In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, many employees across the country are reevaluating what work means to them. Following more than a year of employment uncertainty, over 3.9 million Americans quit their jobs in June 2021 in the pursuit of more meaningful careers, greater work-life balance and better compensation. This trend was coined “The Great Resignation,” and it also has employers rethinking the needs of their employees. Washington Post editor and writer Dave Jorgenson will speak with Anthony C. Klotz, a workplace expert from Texas A&M University; Molly M. Anderson, an employee-turned-entrepreneur who now runs Anderson Legal Innovation; and Elaine Welteroth, MasterClass instructor and former editor-in-chief of “Teen Vogue,” about the evolution of the workplace and how companies are responding to these ongoing changes.

Highlights

Anderson said the pandemic has given employees an opportunity to reevaluate what they’re risking for their jobs. “There are other ways you can make your atmosphere and company culture more beneficial to what people are looking for right now and… I do think employees have more power because… I think there’s a shift in attitude… They have measured themselves, what they are willing to risk for their job, they’ve had to go through that process… and they’re consciously making that decision every day.” (Washington Post Live)
“There are four trends related to the pandemic that led me to coin the term… The first is pretty basic, it’s a backlog of resignations. In 2020, because of the pandemic, people who might have otherwise quit their jobs stayed put in their jobs… There’s also heightened levels of burnout across the economy from frontline workers to the executive suite and we know that burnout is a predictor of turnover... The third one is probably the most difficult and that’s the shift in identity or the pandemic epiphanies that people have had and decided to make major shifts in their life during the pandemic… And then finally the one that gets a lot of the attention is individuals who have been working remotely for the last year and a half… There’s some percentage of those employees who are going to quit rather than go back to the office.” (Washington Post Live)
Welteroth said her generation has “been conditioned to believe that our entire identities…come from work” and the pandemic has helped disrupt that culture. “In my generation, we’ve been raised up in this ‘hustle culture,’ and we’ve been conditioned to believe that our entire identities, our core friendships, all of our fulfillment should come from work. And I think that the pandemic came along and sort of disrupted that and it introduced us to new ways of working… and gave us an opportunity to reevaluate our lives and how we want to spend our time… Hopefully with the goal of really living more fulfilling lives.” (Washington Post Live)

Molly M. Anderson

Provided by Anderson Legal Innovation, LLC.

Molly Anderson is a business attorney and the founder of Anderson Legal Innovation, LLC, a client-focused law firm located just north of Atlanta, Georgia. She is passionate about helping her clients create and grow their businesses. Before starting her law firm, Molly observed repetitive pain points created by the traditional legal services model. She designed her firm to improve the client experience by using the latest in legal technology, flat-fee billing, and a practical approach to legal advice. Molly graduated from the University of Georgia Law School in 2011, where she served on the University of Georgia Law Review. Before becoming an attorney, Molly studied saxophone performance, also at the University of Georgia. She spends her free time chasing two very active children, traveling with her husband (subject to the pandemic), and learning watercolor painting.

Anthony C. Klotz, PhD

Provided by Texas A&M University Mays Business School.

Dr. Anthony C. Klotz is an Associate Professor of Management at Mays Business School, Texas A&M University. He teaches classes in Organizational Behavior, HR Management, and Leadership at the undergraduate, MBA, and Ph.D. levels. Anthony received his Ph.D. in Organizational Behavior from the University of Oklahoma in May 2013. He joined Mays in July 2019.

Anthony’s research has been published in Academy of Management Review, Academy of Management Journal, Journal of Applied Psychology, Journal of Management, and Personnel Psychology. His research has also been featured in the Harvard Business Review and MIT Sloan Management Review.

Elaine Welteroth

Provided by representatives for Elaine Welteroth

Elaine Welteroth is an award-winning journalist known for her groundbreaking work at the helm of Teen Vogue where, in 2017, she was appointed the youngest editor-in-chief at a Condé Nast publication. Welteroth has interviewed President Joe Biden and former President Barack Obama. She was appointed cultural ambassador for Michelle Obama’s When We All Vote initiative. She has written for the hit show Grown-ish and has appeared on camera for a range of media outlets including ABC News and Netflix. Her debut book, More Than Enough, became an instant bestseller in 2019 and received an NAACP Image Award in 2020. This summer, Welteroth launched a class on designing a unique career path on MasterClass, the streaming platform where anyone can learn from the world’s best