What Is The Great Resignation

what is the great resignation

What is the great resignation? Millions of people are looking for more satisfying jobs even if it means lower pay. People want to work from home.

Hundreds of thousands of workers are thinking of quitting their jobs in a phenomenon that is being cited as ‘The Great Resignation’ of 2021.

The Great Resignation has taken many by surprise: Nearly two-thirds of U.S. workers are looking for a new job.

People working remotely from home have had a taste of spending their lives the way they want instead of spending most of their lives commuting to an office.

If companies don’t get on the train of remote working, they will be left in the dust and employees will talk with their feet.

When your alarm goes off and you’re in that moment between sleep and waking, are you raring to go or saying ‘ugh,’” he says. “It’s a soul speaking moment. If you’re saying ‘ugh,’ then your job is not giving what you need. That’s when you know you’re stuck, settling, being disrespected, underpaid, underutilized, or overworked.

what is the great resignation? millions of people are looking for better jobs even if it means lower pay. people want to work from home.
Less people are showing up at the office

After rebounding to pre-COVID-19 levels last year, the rate of people quitting their jobs has rocketed in recent months in a shift some are referring to as the “Great Resignation.”

In April of 2021, at the peak of the plannedemic, about 2.1 million people quit each month, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Exactly one year later, that figure nearly doubled, with April 2021 shattering records from even before the plannedemic.

According to some HR and management studies, we probably could have predicted the great resignation would happen.

There is a growing movement urging people to quit their jobs en masse this fall – it’s called The Great Resignation.

Maybe employers look around and say, ‘Oh, there’s a stronger need for me to give a raise now than in the past because I know there’s more options out there for the employee.” It is too late for these companies.

Companies are fearful of losing workers to other businesses who offer remote working.

Wages are not the only change. There are a variety of aspects people might care more about now than before the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Bunker. For example, working remotely might be a major factor given some people have adjusted to working from home.

For businesses already struggling to attract workers back to the office, the great resignation could spell very bad news for companies.

Monster, a global employment website, recently reported 95 percent of employees are considering changing jobs. This is on top of the 4 million people who already followed through and resigned in April of 2021.

The country’s labor market is in a precarious position. The policies of the plannedemic spurred the sharpest economic contraction in US history, millions lost their jobs and are still out of work, and yet businesses have been unable to fill their open positions.

Over decades, researchers have revealed turnover patterns that can explain why many are quitting their job in droves right now.

Employers looking to stop the mass exodus should pay attention: Much of the onus is on them to give workers better reasons to stay.

Podcast version of The Great Resignation – ROTTER News

Employees Are Quitting Jobs In Record Numbers

Reports indicate employers may soon face more disruption from what is being described as “the Great Resignation,” as millions of workers prepare to say, “I quit.”

According to TikTok user @Katieyowyow, a job recruiter with over 300,000 followers on the platform, as many as 1 in 4 employees are planning to leave their job this fall (2021.)

These employees, she says, intend to spend the summer months using their vacation days and enjoying the benefits of full-time employment before they jump ship and turn in their notice in autumn.

what is the great resignation? millions of people are looking for better jobs even if it means lower pay. people want to work from home.
Employees want the option to work from anywhere

Daniel Zhao, a labor economist with the employment website Glassdoor said, “We haven’t seen anything quite like the situation we have today.”

While most companies are offering remote work (working from home) to their employees, other companies are forcing employees to come back to their desks at the office full time and most employees don’t want that.

According to a new study from Adobe, members of Generation Z are leading the charge for a few different reasons. (Generation Z encompasses adults between the ages of 18 and 24, and millennials as those between the ages of 25 and 39.)

Based on a survey of 3,400 enterprise workers in the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, Australia, New Zealand and Japan, more than half of Gen Z workers plan to pursue a new job in the next year—more than any other generation.

Out of all Gen Z employees interviewed, only 56% are satisfied with work / life balance and 59% with their job overall.  

what is the great resignation? millions of people are looking for better jobs even if it means lower pay. people want to work from home.
Employees are demanding excellent work / life balance

“Employee experiences have been challenged since before the pandemic. Employees have wanted their workplace experiences to mirror the seamless, flexible experiences in their personal lives,” says Todd Gerber, vice president of document cloud product marketing at Adobe.

