Reexamining Corporate Culture In The “Great Resignation”

Corporate culture is a determining factor in the success of every business. It influences how your employees interact and communicate with customers and each other, how they conduct assigned tasks, how they behave while at work, and how they solve problems and address conflicts.

As the United States approaches the two-year anniversary of the start of the global coronavirus pandemic, business owners are being forced to reexamine pre-lockdown concepts of corporate culture in the face of unprecedented economic factors. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that 4.27 million workers resigned from their jobs in August 2021, compared to 2.99 million just one year earlier. Texas A&M associate professor Anthony Klotz coined the term the “Great Resignation” to describe this trend, one that is fueled by many factors to include workers’ feelings of burnout, frustration, and pandemic fatigue.†

No business operation is immune to burnout. It is important for business owners to understand their role in mitigating worker burnout and take the time to assess their corporate culture, communicate with employees, and identify strategies to retain and attract qualified team members. In a recent article published by TIME†, social psychologist Christina Maslach, the leading burnout expert in the U.S., offers these focus areas for employers when considering worker burnout:

  • Create manageable workloads
  • Give employees control over their jobs where possible
  • Reward and acknowledge good work (financially or verbally)
  • Foster community
  • Treat workers fairly and equitably
  • Help workers find value in their work

For business owners, this may translate into a variety of actions such as the following:

  • Asking employees about their challenges, goals, and ideas
  • Identifying team-building strategies and activities
  • Providing opportunities for professional development and training
  • Staying aware of industry trends in payroll and benefits
  • Implementing value-added benefits such as roadside assistance coverage, flexible paid holidays, or recognition programs

Business owners can take the lead in strengthening corporate culture and help to head off potential employee burnout, frustration, and turnover. Doing so can yield multifold benefits in enhancing employee engagement, elevating customer service, and improving the bottom line.

Mike Schofield
President and CEO

†Ducharme, Jamie. “The ‘Great Resignation’ Is Finally Getting Companies To Take Burnout Seriously. Is It Enough?” TIME, 14 October 2021, http://www.time.com/6106656/workplace-burnout-pandemic/

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