The Impact of Employee Shortages on Businesses and the Economy

Leadership and management must study the teachings of four psychologists to learn how to advance their business while meeting the needs of employees.

Leadership and Management - Training Magazine

“The Great Resignation”

In the US news over the last year, much has been reported about people quitting their job, causing shortages, economic problems, and issues.

Many businesses do not have enough employees to do the work needed.

The Covid Pandemic, with its challenges and affecting society and individuals’ lifestyles and sense of safety, has been blamed for much of this. In addition, government stimulus and subsidies to help people through these times and help keep the US economy healthy have been blamed.

Many people who have quit their job have moved on, searching for better work and jobs that they feel are a better fit. While some people have re-evaluated their life and priorities and have changed their lifestyles to allow them to search for different careers, work, and jobs that fit them better in many ways.

Individuals of all levels in a career, job, and income are changing their positions, employment, and lifestyle.

Do you think employers and businesses have blindly neglected this potential problem and issue for so many years that it finally happened?

Back in the early 1970s, when I was in my undergraduate psychology and sociology classes at SIU, Southern Illinois University in the US, I had some excellent professors teaching me.

Back then, I knew I was fortunate to have such good professors teaching me, but as I got older, I realized that the teaching professors were even better than I had.

I feel so fortunate to have had such high-level learning experiences and learned so much from them.

These professors and university classes taught me about what is happening today with today’s phenomenon of people quitting their jobs, changing their careers, employment, and lifestyles, and re-evaluating themselves and their lives.


Kurt Goldstein, a specialist in neuroanatomy and psychiatry in 1942, talked about individuals going through stages of life to understand and improve themselves mentally and with self-fulfillment to higher levels of understanding, which he referred to as ‘Self-Actualization.’

Abraham Maslow, a psychologist in 1943, wrote about and discussed individuals working through different levels of life needs such as physiological, safety, love and belonging, and esteem, then onto the highest level of ‘Self-Actualization.’

Carl Rogers, a psychologist 1949, wrote about and discussed how individuals continually seek to develop higher levels mentally, a deeper understanding of themselves, and higher levels of their self-potential, which he called ‘Self-Actualization.’

All of these professionals talked of few individuals ever reaching their highest level of Self-Actualization level;  saying, most individuals struggle with this, and only one percent ever reach the level of Self-Actualization and deeper meaning of themselves, their real full potential, happiness, and their life.

Is this current situation of so many people quitting their jobs to seek a higher potential for themselves a new sociological or psychological phenomenon? No

Have employers and business management been neglectful in managing this natural phenomenon, and have they been ignorant and maybe even incompetent with this? Yes

Is this taught in business schools/universities and MBA programs? No, there is not much effort to include this in the curriculum.

The Psychology of Business

‘Self-Actualization’ is one of many things needed to be taught in business schools and MBA programs related to ‘The Psychology of Business.’

Back in the 1990s, I remember doing business advisory and consulting work for a manufacturing company in the US that had a significant amount of immigrant Polish workers who could not speak much English or struggled with it.

They were low-wage factory earners.

We discussed the possibility of pay increases tied to good positive behaviors and productivity and special incentives even with maybe classes on learning to speak better English language. We also discussed special recognition awards and bonuses for good progressive behaviors.

The ownership and senior management were against all of these things. They said that they preferred keeping employees at low levels of pay and lower levels of treatment, struggling, keeping them thinking that they are lucky to have any job at all, to keep them loyal to the company to stay in their careers and not move on to better-paying positions. This seemed to be a slave mentality even back in the 1990s.

This mentality exists in many businesses and companies even today.

The more progressive businesses and companies are now changing and advancing their mentality, behaviors, employee pay structures, and incentives and meeting more of employees’ essential personal needs at many levels.

This business evolution seems to be overdue for many years.

Some businesses and companies are starting to wise up, take notice and acknowledge more of the employees’ needs and significantly expand their understanding of this.

Businesses and companies are reinventing themselves internally to address the needs of employees and workers. Businesses now understand the importance of being far more progressive to retain their employees and staff.

Some businesses are creating management training programs to advance the skills of employees, job advancement programs, change of job assignment programs, offering special incentives of paid for school classes of many types, college tuition, flex work hours, work at home hours, daycare for their children programs and many other essential things.

Business leaders and managers need to be trained and educated in the ‘Self-Actualization’ of individuals that most strive for and now more than ever. This has become and evolved to be so important to most employees and workers.

Businesses and companies cannot look the other way or not acknowledge this situation anymore.

There is a new awakening in so many for ‘Self-Actualization.’

‘Self-Actualization’ is not new.

Maybe it has been subdued some, but now it has awakened aggressively.

Leadership and management must study the teachings of Kurt Goldstein, Abraham Maslow, and Carl Rogers to learn how to advance their business and management to meet more of the essential needs of employees. Otherwise their business and company will fail.

Michael has over 40 years of business experience to senior leadership levels and advisory/consulting in many markets and industries, national and global, with responsibilities in sales management, marketing and business development along with a PhD in business and degrees in psychology and social human behavior before teaching internationally at university level (China, Korea, Vietnam, Saudi Arabia, United States). Michael continually seeks out knowledge with additional education, trainings, research, and experience, to keep on the leading edge of business effectiveness and business development. He has over 47 international publishing’s on many business and business development subjects.