3 reasons behind the Great Resignation – and what your company can do about it

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than 4.3 million people voluntarily quit their jobs in December 2021. Why is this? We have gathered some insights on three of the reasons why people are leaving their jobs post pandemic – and what your organization can do about it.

1. Employees market:
Today, most workers are confident that they can easily get a new job if they want to, and thus, being without work is no longer dreaded like before. The wish for moving on might be caused by the external labor market or social challenges, and if this is the case, there might not be much your company can do to prevent it. The best way to mitigate this scenario, is to make sure that skill development and potential career paths are advertised within the company, or simply by offering raises and bonuses to make sure that the organization stays competitive within the market.

2. Burn-out:
During Covid19, 52% of employees questioned the purpose of their day-to-day job. After all, most people were forced to turn their lives upside down and this has made people reconsider their purpose and how satisfied they really are in their positions. People are reassessing their priorities and making changes for themselves, and this can turn out to be both temporary and permanent. In some cases, the employee might simply be looking for an entirely different life experience. This could be a new career path, a new education, moving geographically or wanting to leave the workforce all together. In these cases, not much can (or should) be done to retain the employees, as this won’t create a wishful situation for either party. Best you can do is ensuring that you end the partnership on the best possible terms and leave a good impression for future references.

3. Dissatisfaction with the work environment:
Since Covid19, more people have started aspiring to pursue the life they want for themselves and their families. McKinsey polled that, out of the almost 600 employees that voluntarily left a job without another in hand, 47 people returned to the workforce in either a traditional or untraditional work arrangement. People might be returning for various reasons; because the alternative was not as glamorous as it seemed, they are headhunted by someone in their professional network, or they might simply be missing the paychecks. But even though some people return to their previous jobs, don’t think that they are not ready to leave for another one if their needs are not continuously met. For this reason, companies should keep reviewing compensation and benefits, ensuring that they stay attractive to the employees and focus on building a workplace that offers a sense of community, in which the employee will thrive (Employee Experience).

For more about Employee Experience see: Employee Experience – A need for a pragmatic taxonomy

Read more on the Great Resignation from our sources:

  1. McKinsey: Gone for now or gone for good – how to play the new talent game and win back workers: https://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/people-and-organizational-performance/our-insights/gone-for-now-or-gone-for-good-how-to-play-the-new-talent-game-and-win-back-workers  
  2. The great resignation is a misnomer: https://hbr.org/2022/04/the-great-resignation-is-a-misnomer  
  3. Gartner Business Quaterly – Lessons from Big Quit: https://www.linkedin.com/posts/gartner_gartner-business-quarterly-activity-6920381205909581824-5JIo?utm_source=linkedin_share&utm_medium=android_