Business

Don’t drown in the great wave of resignation


When a British pilot named Paul Green lost his job last year, he did what many other airline workers have done since the pandemic shattered their industry: something totally unexpected.

green preparation a Consulting To teach business managers how to use the skills they honed in the cockpit to manage stress and make decisions under duress. Turns out NHS front line workers are his first customers. Much like the pilots who suddenly find themselves driving trucks or stacking supermarket shelves or Opening cafes, Green hopes to eventually return to the flying career he wanted from a young age – but not like he did before.

“The flying lifestyle has never been so nice,” he told me last week. “I’m married, have two kids, and the amount of time I’ve been away from home, losing large parts of my kids growing up, was a real dilemma.” Ideally, he hopes to find a way to mix part-time flying with the new business he’s running from his Somerset home.

“Flying is what I love to do,” he said. “But I think the important thing for everyone now is, at what cost do I want to pursue that dream I once dreamed of, when life is better on the other side?”

He doesn’t seem to be the only one asking such questions. There are increasing signs that employees around the world want a change after 15 months of a turbulent pandemic that upended work life.

a record 4 pm Americans quit their jobs in April, the most since the US Bureau of Labor Statistics began publishing such data in December 2000. More than 40 percent of the global workforce is ready to quit sometime this year, Microsoft Research show up. Just under 40 per cent of the UK and Ireland workers say They will do the same this year, or once the economy gets stronger.

Are they really? Who do you know? Likewise, it is difficult to know exactly what causes what some call it big resignation. Suppressed demand could be one factor. People who stayed in jobs they hated during last year’s chaos may feel braver about relocating this year. Fatigue could be another cause. Most of the 31,000 workers in the 30 countries surveyed by Microsoft said they felt overworked and 39 percent felt “overwhelmed”. They were spending more than double the time in Microsoft Teams meetings, which were averaging 10 minutes longer, and sending more billions of emails to customers. Perhaps not surprisingly, the white-collar professional and business services sector has endured one of the largest increases in resignations in the United States.

The big question is whether these exits, which come on top of widespread labor shortages, indicate that there is a fundamental shift in power between workers and bosses.

I’m skeptical. The sudden shortage of staff arose as all restaurants and hotels reopened at once. Let’s see what life looks like once the Covid-19 restrictions are over and economic activity is back on a more steady path.

Even in the collapsing aviation industry, flight training groups L3Harris and CAE told me last week that enrollment in flight schools is rising again, particularly in markets that are recovering. In other words, for every older pilot who drops out, there is likely to be at least one hungry newcomer in an industry that British aviation consultant John Strickland says, rightly, has an infinite number of people “extremely” excited to enter it.

In saying that, the aviation industry is different from others. Employers who think they can order employees to return to their offices as if nothing has changed since 2019 may be in for a shock.

Last week, dating app group Bumble said it was giving its employees a week off to recharge. US software group HubSpot plans to program world rest week for its workers as of July 5. Many employers are introducing flexible and mixed work systems when they reopen. He’s a genius.

Lots of managers have just spent 15 months building what McKinsey’s senior partner Bill Channinger calls a “goodwill reservoir” with employees. as . said workplace conference Last week, this tank should not be lost with a “foolish desire to get back to the way it was.”

pilita.clark@ft.com

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