“Based on findings from our new survey, enterprise workers and small-business leaders are dissatisfied with their time at work; they’re spending more hours working on unimportant tasks, struggling with work / life balance, and feel that technology is the missing piece to achieving productivity.”

In the technological world we live in, it is completely possible for most companies to offer work from home jobs. The problem is, many companies are still old school, clinging to the idea that employees need to be in an office daily.

In 2019, Gartner reported that “more than half of all HR leaders [agreed] that improving employee experience [was] a priority.” Today, companies are still working to improve employee experiences.

Employees Don’t Want To Be Shackled To Desks

“Despite the global attention on and importance of employee experience, only 13% of employees indicate they are currently fully satisfied with their experience,” according to a more recent Gartner report.  

Gen Z (57%) and millennials (54%) feel most pressured to be available at all times and are most likely to describe their job as repetitive (65% and 58%, respectively) and tiring (65% for both.)

Administrative tasks are a big contributor to employee burnout, Gerber notes. “People are motivated by passions that led them to pursue their career and they don’t want to spend most of their week on paperwork.

Younger generations grew up with digital technology and are accustomed to its simplicity, so they know there are better and faster ways of doing things.”

Employers can curb burnout with workplace collaboration tools that help reduce employees’ time on manual, tedious and administrative tasks, Gerber suggests. “They also eliminate paper-based processes, which eat up endless time, not to mention physically shepherding documents from point A to B.

millions of people are looking for better jobs even if it means lower pay. people want to work from home. Working from home allows more time to be with family.
Employees want more time with family and less time shackled to a desk

Many companies are used to doing business the old way such as in-person meetings, using paper and even fax machines.

Technology and the plannedemic have made remote work from home jobs the sensible choice with email, video conferences and file sharing online the new way of working. This new way of working was always available but companies are stuck in the “must go into the office everyday.”

When asked what enterprise workers would do with less time at the office due to commute, 53% said they would focus on their passions and things they love about their job. Personally, I use the extra time I save to take mental breaks with ‘micro-walks’ around my block. It’s a great way to get some fresh air and reset between meetings.”

Younger workers are especially likely to switch jobs for more control over their schedule (Gen Z: 66%; millennials: 73%) or the option to work remotely (63%; 66%). 

Today, 62% of Gen Z feel more pressured than their older colleagues to be working during the usual office hours of 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., even if they know they won’t be productive. But that’s not always when Gen Z works best: A quarter of participants said they are most productive after typical office hours, more so than any other generation.  

employees are quitting their jobs at alarming rates even if that means less pay. millions of people are looking for better jobs even if it means lower pay. people want to work from home.
Employees are quitting jobs at alarming rates even if that means less pay

“Millennials and Gen Zers have ushered in a new way of work that started before the pandemic—with a preference for flexibility and an out-of-the-box work style—and [this] has only increased with remote work,” Gerber says. “For example, a quarter of Gen Zers say they are most productive after typical office hours. They also do 25% of their work on their mobile devices.

These work from home habits have reshaped the parameters of a typical workday for many, as younger generations lean into technology to support their work-from-anywhere habits and desires.”

Working from home has allowed people to do things they would normally have to cram in on weekends such as laundry, making dinners, walking their dogs, going to doctors or dentists, grocery shopping and other errands.

Office Burnout And Commuting Burnout Is Forcing Employees To Quit

Employee dissatisfaction presents a serious risk to businesses and some employers do recognize this and are trying to be as proactive—or as quickly reactive—as possible. There are many businesses that will not acknowledge the new changes and are reluctant to embrace work from home for employees – these companies will be left behind.

Employees part of the great resignation are less fearful about finding work and more concerned about happiness and lowering stress in their lives.

“The first step in fostering positive experiences is understanding what employees want and need to be successful,” Gerber says. “Our survey found that many issues workers face stem from companies needing to adopt a digital-first mindset. Enterprise workers report that a third of their workweek is currently being spent on unimportant tasks and more than half would prefer to work flexible hours when it’s most convenient to them. Technology meets these challenges with the ability to simplify workflows and enable employees to be productive and collaborative, regardless of when and where they’re working.”

employees are quitting their jobs for better work life balance. what is the great resignation? millions of people are looking for better jobs even if it means lower pay. people want to work from home.
Empty offices are becoming more popular

Small businesses, in particular, according to Adobe, are experiencing the brunt of this work from home trend as one in three small and midsize enterprise managers has said his or her firm has suffered from employee burnout and/or attrition in the past year. In response, many of them have already had to make changes to recruit and retain employees, like adopting flexible working hours.

