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Everything You Need to Know About the Great Resignation

There’s no doubt about it, what’s been labelled as “the great resignation” is here and it’s impacting businesses across the globe, from all sectors. We're covering everything you need to know.

According to Microsoft’s 2021 Work Trend Index, 41% of the global workforce are likely to consider leaving their jobs within the next year. Here in the UK, people are resigning from their jobs at the highest rate since 2009.

There’s no doubt about it, what’s been labelled as “the great resignation” is here and it’s impacting businesses across the globe, from all sectors. It’s becoming part of our everyday conversations. We’ve found that there’s been an increase in people asking what the great resignation is, how it could impact them and what they can do about it.

We’re going to cover everything you need to know about the great resignation, including 5 steps you can take to avoid it.

What is the great resignation?

Over the last year, there’s been a change in attitude and an increase in resignations across the globe. To put it simply, it refers to a noticeable shift in behaviour and action, that’s still ongoing globally.

Over in America in November last year, a record 4.5 million people left their job. Here in the UK, a survey of 6,000 workers found that over 60% were feeling confident about moving to a new role in coming months, with over 20% planning a job change within 3-6 months.

The economic trend has also been referred to as the big quit, many employers are talking about it and they’re hoping to take steps to combat and prevent it within their organisation.

Why is it happening?

There are a few reasons why employees are deciding to resign and change their job. The first and possibly most obvious is the impact the pandemic had and is still having on many employees.

The last few years have been incredibly stressful, there’s been a lot of change, people are burnt out in general and many simply aren’t enjoying the role they once did. The lockdown periods gave people time to reconsider what they want to do, what their standards are and a chance to look for other opportunities.

Employees have now experienced working remotely and some no longer want to go back to office work at all whilst others would prefer a role that offers flexibility. Alternatively, time away from an office environment has resulted in many employees feeling disconnected from their colleagues. There’s also the fact that the pandemic hindered many development and progression plans, so people are feeling disconnected from their career ambitions and goals.

For many who joined jobs virtually, the lack of socialisation in office environments and outside of work social events has hindered the formation of strong working relationships. This can result in a lack of loyalty to a company or a team and ultimately, a diminished desire to stay put.

Within the creative and digital industry, demand for digital and creative skills has skyrocketed over the last few years, which has resulted in more businesses than ever looking for employees in these fields. Skilled workers are being tempted away with ever increasing benefits and salaries. Some companies have even switched to a 4-day work week.

What can I do to prevent my own great resignation?

Check in on employee wellbeing  

Be mindful that your employees are adapting to the impact of the pandemic, whilst adjusting to the ever-rising cost of living.

Make time to check in on your team and do so on a regular basis. Don’t let 1-2-1’s slip, they’re an important opportunity for your team to voice any concerns and speak about how they’re feeling. They’re also an opportunity to review development and career goals.

Consider if there are ways you can focus on and support wellbeing within your business, encourage open and honest communication and make sure your team knows that you care.


Organise an opportunity for your team to reconnect. Whether it’s an outside of work meet up, or a during work hours event, do something fun and light-hearted.

If you’ve reopened your office or you’re offering hybrid working, make sure your team know when you’ll be in the office. This will mean they know when they can chat and connect in person, should they wish to.

Regularly review staff salaries

It’s worth doing some salary benchmarking at least twice a year to see how your wages compare. There are free tools out there that will help you complete benchmarking. Make sure you’re offering your team regular salary reviews and that the plan for salary progression is clear within contracts.

Be flexible

Speak with your team to understand their needs and preferences over their work environment. You’re likely to find that many would benefit from flexible and hybrid working and if you’re able to accommodate, do so.

If you offer flexible, hybrid or remote work, be clear and communicate what this means for your employees. Everyone on your team should know if and when they’re able to work from home. Along with whether or not they have an office space they can access and when they can access it.

Refresh your staff benefits package

If you’re regularly asking for feedback from your team, you should be pretty clued up on what they think are good benefits. Do your research to find out what you can offer your team and weigh up what your business can afford. Then give people options and see what they think.

Get in touch

If your business has been impacted by the great resignation and you now need to recruit, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. We’d be happy to help!


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