80% of employees who quit with ‘big resignation’ regret it: new survey

The “big regret” is the latest workplace trend sweeping the country, with the majority of professionals who left their jobs last year wishing they could, according to a new survey.

2022 was another record year for layoffs, with 4.1 million workers leaving their jobs in December, bringing the total to over 50 million for the year. About 47 million quit a year ago because of higher wages and better working conditions. According to a new study by Paychex, 8 out of 10 professionals who quit their jobs now regret their decision.

Paychex surveyed 825 employees and 354 employers who quit during the “great layoff” to analyze the impact of the layoff frenzy and measure employee job satisfaction.

They found that mental health, work-life balance, workplace relationships and chances of re-employment suffered as a result.

Gen Zers struggle the most

According to Paychex, Gen Z employees remember their old jobs the most. A whopping 89% of Gen Zers say they regret quitting and that their mental health has suffered as a result.

Jeff Williams, Paychex’s vice president of enterprise and HR solutions, told CNBC Make It that “the ‘big resignation’ caused a lot of regret among employees looking for new opportunities. Among those regrets, employees missed their co-workers.” . “These friendships create a sense of community among employees, creating a positive company culture—something else employees missed in their previous jobs.”

“Our research found that 9 out of 10 people reported changing industries after quitting, and professionals who changed industries regretted their choices 25% more than employees who stayed in the same industry. Gen Zers were the most likely to miss working in an office, and Gen Xers were the most likely to miss their previous jobs. they missed out on a lot of work-life balance.”

Apparently, the job rewards, benefits, and culture that led to the massive resignations of young workers aren’t enough to satisfy them.

“Despite satisfaction with mental health and work-life balance influencing many resignations, only half of our survey respondents said they were satisfied with their mental health (54%) and work-life balance (43%) in their new jobs. Unfortunately, Gen Zers reported the lowest levels of positive mental health and work-life balance.”

No devotion, no emptiness

While most employers say they are open to rehiring employers, some are more hesitant, questioning the loyalty of boomerang employees.

When asked if they want to rehire employees who quit during a major layoff, 27% of employees said yes and have already hired at least one former employee. 43 percent said yes, but they should not be rehired yet, and 30 percent said no.

“Anecdotally, we believe that more employers are open to the idea of ​​boomeranging employees back into companies,” Williams explains. “Tight labor markets, specialized skills, lead time, and knowing the quality of expected work are cited as reasons for hiring managers. Those hesitant to rehire emphasize loyalty, expected compensation, and underlying doubts about employee motivations. .”

“Many employers either want or have given people their jobs back, and the average business has probably already done so. But for others, loyalty in the workplace prevents employers from giving them back. Returning employees saw a 7% increase, but 38% of employers was unwilling to offer new benefits to former employees. About a third of employers would not consider giving people their jobs back, and blue-collar employers are 17% more likely than white-collar employers to feel that way.”

Turning over a new leaf

It’s natural to take time to reminisce about the good old days, but Williams advises employees not to dwell on the past too long.

“Nostalgia is the enemy of growth. If your former employer won’t hire you again, be realistic and move on. Realize your worth, be confident in who you are, and move on.”

As employees figure out how to turn over a new leaf, Williams suggests “starting with a fresh perspective on what you’re overseeing.”

“For example, you control whether a trusted friend reviews your resume. You control networking on LinkedIn. You control going to networking events, taking a night class to improve your skills, and giving yourself a favor in the search.”

Williams also says that employers should try to avoid future layoffs to put “stability” on your resume, and that while things may look bleak now, it won’t last forever.

“The great resignation changed not only the workplace, but also the mindset of those looking for better job opportunities. The good news is that there is hope for business people who have changed their minds about the decision to resign. Many employers are willing to rehire people and improve their benefits.” .


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