The Great Resignation—A Call for Change in Organizational Culture
By: Ophelia Akanjo
Hello, I am Teresa Holman, a student at California State University Monterey Bay (CSUMB). I am a senior working as an NPC intern through my field training program in Collaborative Health and Human Services
The United States is experiencing its highest unemployment rates since The Great Depression in 1933. What is being referred to as the “Great Resignation” is caused by a lack of self-care and burnout according to The Nonprofit Quarterly article “The Great Resignation-A Call for Change in Organizational Culture.”
As of October 2021, there were 11 million job openings and in November of 2021, it was also reported there was an increase in resignation rates in 22 states. What statistics reveal is this trend primarily hit middle-class jobs and in particular employees in the tech and health fields, implying there Is a need for employers to reconstruct their list of priorities.
In the past, employer priorities were invested in toxic levels of hard work performance and in fairness, employers were not the only ones not taking mental-health and self-care seriously. Employees were also guilty of wearing burn-out as a badge of honor. Some employees (myself included) were previously guilty of working 10-hour-plus workdays, coming in on weekends to finish up, opening and replying to emails on scheduled weekends off, waking up early morning hours to plan supervisor calendars, etc. As proof, some of us even had dark circles around the eyes, crow’s feet, and other markings of exhaustion drawn on our faces in search of external and internal validation.
This has led to employee resignations and forced employees to temporarily live off their savings while they look for better jobs elsewhere that support self-care. The quest to prove one’s worth should not come at the expense of one’s health. Nevertheless, The Great Resignation perpetuates, the blame seems to be on the employees and the word laziness seems to be a commonly used buzzword, companies also continue to make money and lay off employees. The bottom line is employees are lacking a balance between their work and personal lives, as well as workplace fulfillment and rest.
At some point, a truce needs to take place and organizations would do well if they improved strategic planning while simultaneously prioritizing employees’ wellbeing. Let’s face it, employees are the backbone of any organization or company. There is no business without them. It is important to create workplace establishments that focus on cultivating healthy, thriving workplace environments, with a sense of community for all.