Technology Industry Resignations Outpacing Other Industries

Technologists are resigning their current positions in higher numbers than other professions, according to a new analysis of anonymized workforce data by Visier Benchmarks. An elevated rate of resignations could have a significant impact on companies that need technologists for a variety of critical tasks.

“While resignations actually decreased slightly in industries such as manufacturing and finance, 3.6 percent more health care employees quit their jobs than in the previous year, and in tech, resignations increased by 4.5 percent,” reads the analysis by study leader Ian Cook in the Harvard Business Review. That’s a potentially terrifying statistic for managers and executives who are concerned about technologist retention.

Fortunately for those organizations that want to keep their technologists onboard, there’s a strong correlation between these resignations and overwork: “In general, we found that resignation rates were higher among employees who worked in fields that had experienced extreme increases in demand due to the pandemic, likely leading to increased workloads and burnout.”

Every organization is different, of course, but if technologists are leaving because of long hours and burnout, it’s possible for managers to craft a solution to keep them onboard. Unfortunately, many technologists report feeling overwhelmed with work: According to the 2021 Technologist Sentiment Report36 percent of them said they were really burned out in the second quarter of 2021, up from 32 percent in the fourth quarter of 2020. Over the same period, those reporting they weren’t all that burned out declined from 38 percent to 31 percent.  

Technologists cited workload, hours worked, lack of recognition for work, and lack of challenges/monotony as their top reasons for burnout. It’s up to managers to determine whether their team members are tipping toward burnout, and taking appropriate steps to prevent that from happening—whether that means shifting workloads or adjusting schedules.

When it comes to those tweaks, the current state of office re-openings might make things a little more complicated. In the surveying for the Sentiment Report, 24 percent of technologists said their work-life balance was worse than before the pandemic (“There is nowhere to go, there is nothing to punctuate the workday,” one said). As offices open back up and many workers return on either a full-time or part-time basis, they’ll need to make sure their new schedules meet their needs for both productivity and unwinding. If they achieve the right balance (with help from their manager), they’ll be less likely to resign—but finding the right balance often comes down to trial and error.