The Great Resignation: Who is Leaving and Why 

As a key player in your organization, you may be viewing the mass exodus known as the Great Resignation and wondering if it will happen to your company next. Or maybe it already has, and you’re wondering how to manage it.

The truth is, to understand why almost half of employees are currently seeking new opportunities, we need to understand who’s leaving and why. 

Recent analysis has shown that the following groups of people are the most likely to leave their current roles: 

  • Mid-career employees (ages 30-45)
  • Women in general
  • Those who work in the health care and technology industries 

The reasons cited for leaving include burnout, lifestyle reevaluation, and to seek remote opportunities and better work-life balance.

To combat this, it’s important to determine who’s most likely to leave. By identifying the root causes for these trends within your organization, you can build your recruitment and retention strategies around them.

How to retain employees during the Great Resignation

Conduct an initial data analysis

In order to effectively retain your workforce, you need to know where the issues lie and determine if your attrition trends follow the national patterns outlined above. The best way to understand this information is through conducting data analysis. Anonymous surveys, questionnaires, and focus groups can help you capture how employees are feeling about their jobs and unearth how likely they are to stay with you. From there, you can analyze these trends and develop strategies around it. 

As an example, let’s say you conduct a survey and the results show that a significant percentage of parents with children feel that their work schedules are too rigid and don’t allow flexibility for childcare needs. And when you dig deeper into the data, you discover that a large percentage of these parents are women who are strongly considering leaving the organization within the next six months. From these results, you could consider implementing a flex work arrangement option. 

Listen to your employees

After you’ve done your initial research, take it a step further and talk to your people one-on-one. Ask your top performers what they enjoy, what they think could be improved, or even what they would consider leaving the organization for. Ask your lower-level employees what they appreciate about their roles, how they’re feeling day to day, and what they’d like to see changed.

Develop a people-first approach

People need to know they matter, and sometimes it’s the little things that make all the difference. 

Anything your organization can do to show daily appreciation can cause a huge boost in morale. This can range from thank-you cards to company-wide rewards or recognition programs. (After all, everyone is motivated by rewards!)

Call centers (or anyone working with the public) can reward points for excellent customer service – for example – which then go towards a charity donation of their choice or a small prize from the company store.

Boost your employee development opportunities

This strategy may be the most effective yet simplest one to implement. 

Regardless of the type of industry they work in, employees desire to improve their skills and follow a clear career roadmap.  

Self-paced, online training is a great way to provide various types of skill-building and career development opportunities that employees can complete at their own pace, on their own schedules. 

At OpenSesame, we help with this by offering curated elearning courses for all ages and demographics. Losing women to other opportunities? Or just lacking a diverse workforce in general? Try our DEI courses. Mostly Gen Z employees? Have fun while learning with some gamification courses.

Conduct exit interviews

Despite your best efforts, some employees will still leave. Capture their perceptions on their way out the door by conducting exit interviews. 

We know – it’s not always fun to do these. But think of it as a learning experience. You have a valuable opportunity to gain insight on what your people think of your organization that you can use to improve. After conducting enough of these interviews, you’ll start to notice trends and patterns emerge that you can use to improve your organization’s culture and offerings.

Learn how OpenSesame can help your specific organization achieve its training goals.


Cook, Ian. “Who Is Driving the Great Resignation?” Harvard Business Review, 15 Sept. 2021, 

Derler, Andrea. “These Are the People Still Most Likely to Quit during the next Wave of the Great Resignation.” Fast Company, Fast Company, 2 Nov. 2021, 

O’Connell, Brian. “How to Retain Employees during the Great Resignation.” SHRM, SHRM, 9 Feb. 2022, 

Panel®, Expert. “13 Ways Managers Can Keep Valuable Employees during (and beyond) the ‘Great Resignation’.” Forbes, Forbes Magazine, 10 Dec. 2021,