Reopening Resources & Information
HR Corner: The Great Resignation: Ideas for Improving Retention
This HR Corner is brought to you by Carmody Torrance Sandak & Hennessey LLP. Written by Attorney Nick Zaino and Romania Jawahir.
The “Great Resignation” reached a peak in November 2021 as the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that a record-breaking 4.5 million workers voluntarily resigned from their employment. This represented an increase of almost 9% from October 2021 and was the largest number of resignations in more than 20 years.
In what Industries are people resigning? According to the BLS, the top fields most affected by the resignations are: leisure and hospitality; trade, transportation and utilities; professional and business services; and education and health services. The resignation rate is highest among lower paid employees.
Why are employees resigning? The resignations are attributed to a variety of factors, including ongoing health concerns. That is, some workers are worried about the pandemic and are hesitant to return to a workplace that is not 100% vaccinated. Parents also are still struggling with childcare needs. In addition, employees generally want to reduce stress and expenses where possible and seek flexible work arrangements that allow them to work from home partially or completely. Some workers have resigned to seek better compensation and benefits from employers who are desperate to fill positions. And some workers are simply looking for better work-life balance, recognition for their work, better company culture and values that align with theirs.
What can employers do to improve retention? While the benefits employers offer depends on the demographics of their workplace, there are several non-economic and, of course, economic benefits to consider. The two most popular ones are:

Flexible work options: The most demanded work benefit today is the ability to work from home. Research shows that employees desire flexibility in where and when they work. Many individuals are looking for entirely remote jobs that allow them to work from any location. Hybrid arrangements that allow workers to work from home a couple of days each week are popular in businesses where entirely remote choices are not viable. Flexible work hours, such as allowing employees to work during non-traditional hours or compressed workweeks, may be an option for positions that cannot be done remotely.

Career development: Employees are more engaged when they believe their employer is invested in their professional development. To foster this, employers can: (1) emphasize several career paths within their organization, allowing employees to see what possibilities are available; and (2) employers can provide development tools like mentoring and coaching to help employees achieve their objectives.

In addition to flexibility and career development, attractive compensation and health-care benefits are amongst the most common motivations of retention. However, in today's job market, that may not be sufficient. The following are some other benefits that may entice employees to stay or get onboard:

  • Generous paid time off (beyond the traditional vacation and sick time);
  • Home office support if remote work is available;
  • Onsite offerings like childcare centers, and free and/or healthy food options;
  • Wellness support that include sabbatical leave, coaching, workstation accommodations;
  • Inclusive workplaces;
  • Educational assistance (i.e., tuition reimbursement or student loan repayment assistance); and
  • Other non-traditional benefits, such as pet-friendly perks.
  • Other recommendations for establishing or strengthening employee retention efforts include addressing employee concerns, communicating effectively and frequently, offering accommodations, being accessible to employees, educating managers on employee relations and providing support when feasible.

If you have questions about what you can do to improve your employee retention, contact a member of Carmody’s Labor and Employment team.

This information is for educational purposes only to provide general information and a general understanding of the law. It does not constitute legal advice and does not establish any attorney-client relationship.

About the authors: Nick Zaino is a partner and co-practice group leader of Carmody Torrance Sandak & Hennessy LLP's business services group. Romania Jawahir is a non-lawyer member of the firm’s labor and employment practice, pursuing an MBA with a concentration in Human Resources Management.
In the News
We're Your Trusted Resource
By Lynn Ward

As we move into the second year of the pandemic, it’s clear that businesses of all sizes and from all industries will continue to grapple with the impacts of new COVID variants. Members tell us of supply chain issues, difficulty finding reliable workers, reduced store traffic, changing consumer habits, and concerns around new regulatory issues. There are some positive signs, though. According to readers who were recently polled in the Hartford Business Journal, 66 percent say that the state’s economy will improve this year—up from only 42 percent last year.

Just last week, we held a job fair at the Courtyard by Marriott Waterbury Downtown, which attracted hundreds of job seekers and more than 60 area employers. In that same Hartford Business Journal poll, respondents—nearly 50 percent—say they can’t find qualified workers to fill open positions; another 55 percent say they are having to raise wages this year to attract employees. We know from our own members that there are thousands of open positions in the region waiting to be filled. The job climate, however, is changing. More employers are becoming flexible in allowing their employees to work from home and job seekers are taking their time re-entering the workforce. What does this all mean? It’s an ever-changing landscape and at the Waterbury Regional Chamber, and our two affiliate Chambers, we are your trusted resource to help you continue navigating the year ahead.

