Happy New Year! Business View asked a variety of executives, “With ‘the Great Resignation’ ending up as the buzz phrase for 2021, what would you like to see as ‘the Great Focus’ for 2022?”

written by BVC January 14, 2022

Dan Julien, VP Business Development for NewFound Recruiting, Ottawa, Ontario:

“I’d like it to be ‘People Satisfaction’ for 2022. We’ve had all these resignations, so many businesses wondering why people are leaving… so why don’t we put the focus back on our people. Have companies work with their people to make them as happy and successful as possible. I think we all got a big punch in the face in 2020 about work/life balance and what is important, when we sat at home for two months and didn’t see anyone. So I’d like to see the satisfaction of individuals as the theme for 2022.”

Chris Poulos, VP & GM for West Point Lincoln, Houston, Texas:

“I think ‘Mental Health’ should be the focus. With COVID and the things we have been through as a nation, outbreaks of violence… I think a lot of that has to do with people being shut in an environment for so long. COVID has created a mental health crisis all over the world and we have to get a handle on it because it can wreck a society if we don’t put some resources toward it.”

Katherine Lord, Director of Club Spa & Fitness Association, Alexandria, Virginia:

“I would say ‘Compassionate Resilience’. The key to resilience being that you’ve responded to this crisis and you’re building back better, with more skills, more energy, more passion, and more perspective. So for 2022, I’d like the focus to be ‘Compassionate Resilience’ because we are all so empathic and recognizing that we’ve been through a lot and we just need to take care of one another. But we have to take care of ourselves, too.”

Jeff Kraft, Deputy Director Colorado Office of Economic Development & International Trade, Golden, Colorado:

“I think ‘flexibility and listening to our employees’. As employers, we need to listen to our employees, listen to some of the new generations coming into the workforce that have a different relationship with technology. And we need to be flexible and adopt new work modes and styles that can incorporate all the different generations and technologies. We want our baby boomers and Gen Xers to stay in the workforce, and we want to welcome our younger generations. We need to make the best possible work environment, so we can stay competitive and keep our employees happy, and engaged, and productive, and safe from a public health perspective. That’s very important.”

Dean Trantalis, Mayor of Fort Lauderdale, Florida:

“I thought 2021 was going to be a year in which we could look at COVID-19 in the rear view mirror and be able to escape its clutches. But the reality is, I think COVID is going to continue to be with us in 2022 and we just have to be better at convincing people to be vaccinated, and to get more people protected from the disease. We need to be better shepherds of our communities than we have been in the past. In 2022 our focus in Fort Lauderdale is to reach out to more industry to partner with the city and try to bring more jobs and more diversity, and just maintain a quality of life that people have come to enjoy here for so many decades.”

Jason Robinson, President of Solar Buzz, Kingston, Jamaica:

“For 2022, I think the focus needs to be on ‘Unity and Positivity’ for people to get back on track. With COVID and a lot of the negative news that comes out regarding politics, etc., people have really been beaten down over these last two years. We, as business people, need to come together and focus on the positive aspects that we see. Change is tough, but I think if we have a unified approach that things are always going to change, and you have to adapt to change, and change is good, then we can push forward together to help people get back into a positive frame of mind – in spending again and being positive about their future. For companies, we need to rise above all this negativity and grow back to where we can all benefit again.”

Angel Reyes, President of Centinel Bank of Taos, New Mexico:

“What I’ve gleaned about the Great Resignation is that people were re-evaluating what was important to them. They were really trying to reinvent themselves because maybe they got complacent in thinking “this is all I have and my potential is so much greater.” I try to look at it more positively… as I’ve communicated to my team, we are not going to return to normal, our focus is that we’re going to return to better. We’re going to take away all the great things that the pandemic has taught us, all the efficiencies and innovations, all the idea generation that was forced upon us. There were so many beautiful things that came out of that environment. So for 2022 and 2023 when we get out of this pandemic, we’re going to be better because of all we’ve learned. We can all be so much better when we dedicate our energy and creativity and our own talents to doing things that we are capable of versus doing things that we thought we had to do just by waking up and going to work every day.”

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