From the Great Resignation to the Great Regret

While the Great Resignation has become a buzzword over the past two years, there’s another term that some say is following the unprecedented wave of employee turnover. We’re talking about the ‘Great Regret.’ 

Reports consistently show the record-high average of 3.98 million workers quitting per month, and as employers struggle to source the underlying cause and scramble to fill open positions, it turns out that employees are finding that the grass isn’t always greener on the other side. In fact, over 70% of workers regret quitting their jobs. With these recent findings, another Great Resignation could be on the horizon. In order to break this workplace cycle, it’s important to understand what is sparking these feelings of job-change regret and how employers can better retain workers who might be contemplating a better role elsewhere.

Reasons for Regret

  • The new role is not what they expected. A new study of over 2,500 workers by the job site Muse found that nearly three quarters of employees realized that their new position ended up being “very different” from what they anticipated. There seems to be a disconnect between the interview process and the reality of the new role or organization. This “shift shock,” as described by Muse CEO Kathryn Minshew, comes from employees starting a new job that they think will check all the boxes, but then reality hits. As an employer, transparency is key to avoid false advertising of an open role. 

  • It’s difficult to discern the culture. The days of visiting an office to tour the environment, shake a few hands and get a feel for the company culture before accepting a new position are in the past. Now, we rely on Zoom interviews and email communication to support our decisions. Without the in-person bonds made in the workplace, employees are scrutinizing their new roles much more closely. While employees used to give a new role a few years to adjust into, research shows that 80% of millennials and Gen Z workers say it’s acceptable to leave a job in six months if it doesn’t live up to expectations. 

  • Employers can’t keep up. At the onset of the Great Resignation, workers began reevaluating their jobs and seeking opportunities for better work-life with reports showing that 81% of employees who worked from home through the pandemic don’t want to return to the office or they prefer a hybrid schedule. In addition to prioritizing workplace culture, which includes diversity, equity and inclusion strategies, workers are seeking roles where they feel their passions are fulfilled and they have a sense of purpose, as research shows that 70% of employees said that their sense of purpose is defined by their work. Organizations must strive to keep up to meet these new demands or they will find that new employees have that feeling of regret.

From the Great Resignation to the Great Regret, workers are realizing that the grass isn’t always greener in a new role or at a new organization. With new jobs failing to meet expectations, workplace cultures being hard to grasp virtually and employers failing to keep up with the evolving needs of employees, there are many factors to the evolution from resignation to regret. At Work Shield, we partner with organizations to cultivate cultures of integrity and trust that meet both employees’ and potential employees’ expectations.



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