Jobs, Workplace, Resenteeism

Understanding Resenteeism: The Unseen Struggle Of Staying Unhappy At Work

Some employees are fed up with their jobs but refuse to quit.

Resenteeism is the concept of being unhappy at a job but continuing to stay because of financial obligations or a lack of better options. Employees who feel overworked or underappreciated begin to resent the job, which often leads to low morale and low productivity. Similar to quiet quitting, employees come to work but are often disengaged and do the bare minimum.

Jennifer Libby, a district manager with Insperity in Kansas City, Missouri, said several factors can lead to resenteeism, including a toxic corporate culture, overwhelming workloads, and limited opportunities for advancement.

She said employees may try to seek new opportunities, but they are often unable to find employment that meets their needs, which may include salary, benefits, and work-life balance.

“Over time, they begin to resent their employer because they feel trapped in a job they do not want,” Libby told Fox Business.

Dominic, a 46-year old senior manager, told Fox Business that he has received more job responsibilities without additional compensation. He feels overwhelmed with his day-to-day tasks, which include managing employees, tracking inventory, and handling logistical issues. Although he aspires to change jobs, several factors prevent him from doing so. The father of two lives close to his job, which allows him to have more time to spend with his family. 

“I have learned to accept the fact that I have to make the best of a somewhat bad situation,” he told Fox Business.

Experts say employers play a pivotal role in helping to combat resenteeism.

“Employers also have an impact, with resenteeism being more likely in organizations that do not promote psychological safety, employee wellbeing, and talent development,” Chloe Angus, leadership coach and trainer, told People Management.

Sima Sajjadiani, assistant professor at the University of British Columbia’s Sauder School of Business, suggests that employers have to be willing to adjust to changing trends in corporate culture which include the normalization of working from home and hybrid job opportunities, which provide more flexibility and better work-life balance.

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