Work Culture in 2023

Since the onset of the pandemic, we have all seen growing trends of employee fatigue and burnout causing greater turnover and earlier retirements. In response to these challenges, employers have been investing in higher-level retention strategies to further engage and support employees. Some have referred to this practice of improving employee engagement as healing the organization. While these practices aim to improve employee morale and ensure organizational performance, results are not consistently successful. Let’s explore a case for employee engagement practices and the principles of the healing organization in more detail.

Employee Engagement

According to the 2022 Gartner Frontline Worker Experience Reinvented Survey, 58% of organizations that employ frontline workers have invested in improving their employee experience in the past year. About a third of those who haven’t intend to do so in the next 12 months. McKinsey Consulting also indicates a need to engage a more resilient workforce. This will help companies withstand the continuing effects of hybrid and remote working scenarios. It will help establish and maintain generational harmony among all levels of an organization. In many ways, the healing of the organization is paramount to both engaging and supporting employees so they stay, and to create a more purposeful workforce.

Key Elements of a Healing Organization

In “The Healing Organization, a book by Raj Sisodia and Michael J. Gelb, they discuss three principles that distinguish the make-up of a healing organization. It includes a higher level of ethical and moral capacity that an organization can represent in the marketplace. It also addresses an organization’s concern and care for employees as primary stakeholders. And finally, it looks at how an organization communicates its purpose to a global audience.

The recognition of employees as priority stakeholders in this process includes the following foundations according to “The Healing Organization”.

  • Include families as stakeholders. Try to be inclusive of family members and show employees ways to have a work-life balance. This especially applies when employees are increasingly remote and/or practice hybrid work schedules.
  • Look for opportunities to bring joy, play, and love to the workplace. “Love + Work” by Marcus Buckingham features several strategies for incorporating the notion of community and team building within the workplace.
  • Foster healthy internal competition. Look for opportunities to collaborate with employees in designing exit strategies and career development programming. This helps honor their individual contributions and roles in the enterprise.
  • Invest in healing. Many companies have begun to incorporate wellness programs, deep breathing and relaxation breaks, and dedicated spaces for quiet reflection on the work campus.
  • Enable people to continually grow and evolve. In an ever-changing economic environment, fatigue and struggle are realities. To the extent that managers can show compassion and empathy, there are corollary gains in employee productivity and loyalty.

Moving Forward

The work expectations after the peak of the COVID pandemic continue to evolve and change, there is much to be gained by generating compassionate and caring solutions. According to “Awakening Compassion at Work “, human capital can be enhanced at every level of the organization when there is a genuine emphasis on caring and concern on behalf of employees for one another as well as within the employee-employer relationship. In these times of unprecedented change, coming together for the good of the organization as well as for the positive motivation and resilience of employees can make a sustainable and lasting impact.

Gain expertise at Concordia

Through our online DBA program, you can learn more about employees and their experiences with engagement and support in the workplace. Consider pursuing a concentration in Organizational Performance and Change to further develop your skills and knowledge to make a positive impact.

Dana M. Sendziol, Ph.D. directs the DBA program at Concordia University Wisconsin-Ann Arbor and serves as associate professor of business. Dr. Sendziol is a Certified Resilience Practitioner for the Resilience Alliance and presented at the Creative Problem Solving Institute in June 2023.


Buckingham, M. (2022). Love and Work: How to Find What You Love, Love What You Do, and Do It for the Rest of Your Life. Harvard Business Review Press.
Dutton, J., & Worline, M. (2017). Awakening Compassion at Work: The Quiet Power That Elevates People and Organizations. Berrett-Koehler Publishers.
Sisodia, R. and Gelb, M. (2019). The Healing Organization: Awakening the Conscience of Business to Help Save the World. Harper Collins Publishers.