week, Ubers CEO, Travis Kalanick stepped down.

It has shown the world that one person can make a difference.

As a talent consultant, I work with high potential talent from around the world, and I’ve noticed that the whole talent model is changing.  So often, when people think about the future of work it’s all about automation, technology and disruption.

But what I’m also seeing is a shift in the what work means to us.

Work is now not just a place we go to, or what we do, it has become an extension of who we are.

This is especially prevalent in high potential talent.

Top talent want deeply satisfying, challenging and meaningful work. They want it all. And quite frankly, if you thought the war on talent was over, think again. We are walking into a major global skills shortage.

So organisations out there, take note and learn from the recent events highlighted at Uber.

Talent wants to work for a values-led organisation

In my line of work, more and more talented individuals come to me saying they are leaving companies because it doesn’t align with their values, their purpose and their personal mission.

In the past, we needed jobs; it was the only way to make money. And companies knew this. Now, there are so many ways to generate an income. You can drive an Uber, rent out a room on airb&B, you can sell your creations online on Etsy, you can consult on a freelancing platform, the list is endless.

If companies want to attract and retain high potential talent, they will need to rethink their core values. Top talent wants more than just a mission statement.

They want to work for companies that align to who they are, what they believe in and it needs to ooze out of the company’s DNA. They don’t want printed words in a glossy brochure or hanging by the door.

Leadership is critical

Leadership is more critical than ever. Over the years, I have seen so many “leaders” appointed for all the wrong reasons. And they don’t lead, they manage.

Leadership and management are two different things.

Leadership is creating vision and inspiring people to take action. Management is the delivery of a process or outcomes.

Top talent, want leadership. They know that working with the best leaders, only makes them better at what they do. They look at what they will learn from that experience. They look for how leadership will draw out the best in them. They want leaders who are not afraid to stand up for what they believe in.

Travis Kalanick has left the building, but he wasn’t the only one failing as a leader at Uber. Leaders aren’t just the people on top. There are leaders in every organisation some running teams, and others don’t. Leadership has the audaciousness to call out behaviour that doesn’t belong.

The power of humanity.

Transparency. Absolute transparency.

We live in a very different world. There are blog posts, portals and platforms like Glassdoor where talent can share their views and experiences with the world.

Top talent has access to all of this.

The world we live in is so globalised, so interconnected that news travels instantaneously. You can’t stop everyone from sharing their opinions, but there is one thing organisations can do. You can do the right thing.

At the core of every business is human capital. Even in the future of work, with bots and automation, there will always be humans in the picture. The greatest asset in any organisation is their human potential. Humanity is core to human potential.

One of the reasons why Susan’s story is so powerful is that we all know, we all have seen with our own eyes, things swept under the rug.

Top talent cannot and will not tolerate this behaviour.

The war of talent is greater than ever. The future of work is closer than you think.  Talent is mobile, restless and globally connected. They want work to be a deeply satisfying and meaningful experience.

Let’s learn from these events and make sure we are future proofing our talent strategies to attract and retain the best talent in the world.

Phebe Cho is the Founder of Accelus, a new voice in the workplace. They are a start-up talent consultancy and coaching academy focused on shaping the future of human potential. They work with Global 2000 businesses on developing talent strategies that embrace diversity, flexibility and knowledge with a future focused lens. Subscribe to the Accelus movement, and have career changing content delivered straight to your inbox.