America's "toxic corporate culture" driving the Great Resignation

Originally published at: America's "toxic corporate culture" driving the Great Resignation | Boing Boing


Late stage capitalism seems to be all about misery for most and joy for few.


It finds that “toxic corporate culture” is the biggest predictor of attrition, with poor compensation at the bottom of the list. Also: job insecurity, indifferent managers and refusal to protect workers from covid

Note that the “handouts from the government” right-wingers and business owners are always decrying as the main cause of their current labour shortage is nowhere on that list.

Unsurprisingly, it all boils down to incompetents and arseholes and greedpigs being rewarded with leadership positions in corporate America.


Corporations, and particularly managers in corporations, need to be appreciative (with all that the word entails) of the work that employees do for them, rather than expecting employees to act like Dickensian orphans whose eyes will light up with gratitude at the prospect of receiving some breadcrumbs for their work, but only if they work hard enough, and then even harder than that.


Uhhhhh, anyone else see a problem here, at least in the short term?


Is this different than what we’ve known about SpaceX for years now? It’s always been a grinding Hell that burns employees out - in space circles this has been its reputation from the beginning. Maybe the corporate shills at Sloan are only just now waking up to it?


The only big tech company that has a worse burn/churn rate is Amazon (and that’s not taking into account warehouse workers).

They’ve always known but it took this situation to make them admit it. Progress, I suppose. Now they’re like capitalist versions of Marxists: great when it comes to diagnoses, rotten when it comes to prescribing treatments.


Sloan is definitely shilling for the least expensive recommendations as to how to address the Great Resignation. My experience is that part of toxic corporate culture is this ingrained reluctance for people to even discuss salary, so of course it’s only indirectly referenced in sites like Glassdoor. But what’s the main impact of refusing to recognize achievement or a lack of opportunity for advancement? Why does everyone in STEM seem to agree that the best way to get a raise is to switch companies?

Sure, after a certain level, additional compensation becomes sort of meaningless, though that level is highly variable from person to person, but we’re far from it in most industries. I do feel like SpaceX and Amazon (the tech side) are conducting experiments in the correlation of compensation versus the amount of bullshit one puts up with, though.


More than a few. This one:

[offer] new jobs offering fresh challenges without a promotion

Looks an awful lot like that whole “more duties without more pay” thing that’s driving people to quit.


I have heard a few times from a few places that Glassdoor is totally run by the companies. Whatever they want to show up there, will show up there. It’s the Yelp business model, which is basically extortion. Pay to hide the bad reviews, and upvote the ones you want.

Companies intentionally ingrain that culture of not talking about salary, because things like this will happen:

  1. I had a close colleague leave for a competitor. She and I and one other guy worked very closely this past 18 months.
  2. I was talking to the other guy about how that company doubled her salary. He mentioned his salary band to me, which turns out was the same as mine. (We’ll call it P44)
  3. I had a higher title (Senior), and had to get promoted to get to my level (P43 > P44). He was hired at the higher level with the lower title (P44).
  4. He mentioned in passing during his quarterly review that him and I were the same salary band, and I had a higher title.
  5. Boss panicked, made up some nonsense about it was some administrative issue. I was told, his boss literally said, “WAIT WHO WAS TALKING ABOUT SALARY AND WHY???”
  6. Few days later he gets bumped up to Senior.

It’s pretty clear I got hired with a lowball offer, and I didn’t have a way of figuring it out. Not even Glassdoor hinted at it really.


This is roughly speaking true of every job listing site.

The business model is to charge employers for listings and recruitment services.


We were just talking to my millennial son last night about this very topic and he echoed this perspective that young people especially are just not willing to tolerate the same kind of bullshit that mine and previous generations had to put up with.

A paycheck is simply not worth sacrificing their mental health it to these kids and they are more willing to say “take this job and shove it” even if it means doing without or struggling financially.

I have to admit I admire their convictions but still mystified that they’d rather live on the streets than suck it up and deal with it - at least temporarily while they search for a new job. I never had that luxury of being able to walk away from a shitty job as I’ve always needed to provide for my family.


Beat me to it! Added to that, Corporate Social Events are the most soul crushing thing that you can be required to participate in.


I’ve always felt that it’s my obligation as a Gen Xer to inculcate this view of work in the young people I know.


The idea of leaving a job because of its poor job security seems counterintuitive. Half a job is better than no job right? That’s until, like me, you just go ahead and do it.

I can’t fully explain the logic, but it felt 100% right in my case. There was basically no point in continuing to invest in a place that just couldn’t promise me a future. Now I find myself in an interim period where I do gig work with even less job security than what I had i the job I left a few months ago. But I haven’t looked back even once. I feel confident that after one or two more of these gigs, I will find myself in a much better place.

In fact, my boss at my current gig/interim employer asked me earlier today to apply for the full time position going and (this felt fucking great) I said… NO.


I think the relevant concept is opportunity cost.


You’ve just explained it to yourself.

The economics of adulthood have gotten so bad that people aren’t getting married in their late teens/early 20’s and then starting to have children a year or two after that. They’re not buying a house within 5 years of marriage. Everything gets pushed off for years, decades, ever.

But there is an upside, of sorts: they don’t HAVE to keep their job to make the mortgage payments and cover all the costs of raising a family. Their costs are so much lower that the small difference between working too many hours for not enough pay and working slightly fewer hours in a less-career-focused job for slightly less not-enough pay is worth it.


These stories always make happy I never have to work for a corporate slave station again. My deepest sentiments to those that still have to pull down a pay check in this misery of a working world.


I mean, before the internet we were kind of flailing about on our own, and most adults wouldn’t clue you in to what was really going on. In today’s world, kids have more of an advantage at teasing out the lies and being able to strike out on their own.
If I had been able to discuss things like this with people halfway around the world, I would have been so much better off today. I think many folks would.

ETA: Popping back in to point out that one of the most glaring comparative issues between now and then is that an average white person could afford to put themselves through college with one job.


Once again, late-stage capitalism consumes itself, whinging bitterly the whole time.

Especially parents, as any Millennial not born into wealth will tell you with a bitter laugh.