Why the 'Big Stay' Is Replacing the 'Great Resignation'

Guest Blogger
Why the 'Big Stay' Is Replacing the 'Great Resignation'

The workforce landscape has undergone many transitions in recent years as multiple factors shook up the economy and workplace. One of the most notable trends was the 'Great Resignation,' where employees left their jobs en masse to seek new opportunities. However, as economic conditions evolve and the world adapts to new realities, a new trend is emerging—the 'Big Stay.' This phenomenon suggests that employees opt to stick with their current jobs to navigate the uncertain times.

Let’s take a look at the reasons behind the shift from the 'Great Resignation' to the 'Big Stay' and explore what this trend means for both employees and employers.

Introducing the Big Stay

The term 'Big Stay' was coined by economist Nela Richardson in a commentary based on ADP research. It reflects the prediction that employees will hold onto their current positions, defying the previous trend of mass resignations, or as you may have heard, ‘The Great Resignation.’

Let’s look at some of the recent stats that seem to be showcasing why this trend is emerging,

  • In the first quarter of 2023, quit rates dropped by 5% from the previous period and dropped by more than double compared to a year ago.
  • Labor force participation rates for workers aged 25 to 54 reached 83.3%, the highest rate in 25 years.
  • Year-over-year pay increases for job switchers decreased from 16.4% in June 2022 to 13.2% in April 2023.

Why the Big Stay is Here

Economic Reasons: One driving factor behind the emergence of the Big Stay is the changing economic landscape. The candidate shortage and market competitiveness has recently diminished quite significantly. With more candidates re-entering the job market, job seekers have less leverage to secure lucrative offers, and companies are not as desperate to attract top talent.

New Job Challenges and Mental Health: Starting a new job can be mentally challenging. A significant amount of job seekers experience anxiety when leaving or finding a job. In fact, 87% of job seekers report nervousness associated with job transitions, with over half stating that starting a new job is scarier than activities like holding a snake or skydiving.

The Big Stay as a Product of the Great Resignation: The Big Stay can be seen as a natural outcome of the Great Resignation. During that period, many employees switched jobs for new opportunities. However, research suggests that individuals tend to stay engaged in their new roles for a year or two before considering another move. Thus, the Big Stay is partly a reflection of the current market shifts and partly a result of many employees being relatively new in their roles.

What to Keep in Mind as an Employer

Burnout and Quiet Quitting: While employees may be staying in their roles, they are often required to do more with less, contributing to burnout, low job satisfaction, and decreased labor productivity. The 'quiet quitting' concept arises, where employees are disengaged but not openly expressing it. This disengagement can be detrimental to overall organizational productivity.

Job Satisfaction Despite Productivity: Despite a drop in productivity, a Gallup report reveals that employee satisfaction with work is increasing. Employee engagement has reached record highs, indicating that workers find their jobs meaningful and feel connected to their teams, managers, and employers. This positive sentiment can have far-reaching implications for global productivity and GDP growth.

Working with Talent Partners: Navigating and adapting to shifting workforce trends requires effective talent acquisition and retention strategies. Partnering with experts can help companies tailor their approaches to changing market conditions.

The transition from the 'Great Resignation' to the 'Big Stay' marks a significant shift in the workforce. While the 'Great Resignation' saw a surge of employees seeking new opportunities, the 'Big Stay' reflects a tendency to weather economic uncertainty by sticking with current roles. As companies rebuild strategies with new talent, there's an opportunity to drive engagement and productivity. The role of front-line managers is crucial, as they influence 70% of a team's engagement. Employers must prioritize manager effectiveness and foster employee engagement to navigate the changing workforce. 

For assistance in navigating changing dynamics within the workforce and ensuring your organization's success in the era of the 'Big Stay,' consider reaching out to DZConneX—a trusted Total Talent provider dedicated to helping companies thrive in the evolving workforce landscape. Talk to an expert today.


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