The Great Resignation - Then and Now

The Great Resignation of 2021
Then and Now

Introduction to The Great Resignation

i-quit-walkingDuring the Covid pandemic, many employees began seeking changes as they re-evaluated their priorities and tried to decide what was important to them.
Many workers responded by quitting their jobs as they looked for positions with better work-life balance, better career opportunities, more meaningful work, and even more flexibility in their working arrangements.
During this time, a Microsoft Work Trend Index found that 40% of people wanted to change jobs. More U.S. workers quit their jobs than during any other time in the past 20 years. Over 47 million Americans voluntarily quit their jobs in 2021, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
This unprecedented mass resignation, known as The Great Resignation, forced employers to rethink their employee relationships.

Side-by-Side Comparison: Then vs. Now

The Great Resignation (2021):

  • Issues for Employees to Quit: The desire for better work-life balance, more meaningful work, improved career opportunities, and more flexible work arrangements.
  • Employee Sentiment: Many employees felt disconnected from their jobs, peers, managers, and the company’s mission, leading to widespread dissatisfaction.
  • Work Trends: Hybrid and remote work became highly valued, with many employees enjoying the flexibility and reduced commuting times.
  • Statistics: 47 million Americans quit their jobs, with 40% more considering job changes (Microsoft Work Trend Index).

That was Followed by - The Great Regret (2023-2024):

  • Current Sentiment: Some employees who left during the Great Resignation are experiencing "The Great Regret" as they realize new positions may not have met their expectations. According to a survey by Joblist, 26% of workers who quit during the Great Resignation regret their decision.
  • Re-Evaluated Priorities: Employees are now looking for stability, consistent company culture, and reliable benefits. They value companies that provide ongoing support and career development opportunities.
  • Evolving Work Environment: Hybrid and remote work remain popular, but there is a renewed appreciation for in-person interactions and cohesive company culture. A recent study by McKinsey & Company found that 58% of employees prefer hybrid work, but they also value occasional in-person collaboration.
  • Employer Actions: Companies are focusing on creating engaging work environments, offering better mental health support, and improving communication between all levels of staff. Data from LinkedIn's Global Talent Trends report indicates that companies investing in employee well-being and professional development see a 33% reduction in turnover.

Key Actions for Employers to Retain and Attract Talent

  • Listen to Employee Needs: Actively seek and respond to employee feedback to create a more appreciative, empathetic, and caring work environment.
  • Foster Personal and Professional Growth: Provide opportunities for employees to grow personally and professionally, ensuring their work aligns with their ambitions and values.
  • Enhance Meaningful Work: Involve employees in meaningful projects and give them a say in how, when, and what they work on.
  • Show Appreciation: Make employees feel valued by recognizing their contributions and reinforcing that they are essential to the organization’s success. See these great opportunities to Recognize Employees


Steps All Organizations Can Take Today!

  1. Always Show You Care: Demonstrate that your company genuinely cares about its employees by providing meaningful work and more control over how, when, and where they work.
  2. Career Growth Opportunities: Support employees in their career development by offering guidance, training, and opportunities for new career directions within your company.
  3. Focus on Base Pay Over Benefits: Address concerns about the rising cost of living by prioritizing increases in base pay rather than adding more benefits.
  4. Work-Life Balance: Recognize the importance of work-life balance by considering commute times and the number of days required in the office.
  5. Develop a Remote or Hybrid Work Model: Create a strategy that accommodates remote or hybrid work, balancing company progress with employee satisfaction.
  6. Flexible Work Guidelines: Establish guidelines for how, when, and where work should be done, allowing employees to adjust as necessary to be most effective.
  7. Communicate Changes Clearly: Keep current and prospective employees informed about flexible work schedule plans to eliminate uncertainty about your commitment.
  8. Improve Ongoing Communications: Enhance communication channels to listen more to employees, acknowledge their input, and clearly convey the organization’s mission, goals, and challenges.
  9. Incorporate Employee Recognition: Create a Culture of Recognition in your organization. Regularly recognize and show appreciation for  employee length of service and their significant contributions through awards and gifts, boosting job satisfaction and retention.

Select-Your Gift offers many easy Employee Recognition solutions ranging from a comprehensive Points-based Software Platform, to Award of Choice solutions -  with options for either Physical Recognition Catalog Packets or a Virtual award-of-choice option which is sent via email. Tier-level based, gift-of-choice awards are perfect for Service Awards and all types of recognition awards, or for Holiday Gifts and Appreciation gifts for your employees or clients.  See Recognition Options and Award Packages 

From Employee Appreciation Gifts and Christmas Gifts, to function-rich Points-Based Programs, Select-Your-Gift has solutions to help.

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