HR Glossary / Great Resignation

The Great Resignation (also called Big Quit and Great Reshuffle) is a popular movement that emerged in the United States in 2021 and that consists of resigning overnight. The phenomenon has had repercussions around the world.


What are the origins of the Great Resignation?

The Great Resignation was born in the United States in 2021 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. It refers to employees and managers quitting their jobs overnight to denounce the injustices at their workplace.

Some employees have even filmed their quitting and posted it on social media. Between April 2021 and April 2022, nearly 4 million voluntary departures were recorded each month in the United States.

The Great Resignation has been observed in every industry across the United States and has had repercussions around the world.

What explains the Great Resignation?

The Great Resignation can largely be traced back to the labor market disruption during the COVID-19 pandemic. The main reason thousands of workers have quit has been the lack of recognition that essential employees experienced during the pandemic.

Many employees felt that they were underpaid and overworked by their employers. So when the economy picked up, they decided to leave their jobs to find better ones.

What can be done to fight the Great Resignation?

There are a number of ways that businesses can tackle the Great Resignation, including:

  • Holding stay interviews
  • Raising salaries
  • Improving benefits
  • Offering bonuses
  • Offering greater flexibility
  • Making sure that employees find meaning in their work
  • Implementing a professional development plan for employees
  • Updating and clearly communicating the company’s mission

What are the causes of the Great Resignation?

The leading reason for quitting is employees’ sense of receiving a lack of consideration or recognition from their team members.

The main reasons cited by employees who have been part of the great resignation have included:

  • Low salaries
  • Lack of career advancement opportunities
  • Workplace stress
  • Burnout
  • Feeling of being scorned at work
  • Poor working conditions
  • Lack of flexibility on the part of employers
  • Lack of meaning at work

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