The Great Resignation Is Preventable – Here’s How

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November 5, 2021

Having some employee turnover is normal for any business, but one of the many workplace changes that have happened during the pandemic is what experts are calling The Great Resignation. This refers to an occurrence across nearly every industry where record-breaking numbers of employees are resigning, including 4.3 million Americas in 2019, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data.

As a result of The Great Resignation, nearly half of employees report that they’re thinking of leaving their company within the next 12 months. What’s behind The Great Resignation and what can leaders do to get them to stay? 

What’s Causing The Great Resignation?

While there have been some key changes to the American workforce that have contributed to The Great Resignation, including decades of stagnant pay and a shift in responsibilities between work and home, business and economic experts have put the focus on another critical workplace issue – burnout. Along with burnout, many people have had an opportunity to reflect on what’s most important to them and have chosen to make changes that align with what they value most such as work-life balance, time with family, and other interests. 

As a result, employees are continuing to leave the workforce en masse. The devastation of the pandemic has taken a toll on employees with 77% reporting they have experienced workplace burnout and more than 42% reporting symptoms of anxiety and depression – up from 11% the previous year.

Every month from April to August in 2021, almost 2.5% of the American workforce has left their jobs, and as this surge in employee resignations slows the supply chain and causes short-staffing across the country, leaders find themselves needing to act. But what many businesses don’t realize is that burnout doesn’t have to be a necessary part of the company culture. It may be preventable, and incorporating more mindfulness into the workweek through your company benefits can be a game-changer for your entire workforce.

How to Address Employee Burnout with Mindfulness 

In the dictionary, “burnout” has two definitions – the reduction of a fuel or substance to nothing through use or combustion, and the failure of an electrical device or component through overheating. When the human body experiences burnout, there are both physical and emotional effects that can affect employee performance and overall satisfaction.

A leading provider of evidence-based mindfulness programs for everyday moments and chronic conditions, eMindful conducted a recent survey where more than one-third of participants surveyed recently indicated that they are experiencing burnout, including difficulty balancing time spent working versus not working or that their workload exceeds their capacity. 

Understanding the need for leaders to recognize signs of burnout in themselves and in their employees, eMindful now has a collection of resources that address burnout head-on, including an on-demand series where leaders can learn strategies to relate to difficult emotions in new and positive ways and create a pathway for an open dialogue with their staff around workload and mental health. Leading Through Burnout is a seven-episode, on-demand program that can help leaders understand and address the factors that fuel burnout, such as navigating difficult emotions, making meaningful connections at work, and maintaining creativity throughout the workday. 

Organizations also need to become more mindful, listen to what employees are saying and be willing to change old structures and practices that do not serve employee well-being. Leading by example and leading compassionately through mindfulness also not only improves overall company culture but it can also make the difference when it comes to your employees choosing to stay or leave during The Great Resignation.

Written by Becky Greiner