Recently, 2021 was deemed the year of the “Great Resignation” because people are quitting their jobs in record numbers.
As with all “great” things, there were some critical contributors to the “Great Resignation.”
Major Contributors to the “Great Resignation”
At the start of February 2020, Forbes published an article stating nearly 2/3 of employees intended to look for new employment in 2020.
Six weeks after the article was published, the WHO upgraded the COVID epidemic to a pandemic. Travel halted. Borders closed. Lay-offs began.
Employees who retained their jobs stayed put rather than risk being unemployed in an uncertain economy.
As a result, the resignations that should have taken place in 2020 didn’t.
Eighteen months later the economy is stabilizing and companies are hiring again. This has led to people feeling more confident about looking for other employment opportunities.
One of the primary motivators behind new job searches is the canceling of remote work arrangements.
WFH has become a sticking point for many employees.
After more than a year working remotely, employees feel they’ve earned their employers’ trust. That they should be able to choose their work locations.
People have also become accustomed to no commutes and home comforts during work hours.
Many companies are forcing employees back into the office which has led to about 41% of workers considering resigning.
Employees Forced to Choose Between WFH and Pay Cuts
Some companies said they will give employees the option to work remotely. But they are actively discouraging it through new HR policies.
Just last week, news articles about Facebook and Google reported they would allow employees to continue working remotely. However, employees must report moving residences.
In the event an employee relocated to a lower cost of living area, Facebook and Google will decrease their salaries, up to as much as 25% in some cases.
Revenge Shopping, Revenge Tourism and Revenge Careers
In April 2020, Chinese citizens went “Revenge Shopping.” (This term is the literal English translation of the Chinese phrase for the phenomenon.)
After months of being in lockdown, the Chinese were anxious to rush out and purchase luxury items again.
Shortly after Revenge Shopping was reported by the media, Indian newspapers applied “revenge” in the context of travel and tourism.
They suggested “Revenge Tourism,” would take place en-masse once extended lockdowns and travel restrictions ended because so many people were eager to take vacations and visit family and friends overseas.
In a similar vein, “Revenge Careers” and the “Revenge Job Search” may be on the horizon.
Will the Great Resignation Lead to Boomerang Employees?
However, we should be aware the Great Resignation may lead to a boomerang of employees in the coming years.
If employees are impatient to leave their current roles, they may fail to fully consider the downside of their new positions.
Taking a new role that includes the same challenges which led employees to leave in the first place doesn’t benefit anyone. Trading one set of compromises for another one generally doesn’t pay off long-term.
It’s very possible 2022 or 2023 may lead to employees returning to their previous organizations when they realize the grass isn’t greener elsewhere.
Episode 18 will address Boomerang Employees and how to return to a job after previously resigning.