The Great Resignation, why is it happening?

January 07 2022

Categories: HR Solutions

The Great Resignation, why is it happening?

Arthur Brooks, a Harvard professor, PhD behavioral social scientist, and past president of the conservative think tank American Enterprise Institute explains how the current wave of uncertainty in the country is manifesting to create a mental health crisis that we have not seen the likes of. As COVID continues, feelings of isolation, loneliness, and indecisive direction are causing insecurity, unhappiness, and contributing to the Great Resignation.

We’re facing a mental health crisis like we’ve never seen before as Covid continues: Arthur Brooks – YouTube

Why is the Great Resignation happening?

  • Work is not just an economic arrangement, it is also a social arrangement
    • 70% of employees say their best friends are at work
    • 58% of people would not quit their job for higher pay if it meant leaving their friends
    • Work from Home (WFH) has taken away the entire social context
    • WFH has eroded workplace culture
    • Because we are not returning to work/normal, it is creating a wave of depression and anxiety
    • No certainty – uncertainty is one of the greatest sources of human ‘unhappiness’
  • Entities who continue the WFH dynamic will continue to be challenged by the lack of work/social arrangements

As ways are continuously developed to help get back to as normal a life as possible, the uncertainty will continue to bring waves of depression and anxiety contributing to job churn and resignation. This clearly is an endemic problem that we will live with forever. As a leader, it is important to get back to normal work as best as you possibly can and provide your employees with support and encouragement. Instead of living with the fear of not knowing what will happen next, we need to embrace the fact that we are living with a virus; an endemic problem just like every other virus.

While there is no one solution to the great resignation, using actions to facilitate making your work environment enjoyable and rewarding will help build retention.

  • Employee Communication – Use a multitude of platforms
  • Employee Messaging – Be sensitive to multigenerational differences
  • Create Stability – Make sure employees have the tools and technology they need for success
  • Add “social” components to your virtual meetings, i.e.
    • Spirit Dress Week
    • Team Competitions
    • Charitable Causes
    • Teammate Fun Facts


#TeamKoppinger is here to help you tackle and manage the uncertainty

All posts