The Great Resignation: What is Your City's Response? -

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The Great Resignation: What is Your City’s Response?

Do you have a healthy community culture that contributes to your community’s happiness and well-being? Will this be enough to combat the Great Resignation? And if you’re already doing this well – are you using this as a recruitment tool to your city or town?

The pandemic has redefined the role of work. It has raised questions around what it means to feel connected and valued, and how we each create connection and value in the world.  It has changed from where people work. It is changing where people are choosing to live. Because of this, workers are choosing community connection and personal values over mundane or disconnected employment. They are leaving their jobs by the MILLIONS – a phenomenon known as “the Great Resignation.”  

As cities, towns and businesses begin to navigate this changing landscape – doubling down on place-based marketing or place marketing, considering:

  • How do we connecting with one another and our workforce?
  • Why would someone want to live, work, play or stay here?
  • Are our work place future-proofed?
  • If we find the talent, would they even want to live here?

And this whopperIs the high cost-of-living in our town worth it?

“Placemaking is a term that’s mainly been used in the urban studies and urban development world, and generally refers to a manner of planning and designing public spaces to contribute to a community’s happiness and well-being. It’s heavily reliant on taking the unique aspects of a specific community and communicating them through design—in other words, creating a space that feels grounded and specific to the community it’s in. ” (Forbes, Place Making – How one Midwestern City is Transforming Its Brand, Oct 30, 2019)

If you do a quick search of “the great resignation” you’ll find articles from the Harvard Business Review, the Atlantic, the Washington Post, NPR and more – this is no joke.

What are you and your city doing to respond to this?

While Covid may have exacerbated the issues and shined a bright light, many of the complaints outlined in these articles have been around for years, if not decades. It just took a global pandemic to get the masses to say “enough!”

The issues of work-place culture, benefits, personal and family leave policies, equal work for equal pay, DEI practices and sustainability work falls on each individual company.


The culture of your city, your town, your greater community also play a role here:

  • Are your public spaces inclusive, safe and accessible?
  • Are they playful and creative?
  • Are there a variety of events to engage in from free and low cost to more expensive and rare occurrences?
  • Do you support an “underground” arts and culture scene?
  • Are there “third places” where people of all ages can co-mingle and co-create between home (first place) and work/school (second place)?
  • Do you have a locally curated, inclusive, comprehensive online community events listing – where everyone can post happenings and/or find out what’s going on?
  • Is there access to the natural world?
  • Is there access to quality public schools, and even higher education?
  • Do you have a great public library? Pool? Parks? Art Center?
  • Is there any form of Public Transportation?

Of course, there is much more that makes (or breaks) a place than these few suggestions. This is a short list of the things we look for in a great place, and place marketing.

So we ask again – What is your city’s response to the Great Resignation? How are you future proofing your community?

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