Great Resignation, or Reconciliation? Whatever you call it, employees are quitting in droves. Here’s how to prepare and prevent a mass exodus in your workplace.
Here's what you need to know:
- Employees value Freedom and Work-Life Balance over perks
- A toxic corporate culture is by far the strongest predictor of industry-adjusted attrition and is 10 times more important than compensation in predicting turnover
- While most people aren't looking to withdraw from the workforce entirely, they are ready to explore options that give them the meaning and control they find lacking in their current employment circumstances.
The Great Resignation, also know as the great reckoning, the Great Reconsideration, and The Hidden Resignation boils down to one thing: Employees are empowering themselves to no longer get stuck in jobs they no longer want. We’ve broken down the Term Great Resignation and also included some great insights from business thought leaders about the current climate. But first:
Q. What is the Great Resignation?
A. The Great Resignation is a term coined by the media to explain the new world of work (post-pandemic workplace). In a nutshell, employees may be leaving their positions due to several covid-related personal and work -related situations. Here are a few of the top ones:
Top Reasons Employees may Resign after COVID-19
- They relocated due to an office closing
- They are working from home – prefer to stay that way
- They were waiting for COVID to make a career move
Resignation for a required relocation due to an office closing
It is estimated that as many as 1.2 million office workers moved out of large cities after their workplaces shut down during the pandemic. Many workers moved to more urban areas or smaller cities, due to several reasons. ”
Employees do not want to return to the physical office, even if close to home
In a recent poll, Zenefits surveyed employees and employers about return to the office. We found that the vast majority of workers prefer a hybrid work environment. “If employees are asking for a more flexible work arrangement and employers are not offering it, the ball is now in the employees court – you are probably going to lose that employee.” said Kevin Marasco, Zenefits CMO. “Our customers are telling us they are seeing fresh requests every day from employees demanding a re-think of the standard office situation.”
If employees are asking for a more flexible work arrangement and employers are not offering it, the ball is now in the employees court – you are probably going to lose that employee.
Employees have been patiently waiting for a return to work in order to advance their careers or jump ship.
Many employees have been waiting out COVID restrictions to leave a not-suitable work environment, or make a jump to the next phase of their career. While the pandemic may have stalled the ability to leave for a better opportunity, now that job postings are increasing and fresh opportunities are becoming available, many employees are making their move.
What are Thought Leaders saying about The Great Resignation?
So, what’s next? Here are four of our favorite quotes about why employees are leaving en masse for greener grasses.
“Workers aren’t just quitting their jobs — many employees, disillusioned with the way their companies are mishandling the new realities of work, no longer feel able or motivated to devote themselves to their jobs the way they did before the pandemic. Call it the Hidden Resignation.” – Insider
“We have to enable new skills for our employees like mental health skills … unlock them so they can be truly productive and successful.” – Marc Benioff, Founder, Salesforce
“There’s something deeper at the heart of this great awakening: a collective redefinition of success. When so many parts of our lives were cut off from the external world — which was true whether we were fortunate enough to be able to be working at home or not — we also became less connected to the world’s definition of success. More and more people have come to see that defining ourselves by our résumés, and chasing an idea of success based solely on the metrics of money and status, isn’t sustainable.” – Ariana Huffington, The Huffington Post
“It’s not just about getting another job, or leaving the workforce, it’s about taking control of your work and personal life, and making a big decision – resigning – to accomplish that.” – Anthony Klotz, Professor
Why employees actually leave
Per Inc., the biggest predictor of employee resignations was a toxic culture. The article also focused on these indicators:
Job insecurity and reorganization. It’s probably no shock that feeling like you could lose your job at any moment makes you start thinking about getting another job. “Previous research has found that employees’ negative assessments of their company’s future outlook is a strong predictor of attrition,” the authors point out.
High levels of innovation. The more positively employees talked about innovation at their company, the more likely they were to quit. They suspect that’s because innovation is hard — and hard on workers. Innovation may be interesting and inspiring but it can also burn people out.
Failure to recognize performance. “Employees are more likely to leave companies that fail to distinguish between high performers and laggards when it comes to recognition and rewards,” write the authors. This isn’t about compensation. It’s about feeling seen and valued when you do excellent work.
Poor response to Covid-19. Again no shocker here, but companies bungling their way through the pandemic get a stark reminder of the consequences of their incompetence. Employees who mentioned Covid-19 more frequently in their reviews or talked about their company’s response to the pandemic in negative terms were more likely to quit, per the authors.
More resources to help you retain your best employees and spot trends that could lead to a Great Resignation
How Do I Know if My Employee is Going to Quit?
Create a Sense of Purpose In the Workplace With Core Values
Great Resignation Tips Podcast