The Great Resignation [Case Study] - How was it Started and Who is Driving it?

Harshit Verma Harshit Verma Anik Banerjee Anik Banerjee
Jun 20, 2022 26 min read
The Great Resignation [Case Study] - How was it Started and Who is Driving it?

It was the March of 2020 when the virus spread over the world and brought about a change across the globe. This instant change was not really instant, but it was for sure very sudden. The pandemic forced everyone to get inside, yes, crawl into their houses. Though the flow of the world did not stop completely, the deadly disease surely slowed it down by significant levels.

Technology was the only refuge that we got to dive into at our leisure, which seemed to be just the only happening part during the Covid-19 onslaught. It helped us to be connected with others, lead us to gain more knowledge, and instilled courage in us to bear the burden of work, which spurred us to stay motivated and look forward to the days ahead.

Technology literally took all the weight of every other field. Be it education or the work culture!

Two years into the pandemic and the world is changing drastically. Through technology is still trying to meet both ends for the world, it's true that we have seen countless lockdowns. Out of all the side effects that the world saw due to the pandemic, there was this one unique ruckus that we all witnessed. This one thing was so uniquely attached to the pandemic and life, that we can’t explain. After the lockdowns and layoffs, what is currently affecting the world is the ever-increasing resignation that it has witnessed and is still witnessing today in all of the major walks of life.

Often abbreviated as β€œThe great resignation”, this was so unique to the year 2020 and is still counting, amazing many. This article talks about the initiation of the β€œGreat Resignation” and how it went viral all over the world. We will get to the skin of the matter and reveal some super important points in the journey. Hop on, to increase your knowledge about the greatest resignations ever.

What is 'The Great Resignation'?
The Beginning of The Great Resignation
Was India Affected by The Great Resignation?
What is Driving The Great Resignation?
How Employers Can Improve Employee Retention?
The U Turn after the Great Resignation
Advice for Companies Shifting to Remote Work

What is 'The Great Resignation'?

As soon as the Covid-19 virus was out of Wuhan, it started traveling across the world on a destructive journey. One of the aftereffects of ruins is what we call the Great Resignation of the epidemic epiphany. The "Great Resignation", which is also known as the "Great Reshuffle" or the "Big Quit" was coined by a Professor of Management at the Mays Business School at Texas A&M University, in May 2021, who goes by the name Anthony Klotz. It was when he predicted a sustained mass exodus via numberless resignations that he named it thus.

Yes, the number of people who resigned from their respective jobs last year is tremendous indeed. The trend didn’t just stop there at the initial phase of the virus spread, in the mid of the year 2020, but rather stretched to the whole of next year, and still hasn't stopped today. This magnitude of people leaving their jobs is not normal at all. This is the reason why the trend has captured the attention of market researchers, analysts, and others.

Every consecutive month there were more and more tides of resignations and this shook the whole world. Months were more troublesome in the United States and in fact, that was the place from which the resignations started, or the place where it was first noticed, to be precise. If we look at the numbers we will see that there were about 4 million people (Americans) who quit their jobs in the month of July only in 2021.

Number of People Quitting their Jobs in United States
Number of People Quitting their Jobs in the United States

The story does not end here, it is quite the beginning. In April 2021, the resignation peaked. After April of 2021, the word became slang among people. The shift of resignation was huge. The number of open jobs went up to almost 11 million in the months following April. This made employers think about ways to improve employee retention and find ways to make the number improve.

There was this one common factor of resignations all over the world and that was the age limits of resigners. The resignation rates were the highest among mid-level (or Mid Career) employees. These are the employees that fall in the age group of 30-45 years. It is also reported that the average increase in the number of resignations in this age category has been more than 20%. This percentage of growth is seen from 2020 to 2021.

It is also seen that the turnover is the highest among the younger employees. In other later studies, it was found that the resignation number has decreased for the workers in the age group of twenty to twenty-five. This likely happened due to a higher level of financial uncertainty or dependency. It could have also happened due to the reduced demand for some jobs that are placed on the entry-level of an organisation.

Another interesting factor that the world saw was that resignation rates were falling for employees that were in bigger age brackets. For people in the age bracket of 60 and 70, it was a normal time for them in their respective jobs. The tides were only high for people who belong to the age group of 25-30 and those who are around 45. However, the most significant changes or resignations were seen in the age group of the 30s, people who are in their thirties or late twenties.

