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How to turn the Great Resignation into great opportunities

The scramble to attract and retain workers can quickly change a company’s fortunes — for better or worse. Solutions are within reach.

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  • | 2:10 p.m. December 9, 2021
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To companies and organizations scrambling to keep up with increased demand, from restaurants to police departments to construction crews, there’s nothing great about the Great Resignation.

Coined by Texas A&M Associate Professor of Management Anthony Klotz in May, the Great Resignation — others dubbed it the Big Quit — is a working theory easily visible to any executive, entrepreneur or hiring manager in the region. They see it in the droves of people leaving or quitting, sometimes totally getting out of the field they are in. The domino effect, of course, follows: less productivity and more burnout in the people who remain at their post. And the cost — in money and aggravation — in hiring replacements can be painful.

Nationally, the data is seismic: Some 4.43 million people quit their jobs in September, according to U.S. Labor Department data. That was a new monthly record, topping the August record, when 4.27 million people said sayonara to their company. The quit rate as a percentage of total labor force in September, according to the Labor Department report, was also a record, at 3%.

The Great Big Question: what can employers do to push back, or in the words of a recent report from Tampa staffing firm Kforce, turn the future of work into a Great Opportunity? This package explores those questions, in examining what six organizations in the region are doing to both recruit and retain top people.

A core theme emerged from the reporting and data analysis: treat your people well. That simple concept, often preached by consultants and workplace experts, has multiple layers. It includes providing opportunities to grow, not just in title, but in skills; more pay; and, in that great pandemic pivot, more remote working opportunities.

Todd Sweet, a partner with Sarasota-based Sweet Sparkman Architecture and Interiors, sums up his firm’s approach with a philosophy worth emulating, given the high stakes. “Our staff is the most valuable asset in our practice and we try to treat them as such,” Sweet says. “We want them to feel safe and happy and provide them with an atmosphere where they can truly explore and be creative — this, in turn, helps retain them.”


Read about solutions that regional companies have found success in keeping employees during the Great Resignation:




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