Polls point to an unprecedented wave of resignations after the pandemic. The future “resigners” are professionals either at the end of their rope, dissatisfied with their working conditions, or blocked in their career progression, who waited for more rosy days to slam the door. Will these workers finish their career renewal project or is it just a bluff? Analysis.
According to surveys conducted in recent months, organizations will soon be the victims of major collective resignation; the departures of the most valuable employees will follow one another, creating the greatest labour force drain ever seen to date.
Among all polls conducted on this topic, Monster’s was able to strike the imagination of the American media: in June 2021, 95% of workers surveyed said they were thinking of leaving their jobs! The 2 reasons put forward: 32% are exhausted in the current position and 29% see a lack of opportunities to progress in their career.
Following the Monster poll, the media seized on this narrative, which they called “the Great resignation“. As a result, employability analysts and job writers tell people “how to resign” (!) Here are two examples:
- “How to Quit Your Job in the Great Post-Pandemic Resignation Boom” (Bloomberg)
- “If you plan to quit during the ‘Great Resignation,’ here’s what career experts say you need to do” (CNBC)
Researcher Anthony Klotz, associate professor of management at the University of Texas A&M, explains the phenomenon as follows:
First, due to the uncertainty caused by the pandemic, many employees who would have otherwise quit their jobs stayed put. (…) As the pandemic subsides, these would-be quitters who “sheltered in place” last year will likely enact their plans to leave. In fact, this surge of turnover is already underway: The resignation rate in March was 2.4 percent [in the United States], which was the highest quit rate recorded for that month in 20 years. In short, the backlog of resignations caused by the pandemic are now beginning to clear.”
Employers do not bite
Faced with a horde of employees on the doorstep, one wonders how employers react. Will they suddenly turn to their employees, in seductive mode, to ensure that they stay in the company? It does not seem likely. As far as telework is concerned, they have so far stayed the course. Many organizations persist in favouring a work organization requiring a minimum presence in the office.
Very concretely, employers who were surveyed by TinyPulse say they do not perceive this wave of resignations on their radar. For example, a quarter (25%) of HR professionals did not expect any (0%) post-pandemic departures. More broadly, 68% expect to see attrition of 0% to 9%, which remains quite low.
There are two things: either the trend is going to materialize, and these employers are going to be flabbergasted, or the workers are going to give up and live with the job they have.
The grass is greener on the other side?
When we reach a 95% dissatisfaction rate among people who are employed in an organization, we also must wonder whether it is realistic for a worker to think that they can find better working conditions with another employer. In the end, they will only fill the chair of the previous person, who was also dissatisfied in their position (!)
The solution? On the one hand, workers must find the intrinsic motivations that push them to go above and beyond; they must find meaning in their work. They will have more chances to increase their job satisfaction and well-being.
On the other hand, companies have every interest in being more open and flexible, in relation to the support needs of their labour force.