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The Great Resignation

Bilhan Özdemirhan
by Bilhan Özdemirhan

Dr. Anthony Klotz, an organizational psychologist and a professor in the management department of Texas A&M University, coined the term "the Great Resignation" in May 2021. It refers to the fact that millions of people left their jobs voluntarily during the pandemic period and are still leaving.

To understand the reasons for this huge amount of resignation trend, we should also consider the people who would normally quit their jobs if there was no pandemic, postponed quitting due to the uncertainty caused by the pandemic. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey, there were close to 6 million fewer resignations in 2020 than there were in 2019 in the US.

Other than that, here are a few of the reasons:

· The pandemic has led to questioning what is most important in life. So, some just want to stay with their families while working, some just want to head towards their dream job, some just want to retire early...

· Some people like working remotely and don't want to go back to the office. They quit their job that calls them back to the office and start looking for a new job.

· Remote working also means many new alternatives for employees. They can live where they want and work wherever they want. So, it's no surprise that they quit their jobs and look for something better (such as better salary and benefits, more autonomy).

· One of the most important reasons is well-being. For many people, their job was a big part of their life. But with the pandemic, people began to question the meaning of it. Many employees are looking for jobs that make more sense to them. People want to do something that makes them happy and their life meaningful.

In a nutshell, The Great Resignation shows that employees are leaning towards a work-to-live mentality rather than a live-to-work!

It is known that the sector most affected by The Great Resignation is the hospitality sector including hotels and restaurants; retail establishments. It should be said that one of the areas most affected by this trend is technology roles. The trend of hiring employees from anywhere created by the world of remote working has greatly increased job offers for people working in technology roles that are more suitable for the nature of remote working.

So, How Is the Situation in Turkey?

We see the effects of this trend in the technology industry.

 As Team Melon, our insights on the impact of the big resignation trend in Turkey are as follows:

· Thanks to the remote work brought by the pandemic, people especially skilled in tech roles started to turn to companies of foreign origin, where they can earn more. This is a more important criterion in Turkey than in the United States, due to the socioeconomic status in Turkey.

· The money earned by many employees barely covers their living. Employees are looking for jobs where they will earn more and have more/quality benefits also in Turkey.

· Thanks to the “questioning the meaning” brought by the pandemic, employees began looking for jobs at companies that gave them more autonomy and the opportunity to develop themselves.

The questioning brought by the great resignation and Turkey's economic situation together cause especially qualified technical employees to migrate from Turkey. Of course, the economic situation is the main cause for this, however, especially young people of Turkey are questioning the meaning of their life and comparing their own lives with young people living abroad. These questionings have increased with the burnout brought by the pandemic, and we might say that the effect of the great resignation in Turkey was in this direction.

Some ideas to stop this resignation trend:

· Being flexible about working remotely, if possible.

· Giving employees autonomy to help them be creative.

· Getting rid of the toxic company culture that causes employees to experience burnout.

· Adjusting salaries according to new cost of living figures.

· Providing benefits that support the development of employees.

· For people to work in jobs they find meaningful, companies need to define company values (and of course ensure that these values live on) and be clear in their expectations from their employees. Employees also need to introspect to understand what they want to do in life and what they want to prioritize.