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Is the main reason for The Great Resignation workplace stress?

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50% of workers are relying on savings following resignation  

According to the collaborative learning platform 360Learning, nearly 40% of workers across the UK who have either quit their jobs in the past year or are thinking about leaving said that they had asked their bosses for pay rises, more growth opportunities, or more fulfilling work but had been turned down.  

Instead of leaving their jobs for better positions, however, over 50% of workers surveyed said they are or will be relying on savings to make ends meet with some stating that they’re being financially supported by their partners (21%) or family (15%), while Universal Credit and retirement benefits are the chosen route for others.   

When asked why they had quit or were planning to quit, 23% cited feeling burned out or stressed; 21% said they were unfulfilled, yet only 13% said it was because of low salaries. This compared to the US where low salaries were the main reason (22%) people changed jobs compared to burnout (18%) and lacking fulfilment (18%). Another 11% of respondents said they resigned because they wanted to work remotely and their employer would not allow them to do so.  

Learning and development continues to be important to workers with 72% of respondents in management roles quitting because they felt they lacked the adequate training and support to help them manage workplace stress better.  

Respondents were asked what training they’d like with responses including being given the opportunity to develop managerial skills, upskill within their role, courses on how to grow within the company and guidance on how to adapt to the changing nature of work.  

According to results, among the managers in the surveyed group, 44% said they didn’t receive adequate training at any point as part of their role. Nearly one third (29%) said they were disappointed with their onboarding training specifically and 38% felt that their onboarding was not tailored to their role.

Of those who said they lacked fulfilment in their current role, one fifth said their job was boring and another fifth said there wasn’t any room for career development. A further 14% added that the job wasn’t teaching them anything new.  

The underlying reasons behind the UK’s Great Resignation 

The survey results come as people apparently quit their jobs in droves – a trend that has been dubbed The Great Resignation although there are many industry leaders who are not sold on the concept…  

Analysis by Deutsche Bank at the start of 2022 found that the UK’s resignation rate is the highest it’s been since 2009, with redundancies at their lowest level since the mid-90s and open vacancies the highest on record. In the US, experts have previously attributed the phenomenon to a lack of adequate childcare, as well as health concerns around COVID-19 however, the survey by 360Learning’s has revealed that it is a different situation in the UK.  

It doesn’t appear to make much of a difference whether someone has children or not as 45% of those surveyed who had quit their jobs, or were thinking about leaving, were childless, whilst for those who had between one to six children, the number was 47%. These findings suggest that the factors behind leaving or wanting to leave a role are more multifaceted than simply childcare.  

The survey results also showed that health concerns were one of the smallest driving factors for quitting a job, with only 11% citing the pandemic as their reason for resignation, for example, because they wanted to work remotely but their employer wouldn’t let them. 

The remote working conundrum  

The arrival of the pandemic was, however, cited as a major concern among 33% of respondents when asked why they wanted to work remotely. The majority (63%) of respondents who have been working remotely said they felt more engaged with their employer after making the switch from working full-time in an office.    

In what could, however, be seen as a positive outcome of the Great Resignation, 33% of those surveyed who have quit their jobs, or plan to, said they plan to start their own business rather than find another role. Almost a quarter plan to go freelance – perhaps to be their own boss, control their hours and stress.    

Nick Hernandez, founder and CEO at 360Learning, said: “It’s clear there is a major disconnect between workers and their employers right now. This disconnect comes down to poor communication on behalf of employers, poor training practices, and a lack of meaningful opportunities for employee growth. Our survey shows that people are craving flexibility and knowledge, as well as the chance to learn with – and from – their peers. When people don’t feel like these needs are being met, they choose unemployment and rely on savings over staying in a job where they are unhappy. This shows us we’re in the middle of a major shift in how successful organizations are engaging and retaining their top talent. We need to give people the chance to learn from their peers and grow in their roles by upskilling from within. For employers concerned about losing staff, or who are competing to secure talent in a competitive job market, this should be a wake-up call to look at how you encourage staff from day one.”  


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