The so-called “great resignation” is not abating. According to Marketplace, around 20 million people have resigned from their employment since April 2020. According to a Microsoft poll conducted in March, 41% of the worldwide workforce intends to quit their current position this year.
Many individuals lost their employment as a result of the outbreak. However, there is another element to consider: burnout. How can employees protect themselves from burnout? And how can firms keep and hire employees?
MPR News anchor Angela Davis speaks with writer Jennifer Moss, who recently wrote a book about burnout and MPR senior economics columnist Chris Farrell.
Here are a few key points from the discussion.
Note from the editor: The following quotes have been minimally modified for length and clarity.
Burnout is not a personal issue. It’s a systemic issue.
“It’s an ecological problem that has to be solved.” It’s an issue that only we can fix. Because we’ve always said, ‘Do more yoga.’ Alternatively, ‘here’s an app that will help you breathe.’ And here are some subsidized gym memberships so that you can manage burnout with self-care.’ And, while we must continue to practice self-care and ensure that we are boosting our well-being daily as individuals, this will not address overwork, systemic discrimination, a lack of justice, being bullied at work, or a lack of psychological safety. You can’t just listen to rain for 15 minutes, and then it’s gone. As a result, there has been a significant gap in that we handle these problems with band-aid remedies rather than going much farther upstream and dealing with the core cause.” Jennifer Moss.
The Great Resignation is affecting people of all ages and professions.
“It’s pretty much everywhere. A lot of it appears to be related to mid-career, that point of time when you have established your job but typically have family, perhaps with smaller children. However, according to a recent survey conducted by LinkedIn, the professional networking platform, over half of working Americans polled indicated the epidemic had influenced how they feel about their career. And 73% of these individuals claimed they are dissatisfied with their existing positions. And when they broke it down, 34 percent of those thinking about changing employment were 55 and older, i.e. Baby Boomers. I believe this is widespread, and I believe a large part of it is how businesses have handled their employees for a long time, not just during the epidemic. It’s been a difficult atmosphere. And I believe the workers are fed up.” — Christopher Farrell
Is there a solution? More decision-making based on facts.
“That may appear to be a huge scary thing to recommend to a team of ten, but it’s simply listening.” It’s more regular and constant communication. We can correct for inefficiency in workload, which is one of the main reasons we’re working 30 percent harder each day to meet our targets right now during the epidemic.” Jennifer Moss.
Moss advises that managers hold a weekly meeting and ask their staff the following questions:
- What can we do as a team to help one other, and what can I do as a manager to make the next week a bit easier?
- What were the sources of stress this week? What effect did those stresses have?
- What were this week’s highs and lows?
Employers should view the Great Resignation as a chance to effect change.
“There’s a lot of momentum here.” And this isn’t going away anytime soon. According to the LinkedIn report I referenced earlier, more than one-third of the workers polled are searching for a career move. Here’s a message for employers: Stop whining. This is a chance to reassess how you run your business, how you manage your employees, and how you can create a more productive workplace.” — Christopher Farrell.