Explained: What is ‘The Great Resignation’, that has shook global workplaces

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A latest survey report by leading accounting firm KPMG has revealed that 39 per cent of the chief executive officers (CEO) have implemented a hiring freeze while 46 per cent of them are planning to downsize their workforce in the next six months. KPMG, one of the Big Four companies, spoke to 1,325 CEOs across 11 countries like India, United States, UK, Australia, Canada, China, France, Italy, Germany and Japan for its 2022 CEO Outlook report.

According to the report, the survey included 11 sectors including asset management, automotive, banking, consumer and retail, energy, infrastructure, insurance, life sciences, manufacturing, technology and telecommunications.

“With continued economic turmoil, there are signs the Great Resignation could be cooling down, with 39 percent of CEOs having already implemented a hiring freeze, and 46 percent considering downsizing their workforce over the next 6 months. However, the three-year view is more optimistic with only 9 percent expecting a further reduced headcount”, the report stated.

What is The Great Resignation?

In an interview to Bloomberg last year, Antony Klotz, an associate professor of management at Texas A&M University had coined this term after studying the exits of hundreds of workers.

Kolz had said the resignations were multiplied due to several pandemic-related factors like remote work, commuting, passion projects etc.

On May 24 this year, PricewaterhouseCoopers released a Global Workforce Hopes and Fears Survey 2022 report stating that one in every five employers was ready to switch to a new job. The Gen Z (aged 18-25) constituted the highest segment of the professionals willing to quit for better prospects. They were followed by millennials (aged 26-41) who comprised 23 per cent.

The report also pointed out that the pressure on pay will be the highest in the next 12 months. The predictors determining the resignation factor included these instances:

1) The employees are less likely to find their job fulfilling.

2) The employees are less likely to feel they can be their true self at work.

3) They are less likely to feel rewarded financially.

4) They are less likely to feel their team cares about them.

5) They are less likely to be listened to by their managers.

The report added, “Women are less likely than men to feel satisfied with pay, less likely to ask for a raise or promotion and less likely to feel listened to by their managers”.

According to reports, The Great Resignation took place due to factors like career progression, change career role or industry, unhappy with salary, strategy or direction of the organisation.


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