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Culture as a Strategy: Should (they) Stay or Should (they) Go?

There have been phenomena and new terms that have come out over the past three years. Who would have thought that the world of work could have changed so much so quickly?

As I have repeatedly mentioned, the global pandemic was an accelerator of existing issues, but how do we translate today into what we should do for tomorrow?

First off, here are some definitions for you to digest:

QUIET QUITTING: is a term and trend that emerged in mid-2022 from a viral TikTok video. The philosophy of quiet quitting is not abruptly leaving a job but doing exactly what the job requires, no more no less. The main objective of this mindset is avoiding occupational burnout and paying more attention to one's mental health and personal well-being.

But this is a problem for employers - how do you suddenly deal with a workforce that does the bare minimum and doesn't go that discretionary extra mile, an extra hour, or the additional weekend that you thank them with praises and gratitude?

THE GREAT RESIGNATION: also known as the Big Quit and the Great Reshuffle, is an ongoing economic trend in which employees have voluntarily resigned from their jobs en masse, beginning in early 2021. Possible causes include wage stagnation amid the rising cost of living, long-lasting job dissatisfaction, safety concerns of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the desire to work for companies with better remote-working policies. 

Some economists have described the Great Resignation as akin to a general strike. The term "Great Resignation" was coined by Anthony Klotz, a professor of management at University College London's School of Management, in May 2021, when he predicted a sustained mass exodus.

RE-TOOLING: for many, the global pandemic represented an opportunity, and in some cases, as people were paid to stay at home, the more intuitive went out to better themselves, take courses, study, and qualifications so that post-COVID they could step out and step up.

Re-tooling has left a big gap in some industries as servers have qualified to be accountants, manual workers to be UBER drivers, and the previously disillusioned looking for better careers and pay.

IN THE TRENCHES: then,as organizations slimmed down, there was a group of people keeping the boat afloat fulfilling essential roles in keeping the organization alive.

This group of people were asked to do more for the same (sometimes less) and are likely suffering some form of PTSD right now. Employers need to take care, focus, and support all of these groups, but the "In The Trenches" are the ones that are most likely critical to your business and deserve the most support.

THE REMAINERS: this is a group of people that managed to evade under the radar, keep their jobs, their head below the parapet, not rock the boat, nor do anything outstanding to do so, but then again, they likely never have. 

This last group is part and parcel, part of the furniture, has been around forever, and likely has deep threads and connections within your organization, and although not decision-makers, leaders, or pioneers, they can get in the way and obstruct change.

"Just this week, one global leader stated that if you don't have a desk, then you don't have a job in their ongoing attempt to clamp down and get their employees back to the physical place."

Whatever your strategy: back to work, hybrid, or work remotely forever, we don't truly understand yet what all that means, especially as the workforce has gotten used to working how they have done for the past three years, and that the commute still stands as the major barrier between remote and in-person workplaces.

"Making Culture, Your Winning Strategy covers these issues and many more. How do leaders today navigate through the aftermath of COVID-19 and establish a NORTH STAR?"

There are so many questions to ask:

  • Who are your people?

  • How do you connect?

  • Who are the drivers?

  • The Innovators, early adopters?

  • Who are the blockers?

And most importantly, once you have gone through this deep self-reflection and discovery, the next step, is: What do you do about it?

Flick through our magazine version below, or email, and we'll send you your own PDF version.


Simon Elliot is Managing Partner and co-founder of 4xi Global Consulting & Solutions and is focused on a people-first approach to enable optimum Human Experiences for people away from home: at work, in education, at rest, or at leisure.

Simon believes that Experience Matters! applies in many different ways and is the fundamental foundation of a successful business, no matter the business.

Simon is a global citizen, having lived, worked, and traveled to over 45 countries and six continents, and believes in the power of human potential. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Directors, a Member of the Institute of Leadership & Management, and North America Chair of the WORKTECH Academy. Simon lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.

4xi Global Consulting & Solutions is a team of talented leaders from both the client-side and service provider side, impacting the Human Experience (HX) for people at work, in education, rest, and at leisure.

We believe in a people-first, experience-led philosophy. Whether client, employee, or guest – their experience is the fundamental foundation of success.

We work with corporations, service providers, and innovators:

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4xi is proud to be Chair of WORKTECH Academy for North America and a member of its Leadership Advisory Board. 4xi is a Global Ambassador for WORKTECH Academy.

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