The Great Resignation? or the Great Redesign?

Some experts speak of a “Great Resignation” and are hitting a panic button among employers.  While I don’t subscribe to absolutes, buzz words that cause for panic, I do think there is a trend worth noting, and I believe employers should both pause to consider and adapt to thrive. 

Trends worth noting:

  • Resignation
  • seems highest among “mid-career” employees, aged 30-45 years old, who seem to

be rethinking their careers.

seems to be highest in healthcare and technology.



it will vary by person, after the pandemic, many people are rethinking what work
means to them, how they are valued, and how they spend their time. 

Anthony Klatz, a
Professor from my alumni, Texas A&M University, attributes resignation to
the following root causes:

backlog of workers who wanted to resign before the pandemic but held on a bit

particularly among frontline workers in health care, food service and retail;

epiphanies” in which people experienced major shifts in identity and purpose
that led them to pursue new careers and start their own businesses

aversion to returning to offices after a year or more of working remotely


to the 2021 People Management Report from the Predictive Index:

60% of employees
work on-site, while only 49% actually want to do so. 

-burnout is a real
thing, and contagious – 73% of people with burned-out managers said their
coworkers seemed burned out at work.


Food for thought:

Employers should be
keeping a pulse on employee sentiment and experience, while understanding why
good people would stay.

Employee relationships
with their leader continues to be a factor in will they stay or will they go.

Leadership development
is critical during this time.  Assuring
leaders build their communication effectiveness and their impact to drive team
morale and commitment.

Influence is a skill in
which many leaders have not been properly trained.

When asked, employees
cite the following as the most critical lacking skills of their leader*:

Communicates effectively

Drives team morale
(17%), and

Asks for feedback (17%)

*2021 People Management
Report from the Predictive Index


The “Great Resignation”
is really a just a push for the redesign of work.  Employees are forcing their employers to
rethink work – how we work and where we work.

Employers who listen and
adapt will thrive. 

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