You have probably heard the swirling mass of speculation and opinions concerning the latest trend in the hiring world, “The Great Resignation,” coined by Anthony Klotz, a Texas A&M University associate management professor. In an interview with Bloomberg Businessweek, Klotz predicted that people who stayed with their current job during the uncertainty of the pandemic are getting ready to jump ship.
A bevy of research backs up his suspicions, including a Microsoft study that reported over 40% of the global workforce would consider leaving their current employer within the next year. Admittedly, announcing one’s plan to quit is not the same as turning in one’s resignation. But according to the Labor Department, four million Americans quit their jobs in April, a record high.
So, what is fueling this trend? Why are people resigning in record numbers? It seems a host of circumstances and components have converged at this time and place to create, if you will, the perfect storm—The Great Resignation.
First of all, turnover is a normal part of staffing—a usual function that basically took a fifteen-plus month hiatus as the uncertain times urged folks to sit tight in their employment scenarios. And now, as the economy and life in general approach pre-pandemic status, an increase in resignations is understandable. The same situation applies to retirements. While some folks retired earlier than planned due to the pandemic, others held out to either help their employer through the tumultuous times or to pad their retirement savings a bit more.
Other factors contributing to The Great Resignation include—
- The pandemic changed our perspective and priorities
The pandemic made people think, and now they ask themselves questions like, How much do I enjoy what I’m doing? Is this job rewarding enough? Can I do something that will give me more joy? Have more meaning? Pay better?
Certified financial planner Diahann Lassus says, “That makes perfect sense, given what we have been through. Life is too short.”
- The Domino Effect
Turnover can be contagious. Will hears that Chuck is leaving. While Will had not seriously considered seeking employment elsewhere, now he asks himself why not? Why shouldn’t I go somewhere else or do something else? If Chuck can do it, why not me, too?
Also factor in the longing many have felt to be back among co-workers after an extended time away from the workplace. If those co-workers give their notice, it may trigger disappointment and discontent, emotions that will encourage those left behind to look for a new job, too.
- The attraction of work-from-home
While it took some getting used to, many people came to love the pandemic-forced work-from-home scenario. So much so that, if those arrangements are no longer an option, some employees will look for work with a company that plans to offer such accommodations for the long-term.
Work-life balance improved for many with the flexibility of work-from-home hours and the extra time that used to be allotted to commuting now available to spend with the family. But then, there are the financial perks of not commuting combined with the money saved on lunching out, wardrobe purchases, and dry cleaning.
Yes, leaving one job most often requires that a person find another position. But considering how some communities are littered with HELP WANTED signs and advertisements, that is not exactly a tall order these days. So come back next week for some tips on how to prevent a mass exodus from your workforce.
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