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3 layers of nuances to the ‘Great Resignation’

Coined the ‘Great Resignation’ by businesses and management Anthony Klotz, who used the term in interviews and opinion pieces about the phenomenon in mid-2021, millions of employees in the US and around the world have been quitting their jobs as the pandemic subsides. From unsatisfactory treatment by employers to the mental health impacts of lockdowns and beyond, it’s no wonder that more and more employees are thinking twice about their jobs. In this Pacific Prime article, we’ll tell you how they’re approaching it. 

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1. Saying an outright ‘no’ to employers and quitting one’s job

There are many reasons why employees take the plunge to quit their job. According to a survey by the Pew Research Center, the majority of employees quit because of low pay, no opportunities for advancement, child care issues, and lack of flexibility, as well as good employee benefits like health insurance and paid time off. Interestingly, the survey also finds that employees who found jobs elsewhere were more likely than not to agree that their current job better meets their expectations. 

The power of renegotiation 

Oftentimes, employees don’t even have to go as far as quitting their job. Simply asking to go back to the negotiation tables – with the threat of resignation looming, does the trick. With the ongoing ‘war for talent’, employees have the upper hand to try and ask for a higher salary, paid family leave, the ability to work from home full time, and more. As Karin Kimbrough, the chief economist of LinkedIn, confirmed in an NPR article:

“There are twice as many jobs on our platform as there were a year ago.”

2. ‘Boomeranging’ or quitting one’s job and coming back 

While some employees prefer their new jobs, this isn’t necessarily the case for all employees. In fact, almost half (43%) of employees who quit their job during their pandemic now admit that they were actually better off at their old job, as per a survey by UKG, a leading provider of HR, payroll, and workforce management solutions. The result? These employees consider going back to their old companies and/or jobs.

From the employer’s perspective, hiring an old, stellar employee can be helpful because they’re already familiar with the company culture and may require less training. Their time at another organization can also be beneficial as they’re exposed to new ideas and ways of doing things, and may be able to apply their learnings to their old company. But on the other hand, this can also send confusing messages to existing employees about company loyalty.

3. ‘Quiet quitting’ or setting clear boundaries at work

Another category of employees who are burnt out at work are deciding to ‘quiet quit’ instead. You’ll see them do their jobs to their best ability, but setting clear boundaries for themselves. For instance, they might refuse to stay late after work hours or do anything beyond their job descriptions. Besides being burnt out, other reasons for quiet quitting include being unsatisfied with growth opportunities or benefits, or lack of recognition for doing extra work. 

In the short-run, quiet quitting may seem like an easy fix for employees. But, as it doesn’t solve the root cause of the issue, it might be better to have an open and honest conversation with the employer instead. In addition, quiet quitting could also sabotage one’s career in the company in the long run as employers won’t get to see the employee’s full potential or what they’re truly capable of achieving. 

Get in touch with Pacific Prime today!

One way to show employees that you’re concerned about their physical and mental wellbeing – and, thereby, preventing any of the aforementioned scenarios – is to offer comprehensive employee benefits solutions. As a global health insurance brokerage and employee benefits specialist, Pacific Prime can help companies like yours design, implement, and manage your employee benefits offerings using a tailored and technology-driven approach

Arrange a consultation with a member of our corporate team today!


Senior Content Creator at Pacific Prime
Suphanida is a Senior Content Creator at Pacific Prime, an award-winning global health insurance and employee benefits specialist.

With over 5 years of experience in the field, Suphanida spends the majority of her day synthesizing complex pieces of insurance-related information and translating this into easy-to-understand, engaging, and effective content across a variety of media such as articles, infographics, whitepapers, videos, and more.

Suphanida is also responsible for planning and publishing three whitepapers released annually by Pacific Prime: The State of Health Insurance Report, The Cost of Health Insurance Report, and The Global Employee Benefits Trends Report. Additionally, she handles the LinkedIn profiles of Pacific Prime’s Founder and CEO, as well as Global HR Lead.

Suphanida’s strengths lie in her strong research and analytical skills, which she has gained from her BA in Politics from the University of Warwick and Erasmus Mundus Joint MA in Journalism from Aarhus University and City, University of London.

Being of Thai-Indian origin and having lived, studied, and worked in Thailand, the UK, and Denmark, Suphanida also has a unique, multicultural perspective that helps her understand the struggles of expats and globetrotters.

Outside of work, she enjoys traveling to new places and immersing herself in different cultures.
Suphanida Thakral