The Beginning of The Great Resignation

Until the beginning of 2021, the world was suffering in tackling the Wuhan virus. Every continent in the world was struggling to figure out a vaccine and then manufacture a vaccine. Efficacy was thought of again and again but soon we figured out "how to make a vaccine?" and eventually get everyone vaccinated.

In April 2021, the covid 19 vaccination rates increased manifold. Well, that was not the only thing rising. The thing that began rising too was the number of resignations. The first and by far the most noted waves were witnessed in the United States. That month, about 4 million Americans quit their jobs, reports say.

Then, it was thought that the resignations would come down. However, that hope was proved wrong and in the next month of June 2021, approximately about 3.9 million Americans quit their jobs. It was also noted by specialists that the situation was more prevalent in the southern part of the country. It alone accounted for about 2.9% of the volunteer resignations. It was followed by the midwest, which accounted for 2.8%, and then the west, where it was noted to be around 2.6%. It was reported that the northeast was the most stable region with about 2% of the employees/workers quitting in the month of June.

Microsoft came up with its own set of data and reports. The β€œWork Trend Index” strives to be a data-dense information bucket for workforces around the world. According to Microsoft's Work Trend Index, in 2021, there were resignations that covered more than 40% of the global workforce. It is said that these mentioned people that are about 40% of the total workforce have some time or the other have thought of stepping down from their employment.

Another report said some more about the resignations in the year 2021. This time the report came from the PricewaterhouseCoopers survey. They conducted a survey in early August 2021 and found out that about 65% of the employees said that they are looking for a new job. It also entails that about 88% of the executives said that their company is witnessing a higher turnover than the regular turnover.

In October 2021, the United States Bureau of Labour statistics also reported that workers leaving the premises were clocked at a rate of 6.8%. The industry they were talking about was the food service workers industry. The resignation rates were higher than the normal average amount of 4.1%. The average rate has not changed much over the past 20 years and the highest it went in those years was a top 5% and not more than that. The retail industry has also witnessed some abnormal quits. They saw a quitting rate of 4.7%.

A similar report from Fortune Magazine also showcased some rising and alarming numbers. That was the Deloitte study of October 2021. It said that the top thousand companies fear a great resignation. Out of the top 1000 Fortune companies, about 73% of Chief Executive Officers think that these work shortages will disrupt their businesses in the next 12 months.

Out of those Fortune companies, there was a solid percentage of 57% who think that attracting talent is going to be the biggest challenge in the future. 35% of the total CEOs believe that they have already expanded the benefits to bolster employee retention. Another report mentioned that beginning from the start of the pandemic to November 2021, approximately 1 in 5 healthcare workers quit their jobs.

Amidst all the chaos that was generated by the great resignation, the world was hit by one more uncertain event. Popularly known as the Striketober. It was the time when about at least a hundred thousand American workers started a strike.

Protest in the U.S
Protest in the U.S

They all participated in the strike, which was focused on the bad working conditions, ill-treatment of the workers, and low wages. Reporting the matter, The Guardian wrote that some economists described the Great Resignation as workers participating in a general strike against poor working conditions and low wages.


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Was India Affected by The Great Resignation?

We just discussed that the event of the great resignation started off in the United States and it crashed against the whole world. The next few countries with vast damage were China, Europe, and India.

India is the second-most populous country in the world and any damage to the world can really magnify if entered inside the borders. India was in ruins too, due to the pandemic. The GDP was down, the work from home or anywhere was really hard to follow and manuals for remote work seemed blurred for most of the organisations in India. Having said that, let us see how the Great Resignation affected the Indians and the country of India.

Research reveals that the attrition rate of the companies is the highest in the last 20 years. Though the rate of attrition fell to 12.8% in 2020, it went up to 21%, the highest in 2 decades.

Reports from the past year can shock any Human Resource manager. This was the effect that was initiated by the great resignation. It prompted people to not only shift careers but to jump to new careers where they had little or no past experience at all. This was probably the most unique and ubiquitous trait of the resignations.

A study commissioned by Amazon India showed the coinciding results. The report that was conducted in September 2021 showed that about 51% of the potential employees (job-seeking employees) were looking for opportunities in industries where they had no or little experience. And about 68% of the people were looking to switch industries.

