Great Resignation Or Great Reshuffle?

The Great Resignation: The Complete Overview

Great Resignation or Great Reshuffle
Image Credit: Keystone-France via Getty Images

There are a ton of new buzzwords floating around the workplace. It makes sense why – the world’s workforce switched how it worked in 2020. Professors, business leaders, and journalists have been staking their claims on new terms and trends ever since.

Two of the important trends that have been coined recently are The Great Resignation and The Great Reshuffle. 

If you’re wondering what each means and how they compare, this article is written for you.


Great Resignation Vs. Great Reshuffle

The Great Resignation primarily focuses on people choosing to leave their roles at record rates.

See Also: Great Resignation Statistics (2022): The Full List

The Great Reshuffle primarily focuses on people searching for better-fitting jobs, careers, companies, or work environments.

Think of it like this: The day you quit, you became part of The Great Resignation. The day you started your new career, you became part of The Great Reshuffle.

Here’s how they compare:

The Great Resignation

The Great Reshuffle

Who coined the term?

Anthony Klotz
Texas A&M Professor

Ryan Roslansky

CEO at LinkedIn

When was it coined?

May 10, 2021

June 22, 2021

Where was it first mentioned?

What does it mean?

The decisions of millions of workers to quit their jobs during the pandemic

The decision of millions of workers to search for more fulfilling roles or careers

What are the key trends?

- People leaving companies

- People starting they own businesses

- People leaving the workforce altogether

- People switching companies

- People changing careers

- People moving cities (with the ability to work remotely)

What is the key statistic?

"In 2021, 47.8 million workers quit their jobs (a record)" (SHRM)

"In 2021, new hires totaled 75.3 million" (BLS)


The Great Resignation

The Great Resignation was coined by Dr. Anthony Klotz, an associate professor of management at Texas A&M University. In May of 2021, Klotz shared the term in a Bloomberg interview to describe the decisions of millions of workers to quit their jobs during the pandemic.

Here are some key statistics that demonstrate the term:

  • “47.8 million workers quit their jobs, an average of nearly 4 million each month, meaning 2021 holds the highest average on record.” (source)
  • “U.S Census Bureau figures show that Americans filed a total of more than 5.4 million applications to start new businesses in 2021, surpassing the record set in 2020 of 4.4 million.” (source)
  • “According to Microsoft’s 2021 Work Trend Index – a survey covering more than 30,000 people in 31 countries – over two-fifths of people are considering leaving their employer in the next year. And flexibility and hybrid work opportunities have become a deciding factor for many.” (source)
  • “Conducted by Catalyst and Harris Poll, the survey of 903 workers finds that half of working Americans want to make a career change.” (source)

See the full list of great resignation statistics.


The Great Reshuffle

I searched on Google for the earliest mention of The Great Reshuffle month by month starting in 2020. The first mention comes from the CEO of Linkedin, Ryan Roslansky, in this post. Roslansky describes the term as “an unprecedented moment in the history of work where all of us are rethinking not just how we work, but why we work.

Since then, others have defined the term more specifically. Charlotte Edmond, from the World Economic Forum, defines The Great Reshuffle as “millions of people have left their jobs in search of more fulfilling roles with greater flexibility.

Here are some key statistics that demonstrate the term:

  • “According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), in 2021, new hires totaled 75.3 million and separations (including those who quit, were laid off or left for other reasons) totaled 68.9 million. That equates to a net employment gain of 6.4 million.” (source)
  • “46% of remote workers plan to relocate.” (source)
  • “94% of US Retailers Are Having Difficulty Filling Vacant Positions.” (source)
  • “63.4% of employees would like to be considered for new and different career opportunities in their organization.” (source)


Great Resignation Or Great Reshuffle: Which Are We In?

Sorry in advance – both.

The Great Resignation was the first one to come out, is the most well-known, and acts as the umbrella term to explain the record-setting movement of workers.

The Great Reshuffle came out second, is lesser known, and can be described as a subset of The Great Resignation.

Starting in 2020 and continuing into 2022, we’re still experiencing both trends.


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About the author

Henry OLoughlin

Hi, I'm the founder of Buildremote. I have worked from home for a decade and run a fully remote, four-day work week company for eight years. I've made all of the mistakes running a remote company. I hope if you read my site, you'll be spared.

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