Take a moment to think about the culture of work before the pandemic. Generally, people worked their 8-5 jobs, secretly miserable from constantly being on the brink of burnout, and molded the rest of their lives around commuting and sitting in an office.
Pre-pandemic, the world just started to recognize the connection between mental unwellness and working conditions. In May of 2019, the World Health Organization (WHO) officially recognized burnout as an “occupational phenomenon” in the 11th version of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD).
According to the ICD-11, “Burn-out is a syndrome conceptualized as resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed. It is characterized by three dimensions:
- feelings of energy depletion or exhaustion;
- increased mental distance from one’s job, or feelings of negativism or cynicism related to one’s job; and
- reduced professional efficacy.
Burn-out refers specifically to phenomena in the occupational context and should not be applied to describe experiences in other areas of life.”
One week before WHO’s announcement, Dr. Edward Ellison, executive medical director and chairman of Southern California Permanente Medical Group, announced that 44% of U.S doctors experience burnout and they are more likely to die by suicide than the rest of the population. Furthermore, studies indicate that a doctor dies by suicide every day in the United States.
Fast forward to March 2020. Medical professionals are more burnt out than ever before, employees in (nearly) every industry are expected to do their job well amid a global pandemic, extreme social tensions, and concerning news announcements, and many are too sick to work.
Although many employers tried to mitigate negative feelings by expressing compassion, keeping employees informed, and following CDC guidelines for decreasing the chances of COVID019 exposure, it wasn’t enough. People left the workforce in droves.
In April 2020, the unemployment rate skyrocketed from 3.6% to 14.8% (due in part to layoffs and business closures). As time went on, the unemployment rate decreased steadily, and it seemed as though America was getting back to work.
In early 2022, however, the Labor Department released its Job Openings and Labor Turnover report, which states that 47 million people quit their jobs in 2021.
Causes of the Great Resignation
Before we can understand how to combat the Great Resignation, we must understand why it happened.
According to the Pew Research Center, people quit their jobs for the following reasons:
- Low pay (63%)
- No opportunities for advancement (63%)
- Feeling disrespected at work (57%)
- Childcare issues (48% among those with a child younger than 18 in the household)
- Lack of flexibility to choose when they put in their hours (45%)
- Not having good benefits such as health insurance and paid time off (43%).
Winning the Battle Against the Great Resignation
The clear path to winning the battle against the Great Resignation is to provide what job seekers are looking for: adequate compensation, opportunities for advancement, flexibility, a compassionate working environment, and childcare options.
Synergy understands what job seekers and employers are looking for in this new culture of work. We pride ourselves on aligning top talent with organizations that value their skills. Contact us today to get started.