When it came to resignations, there was also a shot of increasing demand for people with skills. As the world went virtual and online became the new normal for everyone, the technology sector saw a boom. This was the time when technology skills were demanded the most and industries of all sorts began their hunt for talent in the sector. It was the first 9 months of 2021 when the demand saw the highest point in the graph. According to a report from Forbes India, the top 5 Information Technology companies hired as many as 1.7 lakh people during that time. The rate is not that high now but it is in the green colour of growth.

According to the report by the YouGov Mint CPR Millennial Survey, it was found that 24% of the post-millennials (Generation after the millennials) reported a job loss compared in 2021 to 17% of the pre-millennials. Those with poorer education backgrounds faced a higher burn in the face.

Out of all the people who completed their school level of education, 30% were laid off. About 16% of those with professional degrees faced the same consequence. In late 2021, in the month of December, it was reported that only 8% of those in the job market still remained unemployed at the time of the survey. The survey, which was conducted by the Mint, Delhi-based Centre for Policy Research (CPR), and the Indian arm of the global research firm, YouGov, covered responses of about 12,900 attendants across 206 cities.

As the difference between white collar and blue collar faded away in the pandemic, everyone landed on the same plane. Everyone was working through an electronic device. Be it working adults or be it, kindergarten kids. With that fading of the designated spaces for work, the difference between life and work faded too. This came with its own unique sets of problems and made a ruckus (like your baby hanging out in between a zoom call). This was a big reason why people of young ages decided to resign and turn their careers west.

However, when it comes to great resignation in India, the great resignation in IT sector is compelling indeed. Companies like Wipro, Infosys, TCS, and others have all witnessed a significant dip in their attrition rates.

According to the reports from the surveys, the pandemic situation has now turned near to normal, and hopes for jobs have also brightened. About 15% of the respondents believed that the economy had returned to its normalcy. The data can be compared with only 9% of people believing in the economy in the last year. Thus, the reports for two consecutive years (2020-2021) show that as the resignations turn up, there were also seen new hopes for jobs and economic normal workings.

The topmost sector to be hit by the pandemic was undoubtedly the labour market of India. It was devastated with long and continuous lockdowns. These lockouts were crucial but they also affected the poor labourers severely. Construction was affected and as a result, labourers were affected too.

After the first lockdown, as the situation worsened, it was getting better with the economy opening up in between. During that phase when people could see recovery signs, it was estimated that 60% of those who were forced to quit their jobs have found a way back into the organisation. It was also noted that urban Indians were trying to search for jobs in between the ruins of the pandemic. They are now also taking better control of their careers, the survey reported.

The effects were huge on the employers and the companies but the shift in resignations caused many surges. The rise in resignations came with a rise in the number of startups in India. It is a closely related metric that can be traced to get a clear picture. In 2021 alone, India saw around 33 Unicorns. Around the time of uncertainty and the pandemic, people who left jobs and others started up with their own ventures. They tried their luck and hard work in this unprecedented year. We saw the biggest surge in the Indian startup ecosystem last year.

What is Driving The Great Resignation?

The current trend of resignations has worried employers the most. They are not able to get things done and the effectiveness and efficiency of whole organisations keep ongoing. It is normal to minimise the damage by any means possible. This is why here we are discussing the reasons for the surging resignations. Later we will also point out some ways how an employer can save the retention rates and minimise the resignations rate. It is not a hidden fact now that people are quitting for one of the biggest reasons. The reason can be hard to lay out in one descriptive paragraph but let us try to get to the nerve of the issue.

As the pandemic started things turned challenging indeed. As the government frequented lockdowns, normal activities became hard to be done. Right from the stocking of our groceries and daily essentials to working at offices, nothing was regular as before. The most affected sectors included education and work. Everything became online and we all were staring at screens for most of our time. This was when the problem began. Earlier there was a designated place for education and corporate work, but now this was to be done within the same house boundaries. This created a big, bad mess.

We were ushered to a more congested work and life balance. Work-life balance became super hard to manage and that was the most probable reason why resignations topped the charts everywhere. This was the time when people got attacked with responsibilities both from the home and the workplace. This was when they felt congested and crowded with responsibilities and it seemed impossible to work their way up the pile of work.

People became more and more concerned about their life and their family. As the lockdowns and the virus gave them more and more reason to live more fully rather than just postpone things for tomorrow. This made them realise that they are not able to handle both β€˜life’ and β€˜work’ at the same time. This also made possible the transitions and the resignations feel easy. People shifted to their local lands (or suburbs) to get back their lost lives.

