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Could LinkedIn notifications be contributing to the Great Resignation?

An associate professor of business questions whether the visibility of LinkedIn members’ mobility skews the view of what a career path entails or even the time that should be invested when taking on a new position.

Could LinkedIn notifications be contributing to the Great Resignation?
[Photo: Souvik Banerjee/Unsplash]

Every day, a new LinkedIn post conveys a career shift (awaiting likes, loves, and celebrations), and another media outlet highlights the Great Resignation, or what’s now being dubbed the Great Reshuffle. Together, these factors may be tempting others to follow suit. 

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Millennials and Gen Z are currently proving to be the driving force behind the Great Resignation, and these generational cohorts are also the most active on social media, citing LinkedIn as their preferred professional platform. Since many posts tend to be about growth (either personal or industry-based), notifications highlighting advancement may be aggravating those feeling stuck and frustrated with their post-pandemic workplace 

Millennials are a dominant demographic on LinkedIn (with roughly 87 million users) and engagement with Gen Z has increased and now comprises LinkedIn’s fastest-growing online audience. LinkedIn saw a surge in overall users in 2020, coinciding with the shift to remote work and online learning, and usage rates continued to grow throughout 2021. 

Presently, member activity shows no signs of slowing down and LinkedIn conversations are up by 55%. Push notifications and job alerts encourage users to log on regularly to monitor what is happening within their network and, on average, 40% of LinkedIn users change their role or place of employment every four years.  

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Over 100 million job applications are submitted on LinkedIn each month. While that may sound beneficial for industry executives seeking new talent and recent graduates hoping to be hired, it’s a daunting figure for those looking to retain existing staff. 

The visibility of LinkedIn members’ mobility may also be skewing the view of what a career path entails or even the time that should be invested when taking on a new position for young professionals.

Loyalty to one’s employer has been waning over the years, and current labor shortages are demonstrating this fact. Turnover rates are no trifling matter, because replacing an employee can equate to about 33% of that position’s annual salary. And what is even more troublesome is that turnover tends to inspire more turnover, as it dampens an organization’s morale and culture. 

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Nevertheless, job-hopping is a common practice, and online notifications are emphasizing and normalizing this trend.  

It is important to note, however, that while social media use and promotional posts may be influencing the job-hopping of Gen Z and Millennials, the root cause of their career concerns runs deeper.  

These generations were the first to be raised in a child-centered society and received the most structure and attention as part of their upbringing —which may be why 71% of Millennials expect colleagues to be like a second family.  

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Workers who are in the early years of their career are counting on organizations to provide a workplace culture that thrives on a sense of community and camaraderie. Yet, the ability to cater to such needs for connectivity was strained in 2020. This problem persisted in 2021, and resulted in disengagement today.  

According to a survey covered in a recent Harvard Business Review article, 30% of new hires left their position within just 90 days of employment and cited organizational culture and the mismanagement of workplace expectations as reasons for resignation.  

Evidently, managers will need to devote more time in 2022 to nurturing the culture and value systems of their firms while engaging employees in the process of socialization to ensure dedication. Establishing mentoring opportunities within organizations has already been gaining traction. Leaders would be wise to embrace this trend, as younger staff members now presume mentoring comes with any position. What’s more, cross-mentoring has been found to enhance company culture while promoting skill and team development 

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It seems the progress and perseverance of employees is what matters most right now, and so managers should move quickly to promote relationship building and bolster morale. 

Managers should also be mindful that younger employees want to discover their purpose, not just receive a paycheck for the work they do. Pay special attention to those between 25 and 34 years old, as they’re interested in chasing job prospects if their current position is leaving them feeling unfulfilled. And, since this age group makes up a bulk of LinkedIn users, providing opportunities to celebrate and share mini-milestones for online accolades may serve, in a small way, to keep turnover temptations at bay while buying managers time to cater to the expectations of these workers. 

LinkedIn may just be the premier career platform. So, for those who are logged-on and loyal users of LinkedIn, it’s important to remember that notifications of others’ resignations shouldn’t necessarily trigger your own. The grass always appears greener on the other side, and sometimes things can turn out to be pretty good right where you are if you give it time.  

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At the end of the day, a job is a job. Not every day will be filled with passion and fulfillment. In truth, most days won’t, and that’s okay 


Kimberlee Josephson is an associate professor of Business at Lebanon Valley College and an adjunct research fellow with the Consumer Choice Center.


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