The Great Resignation: Why are people leaving their jobs?


In Part 1 of Advantexe’s Great Resignation Through the Eyes of Three Generations blog series, our panelists began by defining how each generation Genz, Millennial, and Gen X defined the Great Resignation. In part 2, the team will discuss why they think people are leaving their jobs.

Gen Z Response – Allee Stidham, Manager of Project Management

I think people are leaving their jobs because they are finding better opportunities. The idea ofgreat-resignation-work-life staying at a company so you can hopefully get a raise, or maybe even a promotion, has been overshadowed by the idea of getting job experience for two years and then finding a company that will pay you more than that raise. It’s not so much that Gen Z or Millennials lack company loyalty, but more so that we know the idea of company loyalty is primarily one-sided. Do companies really care about us, or do they not want to spend the time and money teaching someone new to do it?

I think the Great Resignation has revealed this to employees, especially when talking with your manager about what you wanted from your job. If a company valued me as an employee, why not let me stay remote, increase my pay based on performance, or acknowledge burnout? When it became clear some companies would stay too rigid on policy, workers found that not all companies are inflexible and if they wanted a job more tailored to their lifestyle, they could find one.

Link with Allee – click here

Millennial Response – Taryn Foy, Leadership Product manager

People are leaving their jobs because they can and because the job market has shifted forever. Job seekers are thinking more critically about the mission of companies. With the evolving nature of the world and the consumption of information, we have broader perspectives and are less fearful to speak up and/or take action. When it comes to our careers, we’ve learned to be advocates for ourselves, so accepting the traditional status-quo, is no longer acceptable. It is no longer acceptable for companies to have rigid workplace cultures. We thrive on learning and stretching our abilities to connect and grow – and this is a major selling point as we consider our current and future roles.

Looking back on the past 20 years, more people have earned college degrees and certifications and licenses – we are well-educated (often over-educated) and highly credentialed. Understanding this as a job seeker is empowering and gives a greater level of confidence that wasn’t as widespread prior to the Great Resignation.

Over the past 5 years, owning your own business has become more appealing in the US. There’s been great success in connecting over social media, but it’s also a major marketing tool that’s been leveraged for small business owners. We’re learning that there are new ways to build a life – working in an office isn’t for everyone; being a doctor, lawyer, or police officer, aren’t the only options. Teaching in-person has drastically changed. There are more examples, more points of inspiration, to take a chance on yourself and try something new. I have to believe that this is also impacting the traditional workforce as we are finding new ways to build, retain and expand our income.

Link with Taryn – Click here

Gen X Response – Jim Brodo, CMO

At first, I think people were leaving jobs due to the reprioritization of their lives that were a result of the Covid-19 lockdowns. While there has been much discussion on the “causes” of the Great Resignation, research has shown that it was due to several reasons ranging from low pay to the lack of flexible hours.

But then something happened as we started to emerge from Covid. More and more people continued to quit, and companies started having difficulties managing their businesses. There were fewer workers and more work, putting a significant strain on the remaining employees. Companies had to quickly pivot and do something to recruit replacements and try to hold onto the remaining employees. Companies were now forced to increase wages and improve benefits drastically. This had numerous effects. Costs were skyrocketing, which has pushed inflation way up. There has been a loss of tribal knowledge, so efficiencies, productivity, quality, and engagement are down. Whatever your business strategy, increased costs and decreased quality is a recipe for disaster.

Unfortunately, this convergence created an adverse circular, systemic effect that has resulted in further job switching. Employees figured out that after 8 or 9 months on the job, they will most likely be recruited to a better position for significantly more money, so why try, care, or align to the company? What started as a reevaluation of life, has now morphed into a critical issue for the entire business world and economy. What I am finding very interesting now is building the concept and effects of the Great Resignation into our business simulations as the output of this trend is going to have real and long-lasting effects on business performance. 

Link with Jim - Click here

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Jim Brodo

About The Author

Jim is an award winning marketing executive with a proven background in driving pipeline value and revenue creation