It was also seen that the pandemic made people more aware of their life. The pandemic confronted people brutally indeed to straighten things out. Rightly so, the stir caused by the Wuhan virus was so great that it made everyone rethink their life and careers again. It gave people a reality check on their lives. It showed them the fact that life is so fragile and anyone can die or be ousted from their workplace and/or normal setting/lifestyle at any point in time. Now, if you are wondering what led to the rise of the great resignation movement in India, the US, and the other parts of the world, then here they are:

A deluge of work and increasing burnout

The work considerably increased across departments. For instance, if we only see the resignation of the healthcare workers in the US, we find that 1 out of every 5 medical workers resigned from their jobs since the pandemic outbreak. Nearly 18% of the global medical workforce quit during the pandemic, which is huge indeed. Now, it is simple that with 1 employee resigning, it was the person beside him/her, who needed to shoulder the responsibilities of the other employee who had resigned. This increased the work pressure tremendously and fuelled by the lack of recognition and money, the employees started to be badly demotivated, which ushered the great resignation and the mass resignations at work that are still continuing. According to a recent report of June 2022, 86% of the employees might resign in the next 6 months.

Spending time with the family was much needed Β 

They also were more cautious and concerned about the time they spent with their family. This began to grow and if their employers did not respect that, resignations followed. The great resignation is really close to being called a β€œWorker’s Revolution”. The reason is the fact that workers or employees from all over the work world, made enormous shifts in work and life.

Bad working conditions

Many studies found that transitioning employees reported bad working conditions in their workplaces. As the pandemic made everyone realise that life is more than β€˜just work’, employees began realising their ill-treated jobs. They began questioning if they want this life of ill-treatment, or if they deserve a life of more freedom. As a result, most people chose freedom over their respective jobs that were more of ill-treatment.

Want of flexibility

It is evident from all the resignations that money is not the only thing that employees may want from their workplace. It is more about flexibility in their work schedules that interests them. Work flexibility is considered as the new-age money, and is eventually given more importance by today's workers. It is the feature that allows employees to walk their pets anytime they like or drop their kids at school at 8 A.M. These are things that attracted people more now in the wake of the setting of the global pandemic. All of these things can be possible only through a convenient work-from-home or a flexible hybrid model of work. Therefore, people now want employers who respect their time and flexibility.

Lack of recognition

Employees work day and night for the offices of both large companies and startups, but they are hardly recognised at the day's end. Surveys point out that over 65% of the employees did not receive any kind of recognition at all during the past 2-3 years where they have worked their sweat out for the companies. This lack of recognition was unfortunate for the employees and was recognised only recently, which has driven the great resignation wave across the world.

Poor payouts

It is evident from the study of the great resignation 2021 and the years preceding and succeeding the same that money is not the only thing when it comes to employees and workplaces. However, the salaries of the employees are still a big thing even in these changing times, where we are witnessing the great resignation of 2022. Poor payouts have also been a prominent reason that led to the quitting of many workers and employees globally. Thanks to the rising expenses and global economic breakdown that Covid-19 spurred, the employees ultimately realised how they are deprived of the payment that they deserve.

Increasing focus on long-term goals

The onset of the great resignation can also be viewed as a global shift of the employees' sight. The employees who worked small gigs, at low payouts, those who worked at jobs they want to change if possible, or all of them who realised that their job markets would soon lose their place, started realising all of them at once. This led the employees to set long-term goals and look for jobs and markets that would be sustainable in the long run. As a result, the employers and the HRs discovered an unusual amount of resignations from the employees.

The growing fear of the Covid-19 disease

The Covid-19 disease can be right termed as one of the scariest diseases witnessed in recent times. Such a disease that made people disabled, killed them in numbers, and made them part with the people close to them, the people they love, is bound to be scary indeed. Yes, the great resignation of India and abroad was a result of the growing fear of the disease too.

