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The Great Resignation

Updated: Feb 9, 2022

The Great Resignation has been creating waves towards the end of 2021 in the US and Australia. This trend is impending to land in New Zealand this year and impacting the employment market.

So, what is The Great Resignation? The Great Resignation is a wave of people quitting their jobs due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, which led many to re-think where, how and why we work.

The Great Resignation has inspired other terms describing the shift in how we view our roles at work, including “The Great Reimagination,” “The Great Reset” and “The Great Realisation.”

It is forecasted that New Zealand will see resignations in significant numbers in the coming months. It’s easy to assume employees leave their jobs due to low pay, however, there are other key drivers for this trend.

So, what are the key drivers for this trend?

  • Salaries and Hourly Rates - This is the obvious one, employees seeking salary increases. Due to the rapid increase in inflation and cost of living, people are needing an increase in pay and salary to meet their needs. People are also growing more and more aware of their worth with salary expectations on the rise – up to 15-20K more for the same job as compared to two years ago.

  • OE (Overseas Experience) and travel - As we are becoming full vaccinated, borders are opening and there is a shining light at the end of the tunnel, people are looking to pick up their travel goals where they left them pre-Covid.

  • Flexible working and WFH (Working from home) - Flexible work arrangements will be the norm, not the exception. Giving workers the choice of where to work from and when.

  • Burnout - Long working hours, environmental changes, juggling work-life balance and other stresses like financial stress all have an impact on employees’ mental wellbeing.

  • Changing Priorities - Lockdowns have allowed people to really have a think about what is important to them in the workplace.

As an employer, what can be done?

‘The Great Resignation’ is certainly an alarm bell for employers to act positively – to drive hard to make their businesses places employees want to stay at and want to work for.

Other than increasing staff pay, other factors that attract people to a new job and retain staff are:

  • Flexible working practices - Allowing people to work at times and in ways that work for them. Physical presence is not always necessary if people are meeting their deadlines, delivering quality work that meets the specification, communicating, and effectively planning so time is managed well.

  • Better employee benefits - Putting some extra effort into employee wellbeing. Creating a Wellbeing Plan/Programme that provides staff with education, advice and support, incentives, etc is little to no cost to the company, but means a lot to workers and shows the employer cares.

  • More stable work - e.g. salaried 9-5 vs. varying shift work.

  • More meaningful work - Now more than ever we all want to know our work matters. Show how they contribute to the greater good, communicate how the organisation is making a difference.

  • Prospect of career growth - Most people want to grow and evolve and see a path to both earning more and expanding their skill set. Make growth and advancement a key part of your culture, invest in your people, inspire them to stretch and become a bigger version of their awesome selves.

2022 is forecasted as the year this will kick in, and we are already seeing some of these indicators in the market. So take another look at your workplace plan and see if they align with the points above.

If you’re wanting help discussing how you can better support your staff's financial wellbeing, get in touch with Spring today or email us at

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