The “Big Regret” is the latest workplace trend sweeping the nation, with a majority of professionals who quit their job last year wishing they could do it again, according to a new poll.
2022 was another record year for quitting – 4.1 million Workers left their jobs in December, raising the total for the year over 50 million. Rough 47 million quit a year earlier, citing higher pay and better working conditions as incentives for her exit. Now 8 out of 10 workers have quit their job regret their decisionand new Paychex study finds.
Paychex surveyed 825 employees who quit during the “big layoff” and 354 employers to analyze the impact of the layoffs and measure employee job satisfaction.
They found that mental health, work-life balance, workplace relationships and the chance of re-employment suffered.
Gen Zers struggle the most
According to Paychex, Gen Z workers remember their old jobs the most. A whopping 89% of Gen Zers say they regret quitting and their mental health is deteriorating as a result.
“The ‘big layoff’ has created a lot of regret from employees who were looking for new opportunities. Among those regrets, employees were most likely to miss their co-workers,” Jeff Williams, vice president of enterprise and HR solutions at Paychex, told CNBC Make It. “These friendships create a sense of community among employees and create a positive company culture — another thing employees missed about their previous job.”
“Our research found that 9 in 10 people said they changed jobs after leaving, and that workers who changed jobs were 25% more likely to regret their choice than workers who stayed in the same job. Gen Zers were most likely to miss office work, and Gen Xers missed the work-life balance of their previous jobs the most.”
Apparently, the job perks, benefits, and culture that prompted young workers to join the big layoff aren’t enough to keep them happy.
“Despite satisfaction with mental health and work-life balance, which influences many terminations, only about half of our survey respondents said they were satisfied with their mental health (54%) and work-life balance (43%) ) to be satisfied in their new job. Unfortunately , Gen Zers reported the lowest scores for positive mental health and work-life balance.”
No loyalty, no leeway
While the majority of employers say they are open to rehiring job hoppers, some are more hesitant and question their loyalty boomerang staff.
When asked if they would be willing to rehire employees who left during the big layoff, 27% of employees said yes and that they have already rehired at least one former employee. Forty-three percent said yes but will need to be rehired, and 30 percent said no.
“Anecdotally, we think more employers than ever are receptive to the idea of boomerang employees returning to the company,” Williams said. “Tight labor markets, specialized skills, time-to-performance, and knowledge of the expected quality of work are cited as reasons by hiring managers. Those who are reluctant to rehire emphasize loyalty, expected reward, and underlying distrust of the employee’s motives.”
“Many employers want or have given people back their jobs, with medium-sized companies most likely already having done so. But for others, workplace loyalty seems to deter employers from even welcoming them back. Returning employees received a 7% raise, but 38% of employers were unwilling to offer new benefits to former employees. Almost a third of employers do not consider giving workers back their jobs, and manual workers are 17% more likely than white-collar workers feels that way.”
Open a new leaf
It’s natural to spend time reviving the good old days, but Williams advises workers not to dwell on the past for too long.
“Nostalgia is the enemy of growth. Be realistic and move on if your former employer doesn’t hire you again. Know your worth, be confident in who you are and move forward.”
As employees figure out how to turn a new leaf, Williams suggests “starting with a fresh perspective on what you control.”
“For example, you have control over having a trusted friend review your resume. You are in control of connecting on LinkedIn. You are in control of going to networking events, taking a night class to improve your skills, and showing decency in your quest.”
Williams also says workers should try to avoid job hopping in the future to bring “stability” back to your resume and that while things may seem bleak now, it won’t last forever.
“The big layoff has not only changed the workplace, but also the mindset of those looking for better job opportunities. The good news is that there is hope for job hoppers who have changed their decision to quit. Many employers are willing to reinstate employees and improve their utility as well.”
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