The Great Resignation: Fact or Fiction?

Pave Data Lab
July 20, 2021
min read
Pave Data Lab

Enter: The Great Resignation

We’ve all read the headlines. We’re experiencing the great resignation.

But is it real? 

Are employees actually leaving their jobs in search of greener pastures en masse? 

As COVID-19 winds down and the pressure to attract and retain talent increases, we’ve been hearing this question more and more from our customers. 

So, our data team at Pave looked at the numbers and found that it’s not just hype - something big is definitely underway.

What does the data say?

Let’s acknowledge that companies are known to experience more churn in the summer than in the other seasons. 

Kids are on vacation from school and, honestly, who really wants to quit their job between Thanksgiving and Christmas?

But, this isn’t particularly new information. 

What is new however, is the extent to which this is true in 2021. 

The spring data for 2021 came in at an employee churn rate two times higher than that of years prior. And it’s holding strong for the Summer 2021 where we are seeing record employee turnover and the July data hasn’t even come in.

So, what does this mean? A couple things:

  1. When we said “greener pastures” earlier, we meant it. Our data is describing the percent of employees who have not only left their jobs, but also started new ones. So, perhaps the “Great Resignation” should instead be called the “Great Transition”?
  1. If you’re not seeing much churn in your organization, congratulations! However, we’re certain your employees have heard the phone ring (or more likely the sound of a LinkedIn InMail) and are considering, if not possibly already in the process of, finding a new role.
  1. We’re at the peak. It is likely that the Fall of 2021 will be lower than this summer (inline with historical), but we still expect higher than average churn compared to prior years.

But what do the experts say?

To be sure, we spoke with Nathalie McGrath, Founder of The People Design House, to help make sense of it all. Nathalie works with lots of companies attempting to grow fast like Nova Credit, Newfront, Ethos, and others. 

“I have been a part of a number of conversations about employee turnover and strategies to address these increasing levels. We’re seeing employees leaving organizations for reasons including; burnout, remote work (either pro or against), compensation, or dissatisfaction with leadership. It’s empowering to see the data, share the unbiased version of our reality with our leadership teams, and take tangible steps in the right direction.

Our advice to clients to manage this ‘Great Resignation’ starts with collecting data. Do a compensation review and gather an engagement survey. Knowing the data is only step one. Build a plan to make sure that knowledge isn’t wasted.”

- Nathalie McGrath

Nathalie is not alone in the group of leaders facing this challenging wave. And it's up to them to navigate the ship through dangerous waters.

Don’t fall behind the market

The market is changing rapidly and we are seeing world-class people teams stay up-to-date using market data products and other compensation toolkits. 

They are proactively reviewing benchmarks as the first step in a broader plan to assess the health of their employee base and start a much needed conversation about retention in the face of the Great Resignation. 

Enjoyed this discussion? Send us a message at with any questions you’re looking to explore from compensation data. We’d love to answer them. 

Learn more about Pave’s end-to-end compensation platform
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