The Great Resignation: Reasons that Led to New Perspectives in the Hiring Industry

Indeed, the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted the ever-growing consistency and stability of the professional world in every way possible. Contrastingly, however, as global lockdowns began to open up, workers across the globe started quitting their jobs. People kept doing so in pursuit of happiness or new jobs, and the trend continues today. It was uncalled for, and yet this massive movement resulted in what we know as The Great Resignation.

#Trivia: In total, over 4.4 million people in the United States quit their jobs by September this year! Before, Microsoft’s survey showed how 41% of the workforce was already planning to quit jobs or change professions.

What exactly is the Great Resignation?

The name “The Great Resignation” started doing rounds in 2019 when Anthony Klotz, a Texas A&M University professor, predicted mass quitting. The very genesis of the Great Resignation revolved around the concept of people realizing their true value while battling with thought-provoking circumstances. In furtherance, billionaire Mark Cuban in March 2020 talked about the repercussions companies might face for being too hard on the employees. (CNBC: Markets in Turmoil)

Facts and Factors that led to the Great Resignation

People went seeking a change and a better tomorrow. The Great Resignation compiles the plight and plans of workers who chose to quit their jobs for various reasons. Be it the transforming priorities or the meager treatment from employers during the pandemic – it resulted in mass fall-outs between workers and their organizations.

You can introduce employee development programs with incentives to reward your employees for their achievements in the long run. The key here is to induce a sense of satisfaction in them towards company.


A LinkedIn research found that 74% of the partakers reassessed their professional situation while at home during the lockdown. In addition, it resulted in them exploring and aspiring to look for better alternatives to boost their careers.


The report of Gallup’s State of the Global Workplace depicted the US and Canada-based workers showing the highest rate of workplace stress on a daily basis. In addition, while men accounted for 52%, women accounted for 62% amongst the workers surveyed.

The Pandemic

Not so surprisingly, workers were and are still opting to quit their jobs because their companies poorly treated them during the epidemic. Even before the lockdown, workers who were on the brink of quitting were intimidated further by the worsened circumstances. Hence, this contributed hugely towards the phenomenon of the Great Resignation.

A fresh Stanford survey evidently supports this as a large number of companies with toxic work environments further indulged in lay-offs. Witnessing this didn’t come easy to the discontented workers who couldn’t help but re-evaluate their standing within such companies.

Hybrid Mode of Working

Another reason, on the brighter side, is the newly unleashed desire of workers to prioritize their work preferences. The place, time, and mode of working have eventually become a tremendous interest for workers. As the Microsoft WTI report rightly states, workers have begun to expect green grass on both sides. Meaning, that 73% of them favor remote work while 67% of them wish to work amidst the physical presence of their colleagues.

KayoCloud’s survey reported that 66% of companies were planning to rejuvenate the workplace to suit a hybrid team of workers

Favoring Personal Time over Pay Hikes

A PwC survey indicated that workers now prefer working for organizations that give importance to their personal commitments. As a result, they are readily giving up on pay hikes in return for unconventional perks such as paid leaves, long holidays, and the likes. Especially in the case of the youth, this stands quite true, as reported in an IBM survey. A mere 29% of Gen Z favored larger hikes and perquisites as a reason for their workplace engagement. Comparatively, 49% of workers over the age of 55 favored the same

A series of such high-profile surveys prove how workers are willing to leave their current jobs and find new ones where their personal priorities are well taken care of.

Impact across Industries

The Great Resignation, to the largest extent, has affected the services and retail sector. During the month of April this year, nearly 700 thousand retail workers quit their jobs. Consequently, as found by the Korn Ferry survey, 94% of retailers are still struggling to close vacancies. As for the other industries, In September alone, the number of people quitting rose by 56000 in the arts, entertainment, and recreation sector, 47000 in other service sectors, and 30000 in the state and local government education sector.

Food for Thought

Experiencing such an unprecedented departure of workers in large numbers adversely affects organizations. It’s an enormous business fatality in terms of turnover and productivity. Organizations should consider prioritizing their workers’ salary expectations, personal grievances, workplace expectations, and career development opportunities to get things straight. Flexibility and overall well-being of the workers suffice as reasons for them to stay for the long run. The Great Resignation has already made it challenging for companies to attract quality talent, especially for finding legible replacements for the ones who leave.

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