Long Covid and its consequences

The Covid-19 disease was terrible indeed, with long-standing effects. Reports have found that the Covid-19 disease is even having long-term consequences that are persisting long after the convalescence period of the disease. Also known as the post-COVID-19 syndrome, post-COVID-19 condition, post-acute sequelae of COVID-19 (PASC), or chronic COVID syndrome (CCS), the long Covid consequences are huge and common among people. Covid-19 has been found to have damaging impacts on nearly every organ of the human body. The respiratory system disorders, cardiovascular issues, metabolic issues, problems in the nervous system, and other neurocognitive disorders are some of the commonly reported problems of Covid survivors that are deterring their ability to work and live. Β 

Due to such a syndrome, many working professionals and others are now reporting fatigue, headache, nausea, shortness of breath, loss of smell, distorted smell, weakness of muscles and bones, low fever, cognitive dysfunction and many other ill-effects, overcoming which is difficult. These have also materialised what we now see as the great resignation period.

Employees did not just shift from their jobs but they transitioned in their careers. Many chose an opposite stream of work with little or no experience. Many switched to freelancing as their way out of the rat race and accepted it as a full-time job. Many people moved back to suburbs (rural areas) from cities to their families. Most of these decisions allowed people to spend more time with their parents or kids and families. It is easily evident that people now would choose β€˜life’ more than β€˜work’ any day, in their work-life balance model.


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How Employers Can Improve Employee Retention?

The great resignation obviously ruffled the feathers of the employers and made them rethink employment and employee motivation. It was obvious that the old models had to be rethought. Here in this paragraph, we will see some proven tips that have helped employers and will help them in the future to deal with resignation, handle it better and minimize it.

First and foremost, employers have to identify that the threat is more of a qualitative sort. After realising the effect, they need to focus on the cause that rippled into such an effect. After discovering the cause, they should set up strategies to ease the problem, and would eventually try implementing the new solution. It can be anything that fosters retention.

The most common goal can include targeting specific problems first and after targeting these specific problems you can see quick results. This feedback loop that you will create will help build more and more feedback loops, which eventually affect the retention of the whole organisation.

When you go out to search for the root causes, it is important to not fear any depth. Addressing the root cause is in fact the best statistics to solve problems that seem difficult to solve. The path to the root cause often starts with a β€œwhy” in the head. There are also a few factors that can help to understand the question of why we are witnessing such numbers of resignations. Let us see what are the prompts that we saw last year, along with the tips that will enhance employee retention in the companies:

Offer proper compensation

Proper compensation is what the employees want but they hardly get it apart from some exceptions in a countable number of industries. Therefore, it is proven that employees today need to be more conscious about what they quote to the employees as their salary and would rather stick to it if they want to lift their retention rates.

Attend the employees always

Employee engagement is really important today, just as customer engagement is needed in all the major industries. Yes, it is true the employees also need proper engagement. Besides, they also face problems, which the employers need to understand and eventually mitigate. Β 

Monitor employees and their performance

The employees' works and their overall performance need to be looked at and appropriate feedback should be shared with them in a way that they would work on them. Monitoring the work performance and sharing feedback and reviews is not something that employers should rush in because that would make the situation far worse. Instead, the employers and companies need to deal with it systematically and would require professional trainers and quality managers to let the feedback percolate constructively and encouragingly.

Offer decent incentives and recognition

Work incentives are among some of the biggest impetus for the employees. Incentives for the employees can be arranged by the employers/companies, which might be in the form of money or gifts. This will make the employees feel valued and would also help them fight their bad economy or fulfil their requirements, be it at their homes or workplaces.

Make hiring practices strict

The hiring of the employees mainly has a huge say in making them retain. Often we see that such a process is done and wrapped fast. Though this makes the employees turn up for their roles rapidly and fill up the vacant places, it often leads them to nowhere, thereby adding to the great resignation movement. Making the hiring process strict helps employers get deserving employees, who are confident, smart, and hard-working, leading to growth.

Stay transparent

It is an urgent call for transparency globally. Startups and companies lack transparency at all levels, whether it is the salary package, the job role offered or the working hours and incentives. Such lack of transparency not only demotivates the employees but enrages them practically every time. All of these when repeated on more than one or two occasions, leads the employees to lower their productivity and even leave their jobs. Β 

Install a bigger picture

An employee always loves to look up to his/her founder, manager or CEO, here if they fail to realise their work and don't understand why they are doing it. Moreover, if the employees fail to see the bigger picture/growth of the company, and how they can occupy a central part in it, then it is obvious that they will resign and bring forth the great job resignation again. Bringing up a bigger picture that the manager/founder/CEO is looking forward to, can thus play a crucial role in retaining the employees.

Stay flexible

Flexibility at all points of work is crucial today, in the age post-Covid. In the wake of Covid, attaining flexibility was challenging indeed, but it was during the pandemic phase that we learnt how to be flexible and where we want to be flexible. All of these are certainly life lessons for the employees and others. Therefore, now, if employers and companies refrain from being flexible, then that would certainly cost them their employees. Β 

Extend quality training for new employees

Researchers have suggested that proper training for the newcomers always helps them have a better understanding of their job role and the process overall. This was reduced during the pandemic and the quality of them went dipping all the time. Besides, many organisations have skipped or are skipping training altogether fearing the loss in their revenues after the pandemic. Such things hit their bottom line during the pandemic. It was easy to hire people with less or no experience at all, and then provide them with training in an offline environment but during the pandemic, it was raging difficult. However, with the pandemic almost cornered now, the employees must make a definite training period mandatory for the employees. This will help the new employees understand the work and the flow of it better, and will also help them cope with new environments and people, leading to better productivity and increasing retention rates.

Help employees with their career

Covid-19 has certainly exposed the employees to what they were lacking all the time. This includes their self-evaluation and long-term career goals, which they have done and set, and are wanting to pursue. Extending a career-oriented culture is thus, what can help the companies and employers of today to retain their employees. Apart from the usual work that the employees do, the employers can decide on some knowledge-sharing sessions, and arrange for certifications, degrees, and other opportunities for higher studies, which will help the employees in their careers and beyond. Β 

We all know the uncertainty that the pandemic caused and the effects afterwards. So, it is said that the rising number of resignations could also be a sort of stifled resignation. These resignations were postponed earlier in the pandemic and it was venting out just somewhere in the middle of the consecutive year of 2020 or 2021. It is also likely that these workers may have simply reached a turning or breaking point after months and months of high workings. It can include hiring freezes and other pressures causing them to rethink their work and life goals.

The second thing that the world noticed was the resignation rates in some specific industries. It was noted that the technology and healthcare industries saw the biggest jump in the number of resignations. Both these industries and other industries saw turnover rates that were different than on the usual occasions.

In the manufacturing and finance sectors, resignations actually decreased slightly. In the health sector, the number of people who resigned was 3.6% more than the previous year. In the technology industry, there was an increase of 4.5% from the previous year of the pandemic.

In general, we got to know that the resignation rates were higher among employees who worked in fields that required some experience and more skillsets than others. It is generally assumed that they left their workplaces due to extreme demands and increased workloads that they faced. Yes, burnout was a huge reason for such great resignations.

There are more questions that people can ask themselves. Here we are talking about employers. This new dynamic is a sure challenge for all the employees as well as for the employers. Beginning with it, if you are an employer ask yourself-

  • Did the productivity of the employee fall during the quarantine?
  • Do you need employees that work all the time in the office? The nine-to-five culture?
  • Are you willing and can you afford your employees to work from all or any part of the world? This question addresses the flexibility of work offered.

Employers also have seen one more thing work for the employees. That method is to develop tailored approaches. Personalised approaches can be provided to each and every employee or team can work in that fashion too. It is just a fact about effectiveness.

If you have a marketing department that can work at the same efficiency as before in a remote fashion, then make it remote. Accordingly, identify those departments and teams, and areas of your organisation that can work independently or remotely. This way you can better handle the efficiency of the whole organisation by categorising teams as remote, workspace, and hybrid setups.

The lockdown also has caused much of an attack on the mental health of the employees. An employer should note this down very seriously. Employees were stuck at home and working for the organisation did loads to get things done in time. They had to adapt to their surroundings and they did that. If there was one thing that the pandemic organised to the whole world, it was a sense of missing out. We all suffered from FOMO at some point or the other. Theatres went online, work happened over zoom calls. However, now that the employees are balancing their work and life together and simultaneously, they need now to see a smooth shift back to offices with the least resistance and also a pat on the back.

The U Turn after the Great Resignation

The u turn now after the great resignation is yet another aftermath of Covid-19, together with great resignation. Yes, the "u-turn" is used here to represent u-turn of the employees. This u-turn not only reflects the employees' inclination to work more and better and join their respective companies but also indicates the will of the employees to go back to their former employers.

Also referred to as 'infant mortality, the great resignation letters that the companies received earlier, are now turning to join and offer letters for the same companies. The big resignation instilled courage in the employees and made them realise the loopholes and pain points of their offices and work culture, thereby driving them to resign. However, it also forced a large number of employees to join alienated industries, and offices/cultures, the disadvantages of which were felt by them eventually as the Covid-19 slowly receded. This has called the new phase of the great resignation u-turn after a period that showed mass resignations at work. Thus u-turn of the employees after the great resignation phase is anticipated in all of the major industries where a significant number of industries and companies working within them are already getting to witness the same. Though the great resignation continues or will likely be continuing for some more years, many employees would also return to their roots by joining the workplaces that they had to leave during the pandemic. NASSCOM studies reveal that around 90% of the executives expect hirings to remain the same or exceed that of 2021, which is significant indeed and is a major step for the companies to toward seeing more employees and expect a period of growth ahead. Β 

Advice for Companies Shifting to Remote Work

​​GitLab follows a DRI approach to WFH decisions and it is very uniquely identified by the company. DRI stands for Directly Responsible Individuals. This means, that at the software company, everyone can make a suggestion to the point of discussion, but the person who is actually making the decision can choose whatever he/she wants without having to explain themselves. This ensures that responsibility and decisions are not vanishing at any point in time and it is all over the workspace. Otherwise, there would be just too much work and the responsibility and accountability will be separated. β€Œβ€Œ

Despite its many advantages, all-remote work isn't made for everyone. It can prove to be disadvantageous for many employees depending on their lifestyle and work preferences, and also for their companies. If the arena is different, the rules should bend too.

After all, it is a new dynamic work view. So, the replication of the office experience will lead to turmoil. It is vital to reorganise and recalibrate at this point. It is also important to note that the shift to remote will not happen automatically and rapidly. It is a slow process, where everything needs to be checked twice before relying totally upon it.

Conclusion

The world has seen enough of the pandemic and its side effects. The pandemic was devastating for every one of us and it totally and permanently changed our lives. As our lives get affected, work gets affected too. Pandemic has mixed the two aspects of a person’s life, the work aspect, and the life aspect.

With this mixing, many people are getting a reality check about their lives and how they should be lived. People are reconsidering their life decisions and eventually choosing options that allow them to spend time with their family and with themselves. This has brought the resignations piling and led to huge transitions in the world of companies and startups across the world.

After the great resignation, not only the employees but every workspace is reconsidering their work schedules. It is amazing to witness that change happen on a large scale. This is true for people and for organisations as well.

Modern skilled employees now demand fewer work weeks and more flexible working conditions. This is not something that we can call β€˜unfair’. It is just that the pandemic accelerated hope in all directions. We have arrived at a point where everyone has to respect others' time and energy. This is how we measure life fundamentally. So, neither the great resignation nor the great resignation u-turn is a myth. Though they arrived suddenly on the path of normalcy, they changed and are changing things for good! Β 

FAQs

Who coined the phrase the Great Resignation?

Professor Anthony Klotz coined the term "Great Resignation". Klotz is a Professor of Management at the Mays Business School at Texas A&M University.

When was the term the great resignation coined?

The great resignation was coined by Anthony Klotz in May 2021.

How many people quit their jobs in 2021?

Over 38 million people have quit their jobs in 2021.

What is great resignation?

The mass resignation that came during and after the Covid19 pandemic is known as the great resignation, where employees from all around the world, across industries, resigned from their offices.

Why is the great resignation happening?

The great resignation that has happened and is happening even now, is due to some common factors and realisations that the employees experienced globally. Some of the main causes that propelled the great resignation in India and abroad are::

  • Covid-19 and its fear
  • Lack of proper compensation
  • Increased work pressure
  • Long Covid-19 effects
  • Multiplying burnouts
  • Distasteful workcultures
  • Lack of recognition
  • No incentives or OTs
  • Stringent leave policies
  • Lack of flexibilities

Is the great resignation continuing?

Though there is a certain u turn after the great resignation, which many employers are noticing, the great resignation continues, where according to the reports, nearly 86% of the employees may resign in the upcoming 6 months.

What is the great resignation in IT sector in India?

The great resignation unfolded in India and beyond, and affected all the major industries including the IT sector. The great resignation in IT sector in India reveals that all the major IT giants - Wipro, Infosys, TCS, and others saw a significant dip in their attrition rates. While Wipro saw a whooping 22.7% attrition, TCS and Infosys followed, with 15.3% and 22.7% respectively.

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