The Great Resignation — Why Workers Just Won’t Stop Quitting

As today’s economy fluctuates, most employees are dealing with the impact of inflation and the COVID-19 pandemic. They are faced with weighing the pros and cons of staying in their current jobs, moving to new jobs, or exiting the workforce altogether — also known as the Great Resignation.


Anthony Klotz coined the term the Great Resignation. Klotz is an associate professor of management at Texas A&M University. He was quoted using the term in a Bloomberg Businessweek article in May 2021. In the article, he predicted the mass exodus of employees from jobs and careers they no longer wanted to pursue. “The great resignation is coming,” Klotz said. “When there’s uncertainty, people tend to stay put, so there are pent-up resignations that didn’t happen over the past year.” 


While the Great Resignation may have emerged as a result of the pandemic, experts argue that this trend started even before the global health crisis. Records show that from 2009 to 2019, there was an average rate of 0.10% increase in people quitting their jobs every year. This inclination changed in 2020, as many employees decided to hold on to their jobs because of the uncertainties brought about by COVID.

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Effective Employee Retention Strategies

Employee retention relies on a combination of factors, including flexible work arrangements, benefits, professional development opportunities, advancement opportunities, company culture, and more. 


To help you out, here are some strategies employers can do to stop their employees from seeking jobs elsewhere.

the great resignation statistics

1. Have a friendly work environment

This is the easiest way that can help you retain your employees. Spending the majority of their time at work and not having a friendly environment and favorable company culture would be a disaster. You need to ensure that your employees feel comfortable and can talk to you anytime. Employees don’t jump ship if they have a friendly work environment.

2. Implement flexible work hours

Employees tend to be hyped up when they find that their work hours are flexible. Reduced workdays can also make them come to work the next day with a fresh mind. Jobs could be stressful and hectic at times. That is why it is important that you allow your employees to take time to recuperate. 

3. Provide opportunities to grow and develop

Highly talented people do not wish to remain stagnated. Basically, it is human nature to be satisfied. To feed this, you will have to offer different opportunities for your staff members to grow and develop their careers. 

4. Give fair employee compensation

Recognizing your employees is one thing. But offering them nice compensation is another thing. Make sure you review and adjust their annual salary regularly and offer the right pay for your employee.

5. Arrange remote work options

The pandemic has made people work from home. And after experiencing this, the idea of going to the office every day makes them sulky. To change that, you can offer them remote work options. Even if it is not possible every day, you can make a hybrid work environment for them. 

Signs of Burnout at Work

What’s behind the Great Resignation? Burnout is the number one reason employees cite for leaving their current jobs. Understanding the following symptoms can help professionals identify it themselves.

1. Exhaustion

We’ve all had those days when it is hard to get out of bed in the morning and get started on work. But the kind of exhaustion associated with burnout is more chronic and nonspecific. It doesn’t go away after a vacation, and it is not tied to a particular project or deadline. It feels like a persistent fog weighing you down mentally and physically.

2. Reduced professional efficacy

Another component of burnout is a drop in work performance. Perhaps you used to be great at your job and now, you feel yourself slipping. It may not even be something that your boss notices, but you know the difference in your work quality.

3. Procrastination

When it comes to work tasks, if you notice yourself avoiding important projects, it might be a sign that you’re starting to get overwhelmed to the point of burning out. This could start with something as small as not responding to emails and later lead to such a pileup of projects that you don’t even know where to begin. At that point, you might even decide not to start anything at all, as an act of defiance against all that you have to do. 

Frequently Asked Questions About The Great Resignation

Q: What is the meaning of the great resignation?

A: The great resignation refers to the higher-than-usual number of employees voluntarily leaving their jobs since late 2020 and early 2021. 


Q: What led to the great resignation?

A: The pandemic spurred on the Great Resignation of 2021, during which record numbers of employees voluntarily quit their jobs. But what we are living through is not just short-term turbulence. Instead, it’s the continuation of a trend of rising quit rates that began more than a decade ago. 


Q: What is the Great Resignation in Canada?

A: Data show that job-changing rates among Canadians are mostly similar to pre-pandemic levels, indicating “a return to normal” rather than an increase in resignations. 


Q: Who coined the phrase the Great Resignation?

A: Professor Anthony Klotz coined the term “Great Resignation”. He believes the rise of hybrid and remote work helped cause the phenomenon. 


The Great Resignation did not appear out of anywhere. Spurred on by the pandemic, it was a natural consequence of different factors such as retirement, relocation, reconsideration, reshuffling, reluctance, and more. Business leaders across sectors and industries will benefit from understanding which of these factors are contributing to turnover in their organizations, and from developing specific responses to stem that tide as COVID evolves. As that happens, companies that have the vision and resources to offer flexibility to their employees are the most likely to maintain a stable and competitive workforce. 

Facing a high attrition rate or battling with the great resignation in your company? Well, you won’t have to worry anymore if you have a quality talent pool. Joblu helps build a long term talent pipeline through highly qualified talents from across the globe. Apply now!

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