The Great Resignation - Oak Engage
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The Great Resignation

   Minute Read     Performance & Culture Internal Comms

The Great Resignation
Table of Contents

    What is meant by the Great Resignation?

    More and more people are quitting their jobs, which could shake the world of work forever. As of September 2022, between 4.1 and 4.5 million people quit their jobs every month, with the number of people quitting their jobs growing year on year. 

    Where there were once thousands of candidates to pick from for a single job position, more and more recruiters and employers are no longer finding they have the same amount of choice.

    Instead, job seekers are taking the reins to negotiate details like salary, benefits, working conditions, and other details that otherwise may not have been afforded to them, even months ago.  

    There are several reasons why workers are walking away from jobs or seeking a change in profession, a phenomenon known as ‘The Great Resignation’ or also referred to as The Great Realisation, Great Reshuffle or the Big Quit. 

    But it’s not just the great resignation that’s impacting the world of work, new trends like ‘quiet quitting’ mean that even if employees aren’t moving on in search of something better, many employees are disengaging from their job roles and only achieving the minimum. 

    What do quiet quitting and the Great Resignation have in common? Both are responses to feeling dissatisfied at work. 

    So how do you engage and retain your employees in 2021 and beyond?

    In this blog we cover: 

    • What is Meant by the Great Resignation?
    • What is Causing the Great Resignation?
    • Is the Great Resignation Real?
    • How do you Retain Employees in 2021?

    Is the ‘Great Resignation' Real and What is Causing it? 

    What exactly is driving so many employees to change careers, or quit their jobs altogether? 

    People’s priorities have changed. Experts believe that people are re-evaluating the way they see their jobs with the pandemic being a huge catalyst for change. People are now thinking about how their employment can better align with their values and around their lives.   

        The Great Resignation has been caused by a shift in people's priorities

    For some people, this might mean better salaries, perks that allow them to have a good work life balance, more fulfilling roles or looking for remote jobs that allow them to prioritise their families - resulting in a change in direction. Workers are having their say, and shaping the job market. But how can you spot early signs of your employees getting itchy feet? 

    Look out for these symptoms of disengagement:

    • Low productivity - are your employees producing enough good quality work?
    • Low morale - employees complaining about processes, projects or even other employees is a signifier of low morale and could be causing disengagement. 
    • Low engagement - Assess how engaged and enthusiastic are your employees about their office surroundings, policies, processes and culture? You can do this by conducting employee pulse surveys or engagement surveys. If engagement levels are low then overall performance can really suffer as well. 

    The Great Resignation is showing no signs of slowing down, one in five employees say that they’re likely to switch to a new employer within the next 12 months. Pay increases, purpose at work, flexible working and being able to bring your true self to work are among the top things employees are searching for.

    Employers need to take a human led approach and focus on creating a positive employee experience that makes employees feel valued and appreciated to improve retention. Not sure where to start? Here’s how… 

    7 Tips on How to Retain Employees in 2023 and Beyond 

    Show Appreciation  

    72% of employees would work harder if they felt appreciated by their employers. Appreciation is key for boosting morale in your teams and making employees feel valued in their roles. 

    72% of employees would work harder if they felt more appreciated

    Consistently showing your employees that you appreciate their efforts on projects and tasks is a big motivation booster for employees and is likely to improve performance amongst teams. 

    You can show you appreciate your employees in several ways such as acknowledging and praising good work, having regular check-ins with employees, promotions rewards such as ordering in food or taking teams out for meals,  offering rewards such as cash incentives to teams or departments, hosting a company awards night and offering extra holidays. 

    Having employee recognition software can open up many opportunities to make employees feel special. Oak’s employee recognition software means you can easily celebrate all the moments that matter, highlight employees achievements, celebrate employees birthdays and work anniversaries. 


    Create A Positive Work Environment 

    Positive work environments can increase employee happiness by 33% and in some cases decrease employee turnover by 58%. So how exactly do you create a positive work environment? 

    Positive work environments can decrease turnover by 58%

    • Prioritise onboarding and training - create an environment where no questions are off limits, provide the right resources and technology to allow employees to get to grips with their role and the company with ease.  
    • Check in with employees regularly - be on hand for new employees to chat to and ensure you’re having regular chats with them to ensure they’re settling in and understand what they’re doing. 
    • Encourage team collaboration and communication - part of what makes work a thing we enjoy are the people, make sure new starters are getting to know their teammates and people in their departments. 
    • Consistently work on your company culture - encourage employees feedback, prioritise communication, recognise employees for their efforts and help teams and individuals foster good working relationships.

    Make Wellbeing Top Priority

    More than 6 in 10 employees say well-being support programs/benefits will be a top priority for them when applying for their next job.

    6 in 10 employees say wellbeing support and benefits are high priority when searching for new jobs

    Your employees are the beating heart of your business and you need to ensure that you’re looking after them so that they feel cared for - physically and mentally. Give your employees all the resources they need from things like employee assistance programmes, health insurance, fitness memberships as well as creating a positive work environment and company culture. 

    Support Career Growth 

    Adecco Group found that career progression is the third most important reason that employees look elsewhere for jobs, after finding a better salary and better work/life balance. 

    By supporting employee career growth, companies can not only improve employee engagement, but also strengthen their workforce and increase overall productivity.

    Some good ways to encourage career growth in your company are:

    • Professional Development: Encouraging and providing employees with training, courses and outside education to develop their skills is essential for ensuring they progress throughout their career and can thrive in their roles. 
    • Lunch & Learns: Everyone in the business will have their own niche areas so why not consider hosting lunch and learn where each team member gives a mini session on their particular area and their day to day work.
    • Development Plans: Having a development plan will give employees a clear outlook on where they’re headed in their career and should outline the steps they need to take to get there. 

    Implement ‘Stay Interviews’ To Your Employee Retention Strategy 

    Don’t wait until the damage is done, make sure you’re finding out what makes people want to stay at your company - rather than why they leave. Stay interviews are a great tool for delving into why your top talent remains at your company. 

    They can be really casual conversations between a manager to gather feedback and identify patterns in data about what is working, and what might not be working amongst your teams. Here are some important questions you might want to consider asking:

    What do you look forward to the most about coming to work?

    When was the last time you thought about leaving the company and why?

    What would make your job even more satisfying? 

    Monitor Turnover Risks 

    The most important thing you can do with regards to turnover is to consistently measure your employee turnover - monthly, quarterly and yearly. The more you measure your turnover the easier you’ll be able to identify patterns and discover the reasons that people might be leaving. 

    Unsure how to calculate your turnover? Our blog shows you how and provides in depth tips on what might be causing turnover and how to prevent those. 

     Ensure Employee Workload is Not Over/Underwhelming 

    ​​Employees who are burned out much or all of the time don’t bring their best to work. In fact, they are 63% more likely to not show up at all and more than 2x as likely to look elsewhere for a job. On the other hand, employees who aren’t feeling challenged and stimulated by their jobs run the risk of becoming disengaged and just cruising by doing the bare minimum. 

    63% of employees who feel burned out are not likely to show up at work

    Leaders need to ensure that they’re assessing the workloads in teams and delegating appropriately and discussing projects in one to one meetings to ensure everyone is happy with what they’re working on. 

    By following these tips you can ensure that you’re creating a work environment that values communication, transparency and focuses on providing a good employee experience which will ensure your workplace is one that employees are happy and passionate about turning up to. 


    Vic is one of Oaks Content Marketing Specialists. She specialises in communication and marketing and is also a host on the Comms In A Nutshell podcast for Internal Comms & HR professionals.