What is the Great Resignation?
Professor Anthony Klotz of Texas A&M University proposed the concept of the Great Resignation, which forecasts a high number of individuals quitting their professions once the COVID pandemic is over and society returns to “normal.” Managers are now dealing with the pandemic’s repercussions as staff re-evaluate their careers and quit in significant numbers. In the United States, companies have a huge amount of available vacancies.1
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, in July 2021, 4 million Americans resigned from their jobs. Resignations peaked in April and have remained unusually high for several months, with 10.9 million available positions at the end of July, which is a new breaking record. 2
Ian Cook and his team recently conducted an in-depth investigation of more than 9 million employee records from 4,000 global organizations, which indicated two trends:
Mid-career employees have the highest resigning rates
A few elements may explain why these mid-level employees have accounted for most of the resignations. To begin with, the change to remote work has probably made companies believe that hiring people with less experience is riskier than usual because new employees won’t receive in-person training and coaching. This would increase demand for mid-career employees, providing them more bargaining power when looking for new jobs.
It’s also plausible that many of this mid-level personnel have been putting off moving out of their jobs owing to the pandemic’s uncertainty, implying that the surge we’ve witnessed in recent months is the product of more than a year’s worth of resignations.
Of course, after months of high workloads, hiring freezes, and other pressures, many of these individuals may have hit a breaking point, forcing them to reconsider their work and life goals.
The technology and healthcare industries have the highest resigning rates
Significant disparities in turnover rates were also identified among organizations in other industries. While resignations in some sectors, such as manufacturing and banking, have decreased marginally, 3.6 percent more healthcare workers have left their employment than the previous year, and resignations in technology have grown by 4.5 percent. Employees who worked in fields that had witnessed dramatic increases in demand due to the pandemic had higher resignation rates, which likely led to greater workloads and burnout.
1 WEFORUM, 29 Nov 2021, Abhinav Chugh, What is “the great resignation?” an expert explains, Accessed 30 Nov 2021, https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2021/11/what-is-the-great-resignation-and-what-can-we-learn-from-it/
2 HBR, 15 Sep 2021, Ian Cook, who is Driving the Great resignation, Accessed 30 Nov 2021, https://hbr.org/2021/09/who-is-driving-the-great-resignation
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