The Great Resignation: why are your people leaving?

Your people are leaving. And this isn’t new news to you.

Our Learner Survey Report discovered that 40% of people are looking to leave their jobs in the next 12 months – an enormous number, but right on track with the Great Resignation.

2021 was dubbed the year of the “Great Resignation”, with redundancies in the UK at their lowest level since the mid-’90s, and open vacancies at their highest on record. Now, the world is experiencing a ‘candidates’ market’, where job seekers are driving the narrative and demanding more from salaries, benefits, and the workplace.

Even Beyonce has supported the global movement in her new single ‘Break my Soul’,  an ode to millions in the US leaving their jobs for better opportunities.

So, how did we end up here? Why are people leaving and causing this Great Resignation?

Time to reflect

So, obviously, the pandemic happened, and that had a massive impact on the Great Resignation.


The idea of people leaving in their droves began brewing before the pandemic; but as the world shut down, and many of us had time on our hands, we began reflecting on our personal and professional lives. People used this time to think about what they wanted from their careers, and what steps they were going to need to reach this path. The answer? Learning!

Our research discovered that 43% of people want more learning. However, 33% of people are not getting the training they need to progress in their careers. So, how can you stop your talent from leaving? It’s an easy solution: you can keep your talent from leaving by providing them with learning before someone else does.

Learning for career progression has never been easier. With a Learning Management System (LMS), your people will have access to eLearning, as and when they need it. You can even continuously track progress all in the same place. And don’t forget, 72% of global organisations see LMS’ as a competitive advantage. Sounds tempting, right? Find out more here.

Return to the office? No thanks

Frankly, a lot of people just didn’t want to return to the office. 90% of UK workers said that after the pandemic, they would prefer to stay remote working or adopt a hybrid model, and who can blame them! Remote working provides more flexibility and less commuting time. In fact, 68% of workers have said they’re more productive whilst working from home as there are fewer distractions (pets don’t count).

But come 2021, a third of UK employers expected their employees to return to the office full time. For many people, this was a massive turning point. With over 87% of UK employers embracing remote, hybrid, or flexible work schedules, people realised that there were companies out there that could provide for their work/life balance, and they wouldn’t have to stay in jobs that refused to flex.

Money, Money, Money

The pandemic was tough. And now a cost-of-living crisis? With UK inflation growing to 9.1%, its highest rate in 40 years, it’s an extremely worrying time for everyone.  Many people are now finding that their salary isn’t stretching as far as it used to, and they’re soon going to need more money to live. And with many employers slow to respond to the changing climate, they’ll be looking elsewhere.

And a great way to save money? There’s that flexible working again! People want more flexibility in their roles so they can cut down on costs including childcare and commuting. Remote working provides the opportunity for parents to pick children up from school and continue working, saving more than £2,590 per year (per child!) on afterschool care.

It’s always sad to lose your people for financial reasons. So, how can you mitigate this? Listen to what your people need! Remote/hybrid working to cut commuting costs? Flexible hours to support childcare? Updated perks with discounted food shops? These are all relatively small gestures (which your competitors already provide) that show your people that you care about them and their needs. Your people will gain a great sense of belonging, increasing retention.

Your people are just burned out

Who can blame them? In the past few years, we’ve been through a global pandemic, and now we’re running headfirst into a recession. 54% of workers feel exhausted and overworked, with 1 in 5 saying their employers don’t care about their work-life balance.

Without modern technology, we wouldn’t have been able to get through the pandemic. How would we have coped in the first lockdown without Netflix’s Tiger King and Zoom quizzes? More importantly, working from home just wouldn’t have worked, so for technology, we are grateful.

But that same technology can blur the lines between work and personal life, causing your people to burn out. Ensure you’re offering the right work-life balance for your people, otherwise, you will lose them.

Top tips for a better work-life balance:

  • Ensure your people actually take a lunch break, and get away from their desk
  • Encourage daily walks
  • Promote switching off – no checking emails in the evenings or at weekends
  • Don’t contact your people outside working hours – your people have the right to disconnect
  • And don’t make them feel guilty for taking their annual leave!


We know that almost half of your workers are looking to leave. So, what can you do about it? Listen to your people! Whether they want more opportunities for career progression, flexibility, hybrid working, or benefits, only your teams can tell you what they really need.

Interested in providing a strong, engaging L&D plan to retain your people? Speak to an expert today.

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