In it's purest form, the Great Resignation is simply about employees no longer accepting what to them is now unacceptable. A very simple conclusion has taken place on the part of workers that now realize life is too short to spend even one more hour accepting conditions of their employment that are not supporting their newly desired future state.
The result of this epiphany has been a monumental and purely voluntary departure from the North American workforce of over 41 million employees, just in the last 10 months.
So why did this ultimatum finally get disposed? The first position of blame most are looking to is the C suite, and those in these roles now have proper cause for concern for their own tenure. One could easily state that it has largely been bad leadership practices and attitudes toward employees that are at the root of this situation.
Employees today, across all age groups, want to be treated with dignity and respect. They want to be recognized for their contributions and supported when they have difficulty. They want to feel like they are part of something bigger than themselves and to work for people who strive to provide them with options that will make their lives better. Employees are leaving companies in droves right now in search of this type of employment and many will continue to leave until they find it.
This Big Quit is also showing no sign of easing. Resignation levels announced by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics in March were over four million, continuing to prove pundits who say it has tapered out, wrong. This new reality on the heels of the pandemic experience has left little more to show for itself than 11 million job openings, an exhausted workforce, and significantly declining productivity in almost every sector.
So what's on the horizon in response to this workplace situation. Many expect a significant amount of management positions to be replaced with more empathic, more understanding leaders. Those who believe it is the company's role to improve the overall lives of those they lead. A new area of employee support expected from this shift is a much stronger focus on overall employee financial wellness. New leadership strategies understand that the employer has to be more to the employee than a pay stub when it comes to finances.
The current state, very few organizations offer access to financial wellness as a benefit. This is destined to change however as expanded financial wellness benefit offerings are now being viewed by these new leaders as well as most economic experts as critical for obtaining a better, more loyal and much more productive workforce.