Great Resignation Behavior Analysis Informs Better Brand Messaging

The world of work has experienced a seismic shift in the past two years, and who knows what 2022 may bring? Brands are making decisions right now that will impact them for years to come, so making informed predictions is a must. And this applies to both attracting consumers and to internal messaging designed to retain workers.

Understanding why workers are leaving their jobs in record numbers informs brands’ next steps in more ways than one. Many brands are building better messaging using the Great Resignation as a basis for behavior analysis webwide. It reveals potential challenges and opportunities that will apply to any vertical.


The Great Resignation – by the Numbers

Over the past year, people in the following professions are participating most often in the ‘great resignation’ conversation online:

Great Resignation Behavior Analysis Informs Better Brand Messaging

But the numbers alone do not tell the entire picture, of course. We see worker shortages all around, with Leisure and Hospitality suffering the most losses, unsurprisingly:


As noted our initial infographic above though, there are particular pain points – and opportunities – in manufacturing, which accounts for the lion’s share of conversation happening there. In fact, one author at the NIST proposes renaming it “‘The Great Recognition,’ which captures how both employers and employees are learning and evolving, [and so that] we as a nation can begin to directly address these challenges and take action to fill the 900,000 open jobs in manufacturing right now.”

Manufacturing jobs are in high demand, as they are skilled positions requiring a good amount of training to perform. They are no quick fixes for worker shortages there, and significant losses at any large manufacturer can shut down entire industries – which we saw at the beginning of the pandemic.

The shifts in worker needs, responsibilities, safety protocols and training have surged to the forefront along with COVID this year. And as we head into 2022, it will be important for companies to monitor brand health through the worker happiness lens if they hope to continue moving forward. Their productivity depends on it.

How can brands do this? Forums are a great place to start.

Using Forums to Monitor Workplace Conversation

It’s expensive to lose a worker and hire a replacement. But it’s also expensive to have a ‘disengaged’ worker who is only moderately on board with your company’s mission.

According to Gallup, “replacing workers requires one-half to two times the employee’s annual salary. So, it costs $9,000 a year to keep each disengaged worker and between $25,000 and $100,000 to replace them.” So, companies need to understand what workers are saying – about work. It’s the best way to improve morale and turn around the dismal retention rates plaguing many industries right now.

When we search our Great Resignation conversation, we turn to conversation happening on forums for raw, unprompted feedback and business and working conditions. And the top spot for everything ‘raw and real’ is often Reddit, with this topic following suit:


And examining subreddits where these conversations are taking place, we can identify themes around why workers are moving on, in general:


And we can dig into specific, relevant subreddits to reveal firsthand accounts of worker distress -and ways companies can fix it.

Remember, these workers are consumers as well. And even if your workers aren’t your target customer, they likely have the ear of those who are – especially when they speak out en mass, boycotting your business!

Consumers Support Workers’ Struggles

Over the course of this pandemic, consumers have shown us time and again that they are increasingly making purchases based on their values. And the best marketing campaigns lately acknowledge these shared values.

One company that’s always on-point is Patagonia. They offer up consistent messaging and activism, carving out a place for itself in the environmental responsibility and sustainability space, with a mission statement that’s pretty hard to find fault with: “We’re in business to save our home planet.”

Their marketing often focuses on sharing the stories of the people making a difference, making themselves into a brand that transcends its product offerings. As a result, its consumer base is extremely loyal.


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Not every brand needs to rise to the level of Patagonia, of course. But they stay ahead of consumer expectations, and they’ve set a super high bar. Your brand can do the same, by setting your own consumer bar and then exceeding those expectations. And right now, that bar is being set by the state of your workers’ environments.

Consumers are watching to keep companies accountable on diversity, inclusion and environmental claims, as well as supporting workers in their demands for equitable work environments.

Are you monitoring your workers’ online conversations for potential challenges on the horizon? Reach out for a demo to get those concerns on your radar so you can get ahead of them


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