Great Resignation, Great Attrition, Big Quit or Great Attraction? 

After inflation and supply chain issues, the national business headlines post COVID have been full of the Great Resignation or it’s flip side, the Recruiting Crisis. While there have been shortages of critical talent in various industries, never have we struggled filling positions from entry level hospitality to advanced degreed technical positions. This crisis has been affecting consumers to business and government.   

The Great Resignation is also known as the Big Quit and the Great Reshuffle. The term "Great Resignation" was coined by Anthony Klotz, a professor of management at University College London's School of Management, in May 2021.

HBR Average Monthly Quit Data

According to the Labor Department, in the US in 2021 alone, over 47 million voluntarily quit their jobs.

And it’s not a problem that’s going away. In fact, the Harvard Business Review points out that while COVID created a dip then spike in the “Quit Rate” during 2020-21, the rate has been increasing steadily for over 10 years.  

This problem is endemic, and leaders will need to understand it and take action. 

A Microsoft 2021 Report found more than 40% of the global workforce considered quitting their job and a PWC survey found 1 in 5 were likely to switch jobs in the near future and the numbers are worse for Millennial and Gen Z workers. These are staggering numbers. 

If you’re running an organization of any kind with 100 employees, you may be losing 20 to 40 of your team this year.   

This is expensive and disruptive, and extremely difficult to find replacements with unemployment at 3.6%, or maybe lower depending on where you’re located. 

PWC imageSolving this problem could mean the difference between the extremes of surviving or thriving this decade. While this sounds like a problem common to organizations and their leadership, this has always been an HR responsibility. McKinsey thinks management is unprepared to deal with this issue as it requires data and skills that are in short supply at top levels.   

You can’t solve a problem you don’t understand.   

Leadership and senior HR executives need an intelligence platform designed to understand this problem. Gut instinct will not work for this one as remote work, diversity and generational differences make it hard for older managers to practice Management by Walking Around (MBWA) methods to stay close to their employees.   

 A recent Navy contract to study attrition and remote work issues caught our attention. In particular, the need to provide survey, focus group and interview data collection services and couple it with our expertise in language AI for the purposes of understanding the soft issues underlying these issues. While we have been providing Learning Analytics for training, this project opened our eyes to much larger trends at play. And specifically, the critical intelligence gap confronting leaders of these organizations.  

We are conducting our own research and consulting with experts in this field to define the intelligence needs and assemble the partners and technology to address the problems. We will be posting our thoughts on this blog as we progress and welcome your comments.  

Topics: business intelligence, artificial intelligence, Survey Analytics, Learner Analytics

Tom Marsh

Written by Tom Marsh

Tom serves as CEO of Bintel since cofounding the company in 2019. and as COO of ai-one inc since 2009. Tom led the Topic Mapper project for NASA MSFC and consulted on the RS-25 Engine Cost Reduction team. Tom led the development strategy and deployment support for text analytics, knowledge management and intelligent agent systems.