Is “mass layoff” about to arrive in France, following the United States?

It is well known: What happens in the United States will always happen in France. Therefore, our economists, labor sociologists, and business leaders pay particular attention to the phenomenon of “massive resignation” or “mass retirement.” An expression that qualifies the wave of massive resignations in the last few months in Uncle Sam’s country. In November 2021 alone, more than 4.5 million Americans quit their jobs to move to other specialized countries.

However, in France, the desire to name oneself has become increasingly popular among employees over the past few months, as observed by Vincent Meyer, a professor of HR management and organization theory at EM Normandie. “France has recorded record growth in resignation rates (+ 10% and + 20% in June and July 2021 compared to 2019), a level never before seen by Dares. : +620,000 resignations and termination of contract in the third quarter of 2021 “. This phenomenon especially affects SMEs. Another Dares survey, published in February 2022, found that between July and October 2021, facilities with more than 50 employees had a 17% increase in voluntary departures and 10 employees. Facilities with people and 49 people increased by 21%. “This trend is also noticeable in certain sectors (construction, hotels, restaurants, etc.),” says Vincent Meyer.

“Employees are increasingly working with consumers.”

There are several explanations for the desire for these changes. First, economic recovery. This is because the unemployment rate dropped to 7.4% at the end of 2021. And the employment rate- Employment for the entire working-age population reached a historically high level, reaching 67.8% at the end of 2021. “Currently, the labor market is very booming and employment on permanent contracts is increasing, so French people know that finding and retraining jobs is easy. “Masu,” analyzes Empreinte Humaine co-founder Christophe Nguyen. Prevention of psychosocial risks.

Health crises have triggered these desires elsewhere, says Vincent Meyer. They want more autonomy, allowing them to work from home without chaining 10 video conferences a day. According to Christoph Nguyen, work relationships have also changed over the last two years. “Some employees believe they weren’t getting enough treatment from their employers during the health crisis. Their mental health wasn’t taken into account. They experience a sort of disillusionment. For many, work is no longer considered the preferred means of self-fulfillment. Therefore, the requirements for their position have evolved: “Employees, especially the youngest, are increasingly working with consumers. “We have a relationship,” said Vincent Meyer. “They no longer want to work under the same conditions as before, and salaries have become essential,” adds Christoph Nguyen.

“Lack of human resources can make the activities of SMEs difficult.”

In fact, the profiles of layoff candidates are very diverse if you think that executives will be the fastest to follow because they are benefiting from a more vibrant employment market. Those who no longer have meaning in their work, occupy unqualified positions, and witness the tailoring of their profession (repetitive, timed work, pressure to perform, etc.), “said Vincent Meyer. I am.

And if this unprecedented wave of resignations in the United States causes problems for businesses, some French employers are beginning to recognize the detrimental consequences of high turnover rates: “The shortage of talent for certain services It can make the activities of small businesses difficult. Also, it is generally the best employees to resign, and salary inflation needs to be revised upwards to attract the best candidates. There are also risks, which can cause profitability issues in the medium term, “said Vincent Meyer. “Recruiting new hires involves their training, which can be time consuming,” adds Christophe Nguyen. The only positive aspect of this situation is that it can lead to companies opening their doors to other profiles, especially more senior employees. It’s good to know that age is the first factor in discrimination in recruitment, “says Vincent Meyer.

The need for business evolution

However, there are solutions to prevent too many resignations. “We need to work on how we manage by giving our employees more autonomy, but we need to spend more time to give the impression that they are doing their job well,” Vincent Meyer recommends. To do. “We must put quality of life in the workplace at the center of concern, provide more coaching to employees facing difficulties, and provide more action against stress in the workplace. Hmm … “says Christoph Nguyen. And companies witnessing the start of a big wave cannot be exempt from wage efforts. Negotiations are already underway at certain branches, such as catering.And the next mandatory annual negotiation (NAO) can be very active..

It remains to be seen whether the war in Ukraine delays the desire for change among some French. “If the market improves, smoking cessation may be temporarily suspended, but they will recover again afterwards as we have a basic tendency,” says Vincent Meyer. “According to the latest Human Footprint Barometer, job security is more important for 29% of workers in 2022. War can weaken some people’s desire to quit, but overall, employees. If a member wants to leave his employer, he will take action, “adds Christoph Nguyen.