2021 was the year of the Great Resignation. The Great Resignation is a trend in which the employees voluntarily resign from their jobs. At the start of the Covid 19 pandemic, there were many layoffs and millions lost their jobs. Most of those who were retained however later resigned from their jobs. Most people who left the workforce did so because of various reasons. Some left the workforce entirely, others have left because of health concerns, others because of job security, and others want better pay. The Great Resignation has created hiring challenges for companies and has left millions of jobs unfilled. Here are some reasons for the Great Resignation

Covid 19 health concerns

At the beginning of the Covid 19 pandemic, many were worried about their health. This is especially true for the older population. Being advanced in age means that the chances of getting Covid 19 were higher. The older population had a higher chance of getting other Covid related ailments like hypertension, pneumonia, and diabetes. With the fear of contracting such diseases, many have opted to resign from their workplace and stay at home. For the younger generation, the fear of infecting others in their homes has made them resign and look for other jobs that will put them at less risk of attracting Covid 19. Many are opting to work in companies that have the working from home option.


In the health industry, many are quitting their jobs since the Covid 19 pandemic because they are exhausted and burned out. At the beginning of the pandemic, the health workers’ services were needed more than ever before. This meant that most of the health workers worked for longer than expected hours trying to save lives. Most of the health workers are reported to have symptoms of insomnia during the Covid 19 period. Here are some symptoms of burnout you should look for

  1. Loss of energy to complete tasks
  2. Being less productive
  3. Frequently calling off sick
  4. A compromised immune system
  5. Wanting to leave a job

Mental illness

During the Covid 19 pandemic, it was reported that 41.9% of health workers had symptoms of anxiety and some suffered from depression. This was contributed to the stigma the health workers face while at work. Most of the health workers who are facing stigma and have a history of underlying conditions are at a higher risk of suffering from mental illness. Health workers who have inadequate precautionary measures in their workplace like personal protective equipment, gloves, facemasks, are at more risk of developing mental illness.

Switch of career

Some employees felt that they are professionally stuck in their current places of employment. With the Covid 19 pandemic, quite some employees felt they needed to change their careers and venture into other fields. This was witnessed with the younger employees in companies. Most of the younger employees are looking for companies that have more career growth opportunities. Employees are also looking for companies that will offer them mentorship programs.

Better working conditions

At the onset of the pandemic, different companies came up with different strategies and methods of working. Some opted to start working remotely while others decided to continue working from the office. Employees feared that with the new variants of the Coronavirus, they would be at a higher risk to contract the virus as they are working from the office where there are many people. Most employees, therefore, opted to resign or to look for other companies that have better working conditions and where most of them are working remotely.

Better pay

When Covid 19 struck, everything was increased. From food prices, health services, fuel prices, housing prices, etc. This is majorly contributed to the lockdowns that were experienced in most countries. With the lockdown, countries had a hard time getting products and services from other countries. This led to the increase in prices for most of the goods and services in the country.

Some companies also decided to give the employees some cuts in their salaries and withdrew some benefits that they were previously giving to their employees. With all this, most employees decided to quit or resign from their jobs to seek better companies with better pay and benefits.

Flexible working shifts

Most employees want to work in companies where the working hours are flexible. In a normal working environment, the shift usually runs from 8A.M to 5P.M from Monday to Friday. With the Covid 19 pandemic, most companies have flexible working hours. Their employees can work from any time they want providing they do their work and deliver the productivity they are supposed to. Most employees quit or resign from their companies and go to companies where they get flexible working hours and shifts.

Lack of work-life balance

During the Covid 19 pandemic, employees have resigned from positions in companies because they lack the work-life balance. Most employees are leaving companies to find other companies that will cater well to their work-life balance. Having a good work-life balance is important because it increases the employee’s productivity, employees have less stress, they have fewer chances of getting burnout and overall the employees have a sense of wellbeing. 

How can companies reduce the Great Resignation?

With the rise of the Great resignation, many companies are trying different strategies to retain their employees. Employees will always want to go to companies where they feel more appreciated and valued. How are companies retaining their employees? Here are some ways that have proved to be successful in employee retention

Have Competitive compensation packages

The Covid 19 pandemic brought many changes in the world’s economy. The living conditions have gone up, everything is expensive. With this in mind, you should know that your employees always look for companies that offer a better package. You should do your research and know what other companies give their employees and offer better. The packages you offer to your employees can include

  1. Medical insurance that can include dental services, optical services, and general medical services
  2. Maternity leave
  3. Paternity leave
  4. Stock options
  5. Contribution to retirement
  6. Bonuses

Employees are most likely to stay in your company if the packages are good.

Focus on employee’s wellness

A company should always put the employees’ wellness a priority. With the Covid 19 pandemic, many employees have suffered psychologically and emotionally. It is the company’s responsibility to look out for signs of depression and burnout in their employees. A company can hire counselors to give the employees advice and ways in which they can deal with any psychological issues they might have.

Companies should also encourage their employees to take some time off work to go and relax at home or go for a vacation.

Asking employees for feedback can also help companies to know what is going on in their company and look for ways to improve the company.

Encourage work-life balance

Work-life balance is important to any employee and company at large. Work-life balance is important because one can balance his or her career demands and the demands of their personal life. Employees should be encouraged to maintain a work-life balance. They can do so by:

  1. Prioritizing your health: employees should have good physical, mental and emotional health. If one struggles with anxiety or depression, they should seek help as soon as they can. Prioritizing one’s health will make you a better employee and person.
  2. Take a vacation: take time off work completely. When on vacation, do not fear that work will not be done and be tempted to go back to work. It is a well-deserved time off from work. You should enjoy the benefits of your vacations and get the needed rest.
  3. Set boundaries and work hours: to avoid burnout, you need to set boundaries for yourself and your co-workers. Anytime you are not in the office, avoid answering work-related calls and emails. Communicate these boundaries to your employer and colleagues.
  4. Have goals and priorities and stick to them: set for yourself achievable and realistic goals. The goals you have set should also be measurable and time-specific. You know the times when you are most productive. Take advantage of this and during that period, do as much as you can. This will help you increase your productivity at work. Have a schedule that you can follow during your day at work and make sure to have breaks in between them.

Promote your employees

No employee wants to work for a company that will not appreciate their hard work and gives them a promotion when an opportunity arises. One of the reasons for the Great resignation is that employees do not have a chance to grow in the company. You can come up with mentorship programs in your company and mentor some employees who might be interested in career growth. Once done with the mentorship program, offer the employees spots in your company that will allow them to practice what they have learned.

Appreciate and recognize your employees

Many employees want to feel recognized at their places of work. If an employee performs well in a given project or department, do not shy away from acknowledging the work they have done. As a company, you can set up rewarding systems where you can appreciate and recognize your employees.

Have flexible shifts and working conditions

If you can, have different options for the company. You can have the work from the office option and the work from home option. Your employees should be free to choose the convenient option for them. If working from the office, provide your employees with comfortable furniture, a space with good ventilation, and other good office equipment. You can upgrade your office equipment to suit your company’s needs. The employee’s laptops, desktops should be regularly maintained.

As a company, you can also have the option to have different shifts. Your employees can decide which shift works better for them. Having flexible shifts has many benefits to both the company and the employees. Some of the benefits include

  1. Reduced burnouts and sick cases
  2. Increased productivity
  3. Good mental health
  4. Improved morale among the employees
  5. Decreases absenteeism
  6. Good quality of work

Remind your employees of their responsibilities and what is expected of them at the end of every shift and day. Employees who are given different options are satisfied with their jobs and are less likely to resign from their work.

Reduce Burnout

Companies should be in the frontline to notice if their employees are suffering from burnout and help them. They should train managers on how to identify this. Companies should also encourage their employees to open up if someone is experiencing burnout or has the symptoms associated with burnout. Employees should be encouraged to

  1. Seek professional help when they are having a tough time. Counselors will help the employees by enhancing their emotional health and teaching them stress management skills
  2. Make time for self-care and rest. Rest is an important way to deal with and prevent burnout. Having time to yourself and doing things you love can also help you prevent burnout
  3. Be more efficient by prioritizing your duties and minimizing distractions
  4. Recognize that your job is important and the contribution you bring to the company is significant.
  5. Ask for help when you need some tasks done both at home and at work. Try to manage your workload better by delegating some duties to your fellow employees.
  6. Do not dwell on guilt and perfectionism. You can lower your standards. Do not have unrealistic expectations of yourself. Just try to be gentle with yourself and listen to your body.

The Great Resignation in 2021 happened because of the many difficulties employees were going through at their workplaces. Having known some of the reasons that lead to the Great Resignations, it is an employer’s responsibility to make sure that the conditions are conducive for the employee to work in and that their suggestions and requests are heard and taken into consideration. With the right measures, the 2021 Great Resignation can easily be reduced.

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