Why “The Great Resignation?” The Top 10 reasons why employees are quitting at record levels.

Nearly 3% of the workforce quit their jobs in October. That’s over 4 million resignation letters. And it is just shy of the record set the month before.

Last month I speculated on the top 5 reasons on LinkedIn. That post received nearly 200 comments. Many suggested additional reasons. So, here are the top 10 contributing reasons and 3 factors that I believe are negligible…

1. Horrible Bosses – 70% of workers who voluntarily resign don’t quit their job… they quit their boss. 

Here was a comment from the CEO of SHRMJohnny C. Taylor, Jr.,

“People don’t leave jobs, they leave bad managers and bad cultures. The pandemic has shown many of us what truly matters, and what truly matters is PEOPLE. Employees want to feel valued and appreciated. They want to feel like they belong. And it’s time for workplace leaders to step up.”

2. Lack of freedom – Many workers have been remote over the last two years. They’ve gotten used to work-from-home. Namely less stress and greater flexibility. Now many are being mandated to go back to the office.

3. Friends – According to Gallup, “Those who [have a best friend at work] are seven times as likely to be engaged in their jobs.” The pandemic has weakened work relationships.

4. Peer Pressure – You can’t discount the “knock-on” effect of job-hopping. All of a sudden you start seeing coworkers or friends quitting in droves. You begin to question it yourself.

5. Generational – Millennials and GenZ are now the vast majority of workers. They don’t see work the same way as previous generations. Job hopping isn’t a black mark any longer.

6. Mo’ Money – In the words of Ray DuBeau Jr., “Money is the conduit that allows people to live their lives. Companies and industries that are offering above-market rates aren’t experiencing the great resignation.”

7. Start-Up Boom – Americans started 4.3 million businesses last year, a 24% increase from the year before and by far the most in the 15 years that the government has kept track. Applications are on a pace to be even higher this year.

8. Childcare – lack of it has forced workers, particularly women, from reentering the workforce.

9. Upskilling – According to Lon Graham, “During the pandemic, a lot of people enrolled in online classes, online training, and other skill-building activities. The one’s who did are now worth more to the marketplace and are leaving current jobs for the jobs they qualified themselves to get.”

10. Purpose – According to Margarita Andryushenko, “If an employee doesn’t feel like they’re making a difference or if the work they are doing actually matters, that’s a big deal-breaker right there. People want to feel connected and important to the work they’re doing.”

… and 3 reasons that aren’t valid in my view: Vaccine Mandates, Handouts, and Gig Work.

What other factors are contributing?

Follow me on Twitter or LinkedIn.

Stan Phelps walks the walk. He stands out in the sea of sameness by modeling his own Differentiated Experience (DX) message: Differentiation isn’t just about what you say, it’s about what you do and, more importantly, how and why you do it. Stan leverages his unique collection of 5,000+ case studies on customer, employee, and brand experience to engage audiences with informative learning-based experiences. He believes purposeful DX wins the hearts of employees and customers, and differentiation ultimately boosts loyalty, retention, referrals, and results.

Find Stan’s in-person and virtual keynotes, workshops, and Goldfish tank programs at StanPhelps.com.