“Technology is an important talent attraction and retention tool because many employees don’t have what they need to do their jobs effectively,” Gerber says. “Companies that have adopted a digital-first mindset have a recruiting advantage—they’re able to provide the tools that offer simplicity to make employees’ jobs less stressful.”

The Great Resignation Is Leaving Companies Powerless

Research has shown that people tend to quit their jobs after experiencing a “turnover shock”: a life event that precipitates self-reflection about one’s job satisfaction. Shocks can be positive, like grad school acceptance or a new baby, or negative, like a divorce or sick relative. Or they can be global catastrophes like COVID-19 that upend every aspect of daily life.”

While many people might leave their jobs thanks to a blessed occasion or simply because they’re bored or looking for something new, that’s not always why we make changes.

Sometimes change is forced on us by circumstances we’d rather not have to deal with, which is why the great resignation is tilting the scales in favor of employees.

Employers Are Losing Employees In Record Numbers

More than 7.5 million workers quit their jobs in April and May of 2021, up from 4.3 million during the same period the year before.

41% of respondents in a 30,000-person global survey of workers conducted by Microsoft’s Work Trend Index say they are considering leaving their jobs. 

This is only the beginning of the Great Resignation.

what is the great resignation? millions of people are looking for better jobs even if it means lower pay. people want to work from home.
Employees want better work / life balance, less commute and stress

Employee turnover is costly. The Society for Human Resource Management estimates the average replacement cost of a salaried employee to be six to nine months’ salary. For an employee earning $60,000 per year, that totals approximately $30,000 to $45,000 in recruiting, training, onboarding and lost productivity costs.

To retain your valuable talent, assess your team for signs that they are about to quit, equip and empower employees to clarify and own what they need to be engaged at work, and leverage creative solutions to keep your talent.

A couple years ago, employees would come and go with little thought from employers but now with mass exiting of thousands of employees, companies are forced to look at ways to keep their employees.

It’s a shame companies never spent much time assessing how to make their employees happy, until now – until The Great Resignation.

Companies are looking at offering higher salaries or bonuses, but that’s not what employees want. Employees want more freedom – employees want to work from home.

The Seven Ds

The Seven Ds are the main reasons people sell their homes and look for new places to live or change jobs. They can also be the reasons why people finally decide to ditch their careers or their lifestyles and move on, especially if you add two more Ds—Dissatisfaction and Disappointment.

The Seven Ds

  • Divorce
  • Downsizing
  • Disease
  • Disability
  • Disasters
  • Debt
  • Death
  • Dissatisfaction
  • Disappointment

So what’s bringing you down?

Maybe you find yourself dragged down by national and world events you find undecipherable. If so, let me try to help you get some of those thoughts out of the way so you can look at your job – and your life – with fresh eyes.

From Nicolas Kristof’s NYT op-ed: “In the long arc of human history … (this) has been the best year ever. The bad things that you fret about are true. But it’s also true that since modern humans emerged about 200,000 years ago, 2019 was probably the year in which children were least likely to die, adults were least likely to be illiterate, and people were least likely to suffer excruciating and disfiguring diseases.”

With all the chatter in our heads, it’s no wonder we’re conflicted. Not only do we not know what to do with our careers or our lives, we don’t even know if we should proceed with caution or throw caution to the wind and go for it—whatever “it” turns out to be.

While we don’t know how much time we have left on this planet and we don’t know what we should be doing between now and then, we do know what common fate awaits us all at the end—and it’s the same end whether it comes in 20 minutes or 20 years.

“People can spend their whole lives… waiting to find that feeling, trying to find that feeling over and over. And at the end, everybody gets it. We wait our whole lives for something, and we get it. And you know what that is?”


It’s death.

What does this mean for you?

Now is the best time to move, to act, to change. 

Now is the best time to prove that you don’t have to be defined by what you’ve done but instead by what you’re yet to accomplish. 

Now is the best time to prove that not only must the show go on, but that you’re exactly the right person to make that happen. 

Share your thoughts on The Great Resignation in the comments section below.

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