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Burnout Caused by Understaffing Could Be Contributing to the “Great Resignation”

  • Poll finds that almost half of workers describe their company as understaffed, and that these people were less satisfied with their company and less loyal to it
  • Findings suggest that understaffing and greater burdens on employees are helping to contribute to elevated levels of worker resignations
  • Employees at understaffed companies were also more likely to perceive their business as struggling, feel they were underpaid

Summary by Dirk Langeveld

Worker resignations have been a significant factor in labor shortages facing businesses, as employees quit out of frustration with working conditions or to find opportunities elsewhere. A recent poll by CNBC and Momentive suggests that companies’ difficulties in finding workers are contributing to this issue, as employees in understaffed firms are more likely to resign.

The survey of 11,227 workers between Oct. 18 and 25 found half of all respondents describing their company as understaffed. These workers were less likely to say they were satisfied with their company or say they considered themselves loyal to the business, making them more likely to consider employment options elsewhere.

The survey suggests that understaffing is contributing to challenges such as increased workloads on employees, greater employee stress, and lower morale. Employees may also perceive that their business is struggling if its staffing is not adequate.

In addition, the poll found that employees were anticipating higher compensation, especially as businesses raised starting salaries for new employees in an effort to attract workers and address understaffing. While only one-third of all employees felt they were well-paid, the share fell to just 23 percent who thought their company was understaffed felt the same.

The October jobs report showed that while the United States economy added 531,000 net new jobs during the month, most sectors had not yet regained all of the positions lost at the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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