The Great Resignation: Reasons Why Should Businesses Worry About It

What is the great resignation

1. Introduction

The SARS-CoV-2 virus, which causes COVID-19, was first identified in 2019 in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China. In December 2019, cases began to be diagnosed outside of China, and the World Health Organization (WHO) subsequently declared a global health emergency on January 30, 2020.

After a long COVID suffering, the economies started to recover from the impact.

Today as of 2022, if we are asked to recollect the memory of covid emergency, we could easily get those memories back as to how covid impacted our lives. The vast effect of covid 19 led to enforcement of lockdown in a majority of the countries, suspension of schools/colleges/ public transport, movement of the public, staying at home for months, and disruption of business and world economy.

This was not the end, in fact, this was the beginning of The Great Resignation. 

2. What is the Great Resignation?

The topic point regarding the great resignation started in America, where the effects of covid influenced a drastic change in the business world.  

During the spring and summer of 2021, hundreds of workers in the United States quit their employment, and surveys suggested that more were considering leaving. According to reports, several workers were driven to leave their positions due to poor treatment by the employers during the pandemic, in addition to personal reasons. Reports say as many as 4.5 million people have resigned from their jobs. The great resignation is also called as the big resignation.

The Great Resignation or the big resignation is nothing but a continual workforce attrition surge that has disrupted the demand-supply balance, forcing businesses to prioritize talent acquisition and retention.

Low-wage workers were more likely to quit than their higher-paid colleagues since hospitality, healthcare, and social support, as well as transportation, warehousing, and utilities, are the most affected sectors. Around 4.4 percent of all roles in education, over 6% in retail, and over 8% in healthcare are available. This equates to about a million and a half unfilled vacancies.

The term "The Great Resignation" was introduced in May 2021 by Anthony Klotz, a Professor of business and management by profession at Mays Business School at Texas - A&D University. 

3. Why are People Quitting? / Reason behind the emergence of the great resignation.

Great resignation didn't arise due to a single reason and the following are some of the reasons that accounted for this situation to arise.

1. Due to the quick spreading of COVID, Government made private companies shut down temporarily which created a challenging situation for companies. 

As a result, every company on a large, medium, or small scale faced the impact of covid resulting facing revenue loss.

Every day there were heartbreaking updates from the companies which led the workforce to cause fear and uncertainty.

The sudden, unpredicted, and unexpected changes in the world and economic threats led businesses to make crucial decisions. And to avoid financial devastation, companies took crucial decisions. Every update from the company's side would affect the career of the employees.

Temporary staff cuts and the non-availability of any other job took a tremendous toll on unemployment.  While others who were still working were given the facility to work from home and were retained on the clause of pay cuts.

Fast forward as the situation started improving and the government took a decision to withdraw lockdown in a phased manner. Theatres, gyms, and restaurants reopened and people were allowed to move into public areas and everything started getting normal like before. As a result, the demand and supply of goods and services increased and there was a boom in demand for workers to deliver those goods and services, Most of the vacancies that were urgently in need to be filled were in frontline consumer positions, and subsequently in business and administrative roles.

Employees who were called back received ill-treatment from their employers. Apart from that companies were not interested to increase the salaries of employees who were made to work on pay cuts. 

While many multinational companies started delaying salaries, canceling raises irked their employees.

2. Another point that can be counted as a reason for many to leave their job is -  Organizations that laid off large groups of workers wanted to grow quickly, so many went on a staffing binge, assuming that people would swarm to apply. However, fear of the virus persisted, and a traumatized public was hesitant to come back to work till they were more certain they wouldn't be endangering their own and their family's health.

3. With many companies provide a flexible working environment to their employees, whereas employees from the companies who were not providing any facilities made their employees upset as in a critical time when death numbers were rising, health, life, and the family should be the more important; in such a situation, not getting any flexible working environment along with other benefits made many employees upset and this resulted in quitting the job. 

4. With the reopening of companies, many vacancies were open, this led employees to choose the job which would provide them a good package. Since vacancies were more and applications were less, the demand for vacancies to be filled was more than the supply of workers. So, seeing open vacancies, people started quitting and applying for jobs that would give them a good package along with other benefits. 

5. The covid pandemic has had a significant impact on the workforce, with many people choosing to leave their jobs to focus on their health and well-being. In a recent survey, 32% of workers said that the pandemic had made them re-evaluate their life priorities, and 15% said that they had left their job entirely as a result.

6. Another reason that took the limelight during the pandemic was starting services. People who were laid off or people who had to quit their job, many started their own businesses and started providing services to the public in the period of emergency. Slowly and gradually as their business started booming up, the need for people to get back to the 9-5 job became less important.

Vlogging as career

Apart from providing services, as to earn money,  many people started doing daily vlogging and opened their channels on YouTube. YouTube helped them to get a decent amount of income and now people understood their potential and the importance of working for themselves rather than working for a company and getting a fixed amount of income every month.

7. Some people quit their jobs because they couldn't find childcare as schools moved to online instruction, while others quit because they wouldn't follow workplace rules. Vaccination needs for COVID-19.

8. For some there was no personal reason as they resigned because their colleagues resigned. They got influenced by their decision maybe because they got convinced by the reason why their colleague quit the job.

