Real Leaders

The American Workplace is Broken — Here’s How Entrepreneurs Can Help Fix It

Entrepreneurs should stop blaming their problems on The Great Resignation, the pandemic or other disruptions. If they’d look closely into their organizations, they’d realize their issues started long before COVID.

Let’s face it, the modern workplace is a dumpster fire. It’s no wonder a recent report found a whopping 72% of CEOs are worried about losing their jobs due to current disruptions facing their industries. But the truth is, recent events have only exaggerated existing problems leaders have always faced—especially for entrepreneurs growing and scaling a business.

The Myth of The Great Resignation

“The Great Resignation” has been thrown around by executives and pundits ad nauseam to explain why employees across the country are leaving their jobs at seemingly high and unprecedented rates. However, the idea that a tidal wave of workers suddenly want to up and quit in a way they never have before is absurd. A deeper look at the data actually shows the national quit rate is currently at the same level as it would have been pre-pandemic. Put simply, employees always wanted to quit. Businesses have always had a problem when it comes to maintaining top talent—and it’s time to address this problem head-on.

Rise of the Startups

At the same time, an astonishing 5.4 million new business applications were filed in 2021, surpassing the record set in 2020 of 4.4 million. With all of these fledgling entrepreneurs now taking flight, they may soon find themselves at a crossroads when they realize the team they relied on to get them here, isn’t going to take them there. They need to align their talent strategy with their growth trajectory.

Bottom line: you can’t have the same folks in the same seats forever and hope they can rise to mounting challenges. By continually hiring and developing the right people (not just defaulting to the ones who’ve always been there), entrepreneurs can accelerate and sustain their growth.

Hybrid vs. Remote vs. In-Person Workforce

Many leaders are eager to have employees return to the office, citing the need to build company culture. But is working in-person actually what supports company culture? Of course not. People want to feel fulfilled in the workplace—you can’t just force them into the office, slap a slogan on the wall, give them beer on tap and call it company culture. Entrepreneurs must uncover the larger purpose within their organizations and allow their teams to be driven by it. Culture must live, breathe and mean something to your team.

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