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You may have heard about the great resignation, or what is also being called the big quit. This is the phenomenon of people leaving their jobs, which causes turnover that is completely unexpected within your organization. Watch the video above, or continue reading below, to learn more about the great resignation and how you can better prepare your organization for it.

What is the Great Resignation?

The great resignation is a completely different phenomenon from the silver tsunami. The silver tsunami refers to the large group that is reaching retirement age every day and retiring from their positions. The great resignation refers to people who are not retiring, but rather just quitting their job. This leaves their position open unexpectedly. And this phenomenon is affecting a lot of organizations across all industries. In fact, I have an example of a client who was recently affected.

A Current Example

I was talking to a client who said that it had been very stressful at their organization lately. They said that one of their mid-managers, who was with the organization since 1998, decided to leave. My client was totally shocked, and then was left with turnover that they didn’t expect. The mid-manager said that they were approached with a position that seemed like a great opportunity, so they decided to take it. A lot of people are in a different place in their lives right now. This is attributing a lot to the great resignation.

The Harvard Business Review Study

I read an article in the Harvard Business Review about the great resignation, and they agreed that this phenomenon is very real. They said that in July of 2021, four million people had quit their job that month. Additionally, a record-setting 10.9 million jobs were open in July. And similar numbers and trends continued through the rest of 2021. 

The article also talked about a study where they looked at what group of people are most commonly involved in the great resignation. A lot of people may think it is the younger, entry-level people. However, they found that it is mostly people at the mid-career level. This is dangerous for organizations because these people are typically managers, supervisors, executives, directors, etc. These people typically have a lot of experience and are familiar with your organization. Losing them would cause a huge hole at your organization that you would have to replace. So organizations really have to be careful to make sure that they know what is happening with their employees, and be ready if the great resignation is going to continue.

What You Can Do

So, what can you do to prevent this from happening to you at your organization?

  1. Maintain a culture of kindness and caring within your organization. This has always been important, but has become even more important since the pandemic started. You need to be aware of what other people are going through and be sensitive to that within your organization.
  2. Develop your employees. If you develop your employees, you’ll have smoother transitions if people do leave. It will also give people the idea that you have a culture of advancement at the organization.
  3. Talk to your employees. Make sure you know how your employees are feeling about the organization. This will help you to know what you need to do, if anything, within your organization to keep employees happy and motivated.
  4. Adopt policies within your organization that support greater work schedule flexibility. For example, flexible work hours and/or the ability to work from home, either on a full time or part time basis, may help a number of your employees stay at your organization.

So, the great resignation is happening – every organization needs to be ready for it!