Skip to content
1 in 4 workers quit their job this year, new report finds


At least one in four people have left their jobs this year, and the share could increase before the end of 2021, according to data from people analysis firm Visier. Its latest report shows the voluntary departures of more than 50 US companies and more than 500,000 employees in all industries.

While many employee surveys throughout 2021 predicted the proportion of people intending to quit, such as a PwC survey showing that 65% of people were looking for new jobs in August, Visier data from January through August reveals an annualized rate of 25% of people actually quitting their jobs this year.

This is a “substantial increase” even from 2019, says Ian Cook, vice president of people analytics at Visier, when 22% of employees left their jobs in a year of rotation record and tightening labor market before the coronavirus pandemic.

“The volume at which people change jobs is unprecedented,” Cook told CNBC Make It, which he said is not surprising given the way people have re-evaluated their work and personal values. during the pandemic, but it surprises employers nonetheless.

Another record 4.3 million people left their jobs in August, after several months of skyrocketing sales throughout the spring and summer of 2021. Businesses in certain industries, such as leisure and entertainment hotel ; manufacturing; Jobs in retail trade and other services are particularly affected.

Cook says executives who see today’s revenue as the result of a brief hiatus in their normal business operations, rather than a serious disruption in the workforce, have the wrong assumption on what needs to be done to retain and build the future workforce.

“There is a fundamental change in the way employees and employers have to interact,” Cook said.

Long-time employees and women drive the bottom line

Some workers are more likely to quit voluntarily than others, the Visier report notes, including those with five to 15 years of seniority, workers 40 to 45, and women.

Cook says it’s crucial to note that the workers most likely to quit these days aren’t just young professionals who are more likely to hope for a job due to the stage in life, at which employers can expect and prepare. Instead, when mid-career and experienced professionals step out, organizations lose more internal knowledge and face more serious disruption within their teams and leadership. These workers are also more expensive and take longer to replace.

The fact that incumbent employees are quitting at higher rates than usual makes the present moment a “one-time” and “destructive” event, Cook said. While part of this can probably be attributed to people who were planning to quit in 2020 finally feeling safe enough to do so, Cook says what’s more important is that “people are rethinking their careers, their work-life balance and the way they engage with work And that’s what employers need to commit to if they want to keep their employees. “

Rising quit rates among women are a concern for the workforce as a whole at a time when gender parity in many industries is still dismal.

“Every organization needs to take a close look at where it sees these resignations and put in place strategies to change that trajectory,” Cook said.

What employers are wrong about retention

Cook says many employers are approaching their retention efforts today as they would in a pre-pandemic era with a unique approach, such as performing compensation reviews, creating recognition programs, conducting surveys. for feedback on employee experience levels. and align roles and performance with market rates.

However, “this event is not like any other,” Cook notes. “You need different answers to the data. “

He says employers often make the mistake of prescribing solutions without first measuring where attrition occurs at the department, team or even individual level.

So rather than deploying company-wide surveys to measure employee sentiment, Cook recommends that executives first look at exit patterns: who leaves, what department they are in, and how. he increase in departures affects the company. This will give leaders an idea of ​​where issues are causing real event-based results, rather than measuring and averaging employee sentiment across the enterprise.

When companies identify the groups most in need of retention assistance, they can take targeted action to support those workers rather than rolling out generic programs and initiatives.

Cook gives the example of a company that wanted to manage turnover that had an impact on its income. When they looked at exit patterns, they found that women who disproportionately represented their share of shiftworkers were the most likely to leave, due to the rigidity of work schedules around childcare and childcare. dependents. Managers passed this data on to executives, then devised a strategy to change the structure of shifts and ensure that employees could schedule more accommodating schedules.

The targeted approach is crucial, says Cook, even for employees who have already expressed their intention to leave.

“Perhaps the worst reaction to this torque is to think, ‘Oh, there is nothing we can do,'” he said. “It’s always possible to dig, person by person, into what motivates their particular decision and create opportunities within the context of what they need to change their decision.”

To verify:

Businesses invested in mental health during Covid, but burnout is on the rise

Mass quitting workers ‘a good thing’, says workplace happiness expert – here’s why

“I prefer to bet on me”: workers quit their jobs to give themselves priority

Register now: Get more information about your money and career with our weekly newsletter

.