Research commissioned by Deloitte across most of the Anglosphere (the US, the UK, Canada and Australia) suggests that nearly 70% of executives are seriously considering quitting their jobs. Contrast this with nonexecutive employees, where the equivalent number is put at 57%.
Digging deeper beneath the headline, the survey of 2,100 executives shows that:
One way to interpret the output from this research is that it seems that the time has come to review and dismantle the aspects of corporate culture that normalise long hours and pressure cooker working environments. Quite simply, executives, as well as employees that started resigning en masse, are no longer willing to tolerate jobs that leave them constantly burned out and exhausted.
However, rather than leaving to pursue a more leisurely and less stressful life, it looks like many just want to take a break and have the intention of climbing back into the saddle, just not on the same horse.
Some are likely to consider freelancing and contracting as interim executives as a way of keeping their options open. This provides the opportunity to try out working for different companies at a high level, while commanding good pay and retaining career control.
Ultimately, many are likely to pick their careers up again with new permanent employers, only they will be looking for a much better deal in terms of conditions and well-being – placing a firm emphasis on ‘life’ in the work-life balance.
As the longer tail of Covid’s impact on the economy and the jobs market becomes clearer, one thing is obvious. Employers and their recruitment partners are going to need to produce compelling pay, conditions and benefits packages if they want to attract and keep hold of their next middle management, C-suite and leadership hires.
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