Over the past six months, thought leaders and CEOs alike have authored countless pieces on the world of work – and the so-called Great Resignation. Leaders across the world are struggling to understand what factors are driving the mass exodus as millions of workers leave their jobs, leading to staffing shortages and a talent retention crisis. Research suggests performance measurements, wellbeing, and management may all be factors.
There have been few conclusive answers for why so many people are quitting during The Great Resignation. But the quitting contagion is a real phenomenon – and it’s been happening at companies regardless of their management styles or their low wages.
"We're very social creatures, and we tend to take cues from the people around us," Mary-Clare Race, organizational psychologist and chief innovation officer at the HR consulting company LHH, told INC.
So why, then, are people leaving their jobs? Are higher wages all that matter Or do workers want jobs that better align with their values?
A recent MIT Sloan Management Review has some answers, based on data drawn from the analysis of 34 million online employee profiles of U.S. workers who left their jobs for any reason—quitting, retiring, or due to a layoff) between April and September 2021. Here’s why people are walking away from their jobs – and how managers and leaders can improve the situation.
The Great Resignation doesn’t just revolve around pay
The global pandemic was bound to impact worker/employer relations. And it has: Between April and September 2021, industries saw higher than usual levels of worker resignations, and some industries—such as the apparel retail industry—have been noticeably harder hit by this so-called Great Resignation. There was nearly three times the attrition in apparel retail as in the airline industry, for example.