Part 2: The Great Resignation: Where did all the people go?

MIAMI VALLEY — The Great Resignation has millions of people walking away from their jobs.

This mass labor market movement has led to ever-expanding options for workers. It’s also led to employers scrambling for the best way to attract — and keep — talented employees.

NewsCenter 7’s Mike Campbell described the experience workers are going through in Part 1 of the Great Resignation.

>> PART 1: The Great Resignation: Where did all the people go?

Now he’s digging into what employers here can do to survive, and thrive, in the situation and what impact the job market shake-up will have on Dayton and the Miami Valley.

The Great Resignation is easy to spot in some ways.

The Help Wanted Signs are out in front of almost every business.

Local Business Boosters are talking with employers about what they need to know in order to attract, and keep, those workers.

Holly Allen is the Vice-President of Marketing and Communication for the Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce.

“They are all seeing the same thing, there is a labor shortage,” she said when speaking about employers.

The Chamber has 2,200 business members in nine Miami valley counties and the hiring situation is tough for all of them.

“They are Having a hard time filling positions, no matter what the position looks like,” Allen said.

>> ‘It was instinct,’ Centerville bike attack victim recounts fighting and screaming during assault

Allen said the chamber is working hard to help large and small businesses in the Miami Valley fill their workforces, but it’s not a one-size fits all solution because there are many reasons people are walking away.

“Some are moving to other jobs, some are leaving the workforce altogether, then you have the retirement factor playing into all this,” Allen said.

A recent job market trends report from the group Job Lists found that more than half the people that left the workforce are over 55. Many of those experienced workers are taking early retirement.

Millions of other workers are pointing to things like burnout, lack of childcare, the desire for remote work or simply, the desire for jobs they truly enjoy with a positive environment.

Gabby Moore said she recently quit her restaurant job after nearly seven years.

“You know what, I couldn’t do it anymore, it’s not worth that amount of money,” she said.

Several factors played a role.

It wasn’t just about the money.

>> I-Team: Reports of people being tracked by Apple AirTags increasing; What to do if it happens to you

Moore told us that she and her co-workers at a Mexican restaurant chain store location took a pay cut at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, with very little communication from supervisors about that pay cut.

She said she could have survived that, but she said she didn’t want to deal with managers that didn’t treat workers with respect and created toxic environments for workers.

“There’s so many ways to make money now, you don’t have to go and be treated horribly,” Moore said.

Business boosters told us that changing worker attitudes needs to change employer attitudes and approaches.

“You push the offer across the table, say take it or leave it, I’ve got a stack of 50 others who will take the job if you don’t want it, that’s not going to cut it anymore,” Allen said.

Allen made it clear that the Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce is making it a priority to give their 2,200 members the tools needed to keep their employees.

We also reached out to a Human Resources professional about the things employers should be thinking about.

Nikki Wilson worked in Human Resources for General Motors and is now the Chief People Officer for the Richards Group in Chicago.

TRG maintained high retention rates through the pandemic by listening to employees..

“They want to be valued, supported and appreciated,” Wilson said. “They’re searching for something different, something that fulfills them in terms of personal desires and professional needs as well.”

Wilson believes companies must be more inclusive in hiring, and in giving workers more ways to be heard.

“Companies perform better when employees are engaged and connected,” Wilson said.

Some HR professionals are thinking about referring to all the job movement as the Great Renegotiation instead of the Great Resignation because so many workers are leaving for what they believe will be better situations.

Dayton-area business leaders believe that will end up working in our favor in the Miami Valley. The region has always had a reputation for a good workforce ― blue and white collar employees.

Now, there is even more working in our favor.

“Dayton has all the amenities of large cities but we don’t have the traffic or the high cost of living,” Allen said. “We know we’re in a good place — COVID-19 played in our favor.”

Chamber of Commerce employees believe that a lot of people are trying to downsize their life from large cities like New York, Chicago and Los Angeles.

Those people, they believe, want to go to places that are a little less hectic and a little easier to navigate in terms of jobs and families ... and that, they believe, is Dayton.

Comments on this article