[Ads-l] WOTY Candidate: Great Resignation

Wed Dec 8 22:57:23 UTC 2021

I'm seeing a lot about the "Great Resignation," a reference to the large numbers of employees voluntarily leaving their employers.  All sources agree in attributing the term of Anthony Klotz, a professor of management at Mays Business School of Texas A&M University; I have not been able to antedate that, although perhaps someone else can.  Specifically, it seems to derive from an article in Bloomberg Businessweek by Arianne Cohen, May 10, 2021, https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-05-10/quit-your-job-how-to-resign-after-covid-pandemic, which began as follows:

              "Ready to say adios to your job?  You're not alone.  "The great resignation is coming," says Anthony Klotz, an associate professor of management at Texas A&M University who's studied the exits of hundreds of workers.  "When there's uncertainty, people tend to stay put, so there are pent-up resignations that didn't happen over the past year."  The numbers are multiplied, he says, by the many pandemic-related epiphanies - about family time, remote work, commuting, passion projects, life and death, and what it all means - that can make people turn their back on the 9-to-5 office grind.  We asked Klotz what to expect as the great resignation picks up speed."

Incidentally, as I understand it, the Great Resignation has not been driven by the factors Klotz anticipated; he seemed to think that white collar workers would threaten, and follow through with, resignations if their employers made them return to the office. Instead, I gather that it is driven primarily by hourly workers who are able to move to new jobs with higher compensation and/or better working conditions, and to a lesser extent by workers taking early retirement (which would not normally be called "resignations").

John Baker

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

More information about the Ads-l mailing list