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It is not surprising that the song ‘Surface Pressure,” from the movie Encanto, has become a Billboard 100 top 10 hit. Beyond the catchy tune, after almost 2 years of a global pandemic it is easy to relate to “…pressure like a drip, drip, drip, that will never stop…

This constant pressure has resulted in a record-shattering year, with 47.4 million people voluntarily leaving their jobs in 2021.  As of December, there were 58 unemployed workers for every 100 job openings — that’s nearly two jobs for every person looking for one.

Employees are not the only ones eager to find some relief. For employers trying to serve their customers without appropriate staffing, feels as “pressure like a tick, tick, tick ’til it’s ready to blow.” That in turn means more pressure on the employees that stay.

This has not just a dollar cost, but is costing us our physical and mental health.

Why exactly are employees quitting?

It helps to understand the reasons that employees name for leaving their jobs, and what they are looking for in a new one.

The number one reason for leaving their jobs, across age and gender demographics, is feeling undervalued. However, when it comes to the highest priority for what they want in a new job, good work-balance ranks the highest, outweighing compensation, benefits, and colleagues and culture, according to a 2021 LinkedIn survey.

It is a tough challenge, but not an impossible one. Those employers that can figure out how to create a sense of team, reward performance, and show employees they care for them, beyond the confines of the office, will be the winners.

The realities of a new workplace.

Nearly half of full-time employees in the U.S. (45%), including two-thirds of white-collar employees (67%), are still working from home to some degree. This has brought some positives, some negatives, and also some new realities.

On the bright side, it has provided a level of flexibility that few employees have had in the past. On the negative side, it has created a never ending workday, decreased a sense of team, and made employees feel more like a number than an individual. The days of distributed teams are here to stay. The solution is not to return to the office, but to make employees feel valued and like they can balance life and work, whether they work in the office, the home office, or the field.

How can we reduce the pressure?

At Maxwell we have recently written about using a modern benefits and rewards program to help engage employees, promote their wellbeing, and come out a winner in the current labor market. Supporting employees, helping them rest & recharge, whenever, wherever, and however that looks like to them, is a key reframing of how employers can care for their employees.

Internal HR teams can create a modern benefits and rewards program that fits their culture and budget- click here to see our checklist. Or, if this all sounds amazing but “pressure that’ll tip, tip, tip ’till you just go pop,” starts playing in your head at the thought of one more thing on your plate, we are here for you.

We understand the challenges HR teams face, and we are committed to making it possible for other employers that care about building wellbeing to have the tools to support their teams. This is why Maxwell offers a $1,000 credit to TWP members. All you have to do is click here, complete the form and let us know you are part of TWP. We will take it from there.

While it is easy to feel under a crushing weight, we have an opportunity to seize. Never has the case for investing in wellbeing, on inclusive benefits, and culture been stronger.

We just need to start with making the load lighter so no one has to feel like they’re going “to pop!

Adriana Cisneros Basulto

( Founder of Maxwell


We help teams crush-it at work and at home. At the intersection of HRTech & FinTech, Maxwell makes it easy for employers to build, streamline, and manage modern benefits & rewards programs.

Surface Pressure (from Encanto), Jessica Darrow