30.03.2023 Human Resources FarvestDecrypt HR One Gala Luxembourg

“It’s not time to be quiet, it’s not time to quit”

Writer Laura Campan

Casino 2000 (Mondorf-les-Bains) was in full swing last week for the 20th anniversary of the HR One Gala.

For this iconic new edition, the whole HR community in Luxembourg could attend an inspiring keynote speech from Turkish author Metin Hara, as well as a lively debate on the Quiet Quitting phenomenon and the genesis of the gala with its founder Fabien Amoretti.

Bad timing for Quiet Quitting?

If our super-connected world may be a fantastic place for creativity and innovation, it may also favor unhealthy comparison and competition – and the inner journey to heal and grow is not always easy to take.

Metin Hara asked the audience to close their eyes and travel over time:

“You are young, happily playing in the garden with your family, and everything seems possible”.

The audience was slowly carried away by Metin’s voice and taken back to the delights of childhood.

“Now, take this child by the hand and tell him that everything is gonna be okay. That he will experience many different things throughout his life, sometimes he will feel ecstatically happy, sometimes go through pain, but he will always find a way to heal and grow… Let him feel proud for everything YOU have accomplished over the years”.

We may have found the trick. No matter how many times we fell, we should always see it as an opportunity to be and do better, instead of looking down and thinking we are not enough.

Lately, we have often heard people talking about Quiet Quitting – this trending phenomenon encouraging thousands of employees to do the bare minimum instead of outright quitting. Maybe most of them just feel down after spending years running after an ideal of perfection – that does not exist and therefore cannot be reached.

For Metin, we should stop lambasting ourselves. Now, more than ever [in a world where anything can happen, anytime], it’s not time to be quiet, and it’s not time to quit.

Have companies really learned their lesson?

Eros Sharma, Head of Leadership and Learning & Development at Generali Employee Benefits, welcomed on stage ING Luxembourg Human Resources Director Delphine Berlemont, Amazon Web Services (AWS) Global Talent & Learning Product Lead Navarun Bhattacharya, European Investment Bank (EIB) Head of Division ‘Organisation & People Development’ Sandra De Greef, and Metin Hara to dig deeper into Quiet Quitting.

Attracting talent has become increasingly difficult over time, especially since the onset of the Big Quit. But what if talent retention could help us overcome global talent shortage?

After recruitment naturally comes retention – and what a better way to retain your employees than engaging them? According to a survey conducted in January 2023 by Paul Polman on 4,000 employees across the UK and the US, the trick may lie in changing our management approach: almost half of respondents in the UK (45%) and over a third in the US (39%) believe the CEO and senior leaders are only driven by their own gain. And the icing on the cake, nearly half of them would consider taking a pay cut in order to work for a company that shares their values.

So, how to empower managers and give them the tools they need to become the caring and coaching leaders we need? The panelists gave some hints:

  • Managers must learn how to have conversations with their teams to reduce disengagement and burnouts ;
  • They should also dedicate 15 to 20 minutes to each team member so they could talk openly about how they feel ;
  • And last but not least, they need to take accountability for individual performance, team collaboration and customer value – employees must see how their work contributes to the organization’s larger purpose.

The genesis of the gala

What if we told you that the launching of the very first edition of the HR One Gala was actually a twist of fate?

Farvest Founder Fabien Amoretti explained how the agency – first designed to be solely a financial marketing agency – had to reinvent itself at the beginning of the 00s, following the many economic and social changes that impacted the financial sector.

After screening all the possibilities in Luxembourg, the only one that had a true potential was Human Resources (HR). With the support of his team, Fabien set up a local ecosystem entirely dedicated to HR based on three pillars: information, networking and emulation. In the following six weeks, 25 partners followed him in this new adventure… But the most exciting part came after.

“I was amazed by the complexity of this function, the strategic weight, the diversity of the challenges… And how undervalued these people were. I just fell in love with HR. It became a personal mission, to shed light on those who were called back then ‘Chief of Staff’ whereas they represented much more than that.”

“Fortunately, things have changed since then. First, respect. I have the feeling that today we recognize HR people at their fair value. They are more listened to, closer to the CEO”.

Probably because candidates’ expectations have changed also, and are much more considered today than they were 20 years ago. With social phenomenons like the Big Quit and Quiet Quitting, talent attraction and retention is key – and consequently so are their expectations.

“Starting was tough, and gaining traction too. But you must not underestimate the magic of this country. Everything can happen here. If you love what you do, if you are hard working, willing to invest your time in and for Luxembourg, a lot of people will help you and introduce you to other people. Luxembourg will make it happen. It did many times for me, and still does today. There is something unique here, let’s nurture it as one of our most precious assets and pass it to the next generations with care.”