The Great Resignation: What It Is and What Your Organization Can Do

It`s simple to understand. Millions of people across the nation have been quitting their jobs. This phenomenon, as some have called it, describes a record number of people leaving their job during and after the breakout of the pandemic. Companies everywhere are fighting to navigate the rippled effects and reevaluate their job search and talent strategies. The “Great Resignation” is a theory developed by Professor Anthony Klotz of Texas A&M University, in which he predicted large sums of people leaving their professions after the pandemic ceased and life returned to “normal.” His theory was based around the fact that a lot of people were experiencing “pandemic related epiphanies” such as more family time, working remotely, finding passion in hobbies and projects, etc. This in turn made people resent their return to full-time jobs.


Numerous studies have shown pandemics to be the most important factor leading to higher attrition rates, not only in the West but also in India. Some of the changes that companies around the world have been forced to make due to the pandemic are causing high attrition rates, as most employees face burnout or collective burnout due to mental stress. spirit and emotions last. According to an MIT Sloan study, more than 24 million people in the United States justify their jobs between April 2021 and September 2021. Other estimates suggest more than 20% of all workers of the country continues to seek better job opportunities with higher wages, new challenges, and more flexibility. Trends show that low-wage workers leave higher jobs than those with higher wages, and the most affected industries are hotels, healthcare, transportation, warehousing, education. education, retail and more. Although these sectors lost a lot of people, most of the sectors had higher turnover rates last year and are trending in the same way in 2022. Also in India, the information technology industry has a high turnover rate. Attrition rates are at a record high in 2021, as more employees leave their jobs in search of better job opportunities. This has led to overemployment among Indian IT companies by 2022. While the situation in India is still not as severe as in the US, surveys indicate that the situation is gradually getting worse.


  1. Toxic culture. “A toxic corporate culture is by far the strongest predictor of industry adjusted attrition and is 10 times more important than compensation in predicting turnover,” report the authors. What does toxic mean exactly? The authors explain the main elements include “failure to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion; workers feeling disrespected; and unethical behavior.”

Job insecurity and reorganization. It`s probably no shock that feeling like you could lose your job at any moment makes you start thinking about getting another job. “Previous research has found that employees’ negative assessments of their company’s future outlook are a strong predictor of attrition,” the authors point out.

  1. High levels of innovation. This one is less intuitive, but the authors found “that the more positively employees talked about innovation at their company, the more likely they were to quit.” They suspect that’s because innovation is hard and hard on workers. Innovation may be interesting and inspiring, but it can also burn people out.
  2. Failure to recognize performance. The authors write: “Employees are more likely to leave companies that fail to distinguish high performance and laggards when it comes to recognition and rewards. It is not about compensation. It’s about feeling seen and appreciated when you do a great job.
  3. Poor response to Covid19. Again, no shock here, but companies looking to weather the pandemic should get a stark reminder of the consequences of their incompetence in the article: “Employees mentioned mentioning Covid19 more often in their reviews or talking about their company’s response to the pandemic in negative terms were more likely to quit.”
  4. Boom of Startup’s: A boom in Technology Startups who are ready to pay hefty amounts to the skilled resources and led to the void in the resource pool for Tier-1 organization. Startup’s usually prefer resources with knowledge across different domains and ready to multitask. Pandemic provided the fantastic platform for employees to upgrade the skill and thus have lead to shift of power from huge MNC’s to the skilled resources.


The growing number of resignations across the globe could become a major concern for the worldwide economy and for major corporates. Therefore, most companies have started offering bigger and better benefits to new employees.

Not just higher pay packages, but employees also want more flexibility to work from home, and for some, this would be a greater factor than a hike in compensation. Therefore, many companies are trying to introduce shorter and more flexible work weeks to hire and retain employees.

Among other things that companies can do is to provide employees with new challenges within the organization to prevent them from facing stagnancy. The MIT Sloan study has found out that most employees faced burnout due to lack of new challenges or the opportunity to try their hand at something new.

Above all, most companies must promote a healthy work culture, including creating a better workplace with the inclusion of fun activities, excursions and happy hours. This study said these positively impact the mindset of employees and encourage bonding between colleagues. Companies should also make it a point to recognize employee contributions and allow them to grow equitably in the firm.

Blog By:

Mr. Manish Wali

Consultant Lead At Wipro Technologies

IIMP MBA (Batch 2014-16)

Posted in: Education, Indira Alumni