The Great Resignation – What does it mean for Ireland?

Thousands of people have quit their jobs in the US over the past 18 months, but has the Great Resignation made it across the Atlantic Ocean?

Handing in your notice seems to be the trend right now. Dubbed “The Great Resignation”, 41% of people worldwide are planning to quit their jobs according to Microsoft’s 2021 Work Trend Index. The trend has reached Ireland too with 42% of Irish people planning to resign in the next 12 months. The results apply to every sector, no matter if someone is working for an SME or a big multinational. So what’s going on?


The reasons are legitimate and varied. The pandemic and pivot to remote working seem to have given people more time to reflect on their careers and what they want from their jobs. Workers were able to see how their current workplaces responded to the pandemic, giving an insight into what working for them would be like post-pandemic. Many did not like what they saw. 

According to Workhuman’s study, 36% of male employees wish to leave their current job to find a more flexible position. For women, the driving force is better pay. Another portion of those surveyed sought a better office culture with 20% not wanting to work in the office 5 days a week. 

Burnout is also a huge issue among Irish employees. Some 65.5% of women and 59.5% of the men revealed that they had experienced burnout during their careers. Many employees feel that their employers just don’t care about their work-life balance with many feeling that they receive too many emails and Teams messages after work hours.

Long term effects

Employers need to take the Great Resignation as an opportunity to improve their work practices. For example, implementing the SMART work design can be a way to improve employee satisfaction and retain talent. For those unfamiliar, SMART stands for;

S – Stimulating Work

M – Mastery Opportunities

A – Agency

R – Relational Experiences

T – Tolerable Demands

Giving employees more agency over their work, regular feedback on how they’re doing and how they can improve and ensuring they feel supported in their work keeps employees engaged and loyal and will help you retain talent for longer. It will also lower your costs over time as loyal staff leads to less turnover and lower recruitment costs.

For those who are planning to leave their current roles in the next few months, be prepared for a very competitive job market. Ensure that your CV is up to date and tailored to each job that you’re applying to. Generic cover letters and CVs won’t make you stand out and can hamper your attempts to get your foot in the door. 

Talk to recruiters and find out what trends they’re seeing and where the opportunites are. Nobody knows the current job market like a recruitment company so use their knowledge and talent to your advantage.

  • Share this post