Throughout the year, we offer a variety of educational and professional development opportunities, as well as events and informational guidance to help your business grow and succeed. Weekly and throughout the month, we share with members timely information and relevant business resources via exclusive member-only newsletters, as well as on our website and social media channels. In the coming months, we’ll be hosting free virtual networking events (open to both members and non-members), where you have opportunities to hear from other area business owners about what they are doing to thrive. We also will be holding a Legislative Summit on February 11—a chance to hear directly from top area lawmakers right as the 2022 legislative session gets underway. For our young entrepreneurs and professionals, we will be holding opportunities to hear from the region’s top CEO’s.

On March 24, we have our 39th annual Business Women’s Forum, Connecticut’s premier professional development event for women. We also have our Human Resources, Health Care, and Public Policy committees, which are held routinely throughout the year and provide expertise from top professionals in their field and other members, as well as up-to-date resources to help you best manage your business. As a member of various workforce development boards in the region, we also play a prominent role in helping businesses and job seekers meet their needs. These are just a few of the resources we have to offer. To learn more about how we can help your business in 2022, please call the Chamber at 203-757-0701. We look forward to assisting you.

Family Medical Leave Act/Paid Family Leave Update & Upcoming Webinars

Last month, we talked about the substantial changes that came to Connecticut’s Family Medical Leave Act and the new CT Paid Leave Act that took effect January 1. The CT Paid Leave Authority tells us that since December 1, they have received 8,425 applications to their wage replacement program. The reasons: 3,700 for an employee’s own injury or illness; 2,100 related to pregnancies; 1,700 for a bonding leave; 899 to care for a family member; 10 for adoption/foster care; 10 for family violence; five for an organ donation; and one for military leave. To gain a better understanding of the new changes, the CT Paid Leave Authority is offering a variety of free webinars over the next two months. Check our social media pages or visit to learn more. Be sure to let us know how we can best be a resource for you.

This column originally ran in the Republican-American on Monday, January 17, 2022.
Welcome New Members:
A warm welcome to our newest members!* We encourage you to connect with them soon and see where your next partnership can be!

*Joined 12/8/21 to 1/11/22

Upcoming Ribbon Cuttings
  • Wednesday, January 26 at 2 p.m. - StayWell Health Center- Celebrating 50 years! - 80 Phoenix Avenue, Waterbury
  • Tuesday, February 1 at 3:30 p.m. - Paragon Signs & Graphics - 6 Benson Road, Oxford
  • Thursday, February 17 at 11 a.m. - The Hub: Helping Hands with Open Hearts - 481 Wolcott Street, Waterbury
  • Thursday, April 21 at 4 p.m. - Green Wealth Management Group - 555 Heritage Road, Suite 2W - Southbury

Please join us and your fellow members for any of these upcoming events!
Free Subscriptions to the Hartford Business Journal and New Haven Biz
As part of your Waterbury Regional Chamber Membership, you can receive free subscriptions to the Hartford Business Journal and New Haven Biz publications. Click the links below to sign up today!
Upcoming Events & Opportunities
The Waterbury Regional Chamber is proud to present its 2022 Legislative Summit on Friday, February 11, 2022 at the Wyndham Hotel in Southbury. Attendees will have the opportunity to hear directly from Governor Ned Lamont, who has been invited to give the keynote speech. Following the keynote address, the summit will feature three breakout sessions, during which state issues will be discussed with members of the state's legislative delegation. The breakout sessions will be focused on a host of issues.

Breakout Sessions:
Session A: Economic Development, Transportation, and Energy & Environment
Session B: Taxes, Spending, and Labor
Session C: Health, Human Services, and Education

Support from the local business community helps convey our members' strong interested in state policy advocacy. Consider sponsoring this event.
February 24: 100th Annual Naugatuck Chamber Meeting and Lewis A. Dibble Sr. Award Dinner presented by Ion Bank
The Naugatuck Chamber of Commerce will present its 2021 Lewis A. Dibble Sr. Award in February to Attorney Carlos A. Santos of Fitzpatrick | Santos | Sousa | Perugini P.C. during its 100th Annual Meeting and Lewis A. Dibble Award Dinner presented by Ion Bank.

The award, presented annually by the Chamber, recognizes an individual’s outstanding contributions to the business and the socioeconomic well-being of Naugatuck. Santos will receive the award during the Naugatuck Chamber’s 100th Annual Meeting and Lewis A. Dibble Award Dinner presented by Ion Bank on Thursday, February 24 at the Aria banquet facility, located at 45 Murphy Road in Prospect. The meeting will begin with cocktails at 5:30 p.m., followed by dinner and the awards program at 6:30 p.m.

Santos, a Naugatuck native, is a personal injury, criminal law, and real estate lawyer with the firm Fitzpatrick | Santos | Sousa | Perugini P.C., which he joined in 1994. He has argued cases before the Connecticut Superior Court, Connecticut Appellate Court, and the Connecticut Supreme Court. In addition to English, he is fluent in Spanish and Portuguese. Santos has also had a longtime involvement in local commercial and residential real estate development.

