Countering the “Great Resignation:” a national conversation

January 27, 2022

As the pandemic wore on, many Americans began re-evaluating where they wanted to live, how they wanted to spend their time, and what they wanted from their careers. And millions of them quit their jobs. As our economy rebounds and the talent shortage becomes more acute, economic development leaders around the country are examining what they can do to help their local businesses navigate the challenges of the Great Resignation. Next week, I will be exploring these challenges with my peers at the International Economic Development Council’s Leadership Conference in California. Here are a few of the themes we will explore and what the Tampa Bay EDC is doing to support employers and recruit and retain talent.

Continuously attracting new talent, retaining skilled workers, and upgrading the skills of the existing workforce are essential for regions that hope to maintain their competitiveness. Here in Hillsborough County, our Board of County Commissioners recognized this and approved $1.5 million in funding over the next two fiscal years to revamp and relaunch the Make it Tampa Bay talent campaign. This campaign will target talent with the most in-demand skills and will be directed toward both out of market individuals looking to move to Tampa as well as our local community college and university graduates hoping to stay and launch their careers here. In addition, our Tampa Bay Economic Prosperity Foundation is launching a career awareness campaign designed to help people looking for a career-worthy profession to get certifications and other training that will allow them to secure good-paying jobs.

Among the other things my peers and I will be discussing at the conference include:

  • How can an entire community or organization leverage its culture to help retain employees and mitigate things like burnout?
  • What changes can be made to help employees feel more engaged and valued?
  • What “new norms” – such as working from home – will become permanent fixtures of the new workplace?

In today’s market, talented professionals have more options than ever before. The Great Resignation represents a tremendous opportunity for employers to come to terms with what their teams really need and forge a new path forward that benefits everyone. I am looking at this with a sense of great optimism and hope you are as well. There’s so much to be gained from making our workplace cultures better and ensuring that our team mates are feeling heard and supported.