UCL School of Management professor Anthony Klotz has featured in an article with the Financial Times. Known internationally for coining the term ‘The Great Resignation’, Klotz addresses his creation of what the Financial Times refers to as “one of the defining phrases of the pandemic”.
Focussing largely on employee movements within the US, the Great Resignation refers to an unprecedented wave of employees exiting their current employment for other opportunities or early retirement during the pandemic. According to the article, in April 2021, approximately 4 million workers had left the workforce, and British economists are already seeing parallels within the context of Great Britain.
To explain this extraordinary phenomenon, Anthony cites four primary causes: the uncertainty of the first year of the pandemic, employee burn-out, the psychological impact of the pandemic and the sense of liberation that sudden flexible working permitted. As Klotz postulates in the article, “autonomy is a fundamental human need”.
In terms of future predictions, Anthony is weary of making bold claims, but expects resignation rates to remain above average for some time while workers adjust to a post-pandemic world. He does, however, welcome further research into employment trends in order to fully unpack “the Great Resignation”.