Though these were some of the reasons that led many to quit their job. However, in a Survey Conducted by a few done in February 2022, the top reasons stated by workers were low salary and a lack of promotion possibilities, implying that many went for a better salary.

4. What is the outcome?

Though employees are quitting the job in large numbers There are various possible outcomes for employees who participate in the Great Resignation:

1. The new employment is better than their previous one, and they like the change. They feel more engaged with their work, receive increased salaries and they can do more interesting things. They have also been given more responsibility, which they enjoy.

2. They thought that the grass would be greener on the other side, but it turns out that it was just the same old thing. They were really happy with their old job, but they decided to take a chance and go for the new one. It was supposed to be better in all ways, but it wasn't. In the end, they realized that they made a mistake and decided to go back to their old company.

3. Another pretty common outcome is that while applying for a new job and during the interview, they experienced a great feeling but later as they joined, they realized that their new job isn't as excellent as their old one, so they quit and look for work elsewhere.

4. Another possible outcome could be that their new job isn't as good as their previous one but since they joined recently, they decide to continue as it is and look out for change after completing a year.

5. They decided to not work and took permanent retirement after understanding that they have enough resources to spend.

6. Resigned after knowing that they have enough capability to work for themselves and moved ahead to establish their own company.

7. They are happy with the decision they took to resign from the previous company and lookout for a better job that would give them more salary than any other company.

8. Realizing that there is no age for learning and going ahead for getting a full-time course that would add up knowledge and certify him/her for a better position and good package.

Numerous outcomes derive from resignation. The more careful, thoughtful, and cautious the employee while resigning, the better outcome will be.

The great resignation has created a tremendous impact on the job market. The situation that never aroused before and has changed the traditional ways that defined the way of hiring. The new recruiting patterns, potential issues in the workplace, and job market mood are more challenging than before.

Now more importance will be given to the work-life balance and potential salary that would justify the work of the employee. The great resignation has impacted every company from every sector of the job market.

Among the entire sectors, below are some of the industries on whom the impact is the hardest:

1. Technology

2. Healthcare/Hotels

3. Construction

4. Bars and restaurants

5. Arts and entertainment 

The Great Resignation is having a global influence and is influencing economies and personal fortunes.

5. Why Businesses Should Worry About It? 

Although resignation may seem like an individual matter, it is actually a company-wide issue that should be taken seriously. When an employee resigns, it sends a clear signal to the rest of the company about how they feel about their job and their boss.

Resignation is also a major red flag for employers. It can mean that the employee is unhappy with their work, their team, or the company culture in general. This can lead to lower morale and even more harm to the turnover in the future. 

When an employee quits their job, it can harm the company's reputation. This is especially true if the employee is high-profile or in a leadership position. Also, it can create the perception that the company is in trouble. Employees may worry that the company is not a good place to work, or that they may be next to leave. This can lead to lower morale and decreased productivity.

Resignations in large numbers can damage the company's image. potential customers or partners may be hesitant to work with or buy from a company that appears to have internal

If employees keep resigning, it can be a threat to the company's sustainability.

6. How are employers handling the situation?

There was a time when the employees would work silently without asking much of their employers. But the pandemic has made learn people a lot of things that made people quit their job. 

In 2020, due to the financial crisis, employers were firing people out from the job but in 2021 the scene became exactly the opposite. Many companies lost their employees and retaining the staff became difficult. 

Companies are finding the challenging situation to fill up the open vacancies. They are raising the salary package and increasing employee engagement to get the vacancies filled.

For small businesses, it has become a stressful situation. When big scale companies are finding it difficult to retain their employees, for small businesses it will be more difficult especially when their packages and employee facilities are lesser than the companies belonging to large scale.

But there is good hope for small businesses to grow as the many resigned and one of the main reasons for quitting is recognition. 

Making the purpose of the company clear and working toward leadership effectiveness, includes defining staff goals and objectives, improving rewarding and recognizing excellent work, setting realistic expectations, and successfully managing people and resources. Small companies can hire people who are looking for these attributes in a company.

There are still people who are looking for a company that has clear goals and carry a good treatment behavior towards its employees. So, the chances for a small business to grow high is much more than before.


If you'll search the great resignation article on google then you'll find that people have shared varuous perspectivea about the great resignation. But one thing that can be sure ro say is that the great resignation is not yet over. It is here to stay and the trend of quitting the job is still there.

The great resignation of 2021 is start of a worker's uprising and a revolt against bad employers and firms who refuse to pay decent salaries and exploit their workers.

How Employers can help themselves?

Concentrating on offering more accommodating work arrangements, such as remote work, hybrid work, and flexible scheduling, and listening to what workers say they want and need rather than making top-down decisions that are tone-deaf can help companies to retain their staff  

How much the great resignation is beneficial to companies and what will be the future of the workplace?

These new trends will provide companies greater energy and efficiency. This past year, millions of disengaged employees rose from their desks and opted to leave their employment. They'll be significant assets to the organizations that land them in the massive reshuffle if they're more certain about what they'd like to find meaning in their employment now.

Furthermore, these tough circumstances might act as the mother of innovation. Companies can utilize the pressure to improve their procedures, corporate culture, and employee workload by implementing automation of repetitive and doing away with non-value-adding tasks.

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