“Carlos has been a tremendous asset to the community, both in his professional career and in his active role mentoring youth and assisting local organizations,” said Kevin McSherry of the McSherry Law Firm, and the Chairman of the Naugatuck Chamber Board of Directors. “He gives generously and enthusiastically of his time. We are grateful for the contributions Carlos has made, and continues to make, to our community and surrounding region.”

Santos attended the local school system and is an alumnus of St. Francis in Naugatuck and Holy Cross High School in Waterbury. Santos received a Bachelor of Science in Finance from the University of Connecticut and a Juris Doctorate from Quinnipiac University. His peers named him a Super Lawyer for 2020-21. He has been named a Top American Lawyer—representing the top 1 percent of lawyers in the state—and has earned a Readers’ Choice Award from the Citizen’s News. Along with two decades of practicing law and resolving thousands of cases, Santos is a longtime, active member in the community. He currently sits on the Naugatuck Economic Development Corporation and the Naugatuck Valley Regional Development Corporation and has served as a board member on the United Way of Naugatuck and Beacon Falls, Our Lady of Fatima Church, and the Portuguese Sport Club of Waterbury. He has also mentored for many years in the Naugatuck school system and has coached with the Middlebury and Naugatuck Youth soccer organizations. Santos is also a co-owner of the Station Restaurant in Naugatuck.
Looking for a Unique Marketing Opportunity?
Advertising Opportunity: Reach 30,000 Households
For more information or to secure your ad, please contact Communications Director David Huck at (203)-757-0701 Ext. 309 or at
With now here 2022 and changes in the Family Medical Leave Act and roll out of CT Paid Leave Act, equip yourself with the resources you need for your business, large or small, for the changes in the Connecticut Paid Leave program. Be sure to check out the information and learning opportunities from CT Paid Leave to help you manage the process.
On December 21, the Small Business Development Center of Connecticut and Connecticut Paid Leave held a webinar on how to prepare your business for the new changes that took effect January 1.
Hiring & Training Programs Available
Do you need help finding qualified workers for your business? Could you use some financial assistance to offset the cost of hiring and training new workers, or training your existing workforce?

The Waterbury Regional Chamber is working with the Northwest Regional Workforce Investments Board to help businesses in Greater Waterbury learn more about the available hiring and training programs and whether they qualify for them. This includes providing information on posting jobs on the states website, as well as information about Manufacturing Innovation Fund Incumbent Worker Training, the apprenticeship program, hiring veterans and on-the-job training programs.

For more information, visit
A Message From Newsletter Sponsor: Post University
Post University Announces Education Partnership with Connecticut and Rhode Island Alliance of YMCAs
Post University has announced a new partnership with Connecticut / Rhode Island Alliance of YMCAs to provide access education courses to YMCA employees, as well as customized executive leadership programs for management.

While YMCAs have changed over the years, its dedication to ‘helping people develop their fullest potential in spirit, mind and body’ has not wavered. From teaching English to immigrants in the early 1900’s to instilling strength and resilience in Gen Z, the Connecticut / Rhode Island Alliance of YMCAs remains committed to providing programs that remain relevant to today’s parenting challenges.

“Our partnership with Post University will help YMCA staff advance their education with a leading University whose commitment to community service perfectly aligns with our mission,” said Jim O’Rourke, president of the Connecticut / Rhode Island Alliance of YMCAs and chief executive officer of the Greater Waterbury YMCA. “We are excited to provide our staff with the skills and knowledge they need to meet the challenges of today’s families.”

The agreement will help YMCA employees at 25 locations across both states better serve their communities by offering access to Post University’s full roster of degree options at a significantly reduced tuition rate. The program includes Post’s early childhood education programs, which are recognized and programmatically accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children. According to new research from the Center for American Progress, 44 percent of Connecticut residents live in areas without enough childcare options.

The Connecticut / Rhode Island Alliance of YMCAs currently serves 200,000 youth in Providence, Hartford, and Waterbury, among others.

“Education can help improve local economies by upskilling its residents and employees into valuable professionals who feel supported and encouraged. By investing in their employees and providing workforce development opportunities, our YMCA partners will have the chance to impact their communities and improve programming for thousands of families,” said Post University CEO & President John L. Hopkins.

For more than 20 years, Post University has offered online education programs with a robust global presence. The YMCA partnership will lean on Post’s reputation as an online learning leader to offer employees options and flexible academic paths. The agreement also will provide internship opportunities for students through Post’s Malcolm Baldrige School of Business and John P. Burke School of Public Service and Education.

The current agreement extends to YMCA personnel within the Connecticut / Rhode Island Alliance of YMCAs. Future expansion may include additional YMCA partnerships in New York and Pennsylvania.
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