The Great Resignation

What is the Great Resignation?

The Covid-19 pandemic-related event known as The Great Resignation saw a record number of workers resign from their positions.

Work was insecure during the start of the pandemic amid widespread unemployment, and most people who kept their jobs saw themselves as lucky. Mid level workers who don’t live paycheck to paycheck, however, have quit their employment in pursuit of work-life balance, the chance to work from home, flexibility, and recognition as the pandemic’s impacts have subsided.

Sectors most affected by attrition were e-commerce, FMCG, hi-tech jobs and startups, despite them reporting the highest salary increase post pandemic. Attrition rate in India stood at 20.3% in the year 2022. The service sectors, however, where the presence of both the supplier and the receiver is not necessary at the same time and place, are some industries that have not been impacted by this phenomena. Online shopping, live streaming, food delivery and dining, online therapy, and telemedicine.

Why are employees leaving?

    1. Employees could leave: The process of quitting a job has become simpler. It’s not the stressful endeavor it used to be when you had to locate a new job, quit on good terms, and other things. When one quits a job without receiving an offer from another company, it is less stigmatized. People are willing to overlook gaps in their resumes, which gives workers a lot of leeway to decide to depart without having any other options. 
    2. Employees are upset: Employers must strive for and treat their workers with compassion. Employees frequently become discouraged and dissatisfied with their employment when circumstances demand more of them than they can handle while going unappreciated or unacknowledged. In addition, layoffs during the early stages of the pandemic increased their workload and job security concerns.
    3. Employees are exhausted: Poor mental health (stress and burnout), mental tiredness from lockdowns, and ongoing anxiety were some of the pandemic’s aftereffects. To take care of their own health and the education of their children, double-income families reduced their income to a single source. Hence employees decided to take time off to recover from their weariness.
    4. Employees leveraging labor deficit and demanding better compensation: Employees are using the gap left by the widespread resignations to press employers for higher pay. Since they are the ones in demand due to the Great Resignation’s beginning, employees have grown more confident that the labor shortage will be to their advantage. Another important factor is the new techniques for finding work through online platforms, which have produced a wide range of opportunities for people.

What can the companies do?

  • Permanent Work From Home for those who want it.
  • Buildings to become professional touchpoints – meetings, gatherings, social interactions, etc.
  • Adaptable Leadership and performance indicators

How can companies leverage the Great Resignation?

The strategic apex of companies could take a pause and review their hiring strategy and modify it to suit their future growth plans. Companies can review if they have the right talent in the right positions. Having right managers, strength of the company culture in light of the pandemic, organizational commitment, and employee benefits purview can be reviewed in light of the Great Resignation. 

The Great Resignation is real, may continue, and may get worse before it gets better. Yet this unique moment also represents a big opportunity. A company should seize it, take a step back, listen, learn, and make the changes employees want—starting with a focus on the relational aspects of work that people have missed the most. Companies might just be able to turn the Great Resignation into the Great Attraction if they recognize the reasons why employees are quitting and take decisive action.

About the Author

Sriram is an IIM Trichy first-year MBA student with prior work experience in the IT domain. During his leisure time, he loves to play games, watch sports (badminton, football, cricket) and go cycling. You can connect with him on LinkedIn.


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