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Joe Ucuzoglu; Photo: Deloitte

As CEO of a firm that advises thousands of the biggest U.S. companies, Joe Ucuzoglu knows all about the Great Resignation.

What he's saying: "'The Great Resignation' is really an appropriate descriptor," he says, attributing the phenomenon in part to the very real pent-up demand to change jobs — or even careers — that’s been simmering over the last year.

  • It's also much more. Tech innovation pulled forward by the pandemic has boosted economic growth prospects — so companies need more workers to meet demand.

"We're seeing a period of technological change that is at the most rapid pace in our history. And it’s creating more jobs, more of a need for great people, because the technology is … making them more productive.”

  • "It’s disproving a lot of the fear out there over the impact of technology on jobs," he says.

State of play: "This is the hottest talent market that most of us have ever seen ... In this type of market, workers have a lot of leverage," he adds.

  • "Companies are having to do a whole multitude of things to attract people, to retain them, and to differentiate, and dollars are just one piece of it. It's about benefits, it's about purpose, it's about flexibility."
  • At Deloitte, that’s meant additional paid child care support, more flexible days off, even a five-day "collective disconnect" over the July 4 weekend.

Of note: One side effect of the pandemic that Ucuzoglu hopes remains — more leeway for risk-taking.

  • "Out of necessity, you had to get really innovative and take some risks last spring, because otherwise, you couldn’t operate. So everybody did all the stuff that historically, you would have formed a task force, studied it, come up with 93 reasons why it can't work."

That risk-taking paid off for loads of companies, he says.

  • "I do see companies now making this explicit, trying to build the tone that ‘we want our people to go out and take some chances. We want creativity to translate into ideas that we experiment with.'"

Speaking of the shifting power dynamics between employees and their bosses, here are two stats from Deloitte’s 2021 Human Capital Trends report, out today and first provided to Axios:

  • About 86% of 395 executives surveyed said they believe workers will gain greater independence and influence relative to their employers in the future.
  • However, just 63% of the workers surveyed felt that their relationship with their employer will stay the same or become a stronger partnership.

Why it matters: The perception gap between the two groups shows that some employees may not even realize how strong of a hand they currently have.

Go deeper

John Frank, author of Denver
Oct 27, 2021 - Axios Denver

Denver summit tests staying power of corporate social responsibility

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

The nation's reckoning with systemic racism a year ago put pressure on companies to incorporate social justice into their corporate values.

What's new: The question is whether the movement can hold its ground. The B:Civic Summit that opens in Denver Wednesday will make the case that a continued emphasis on corporate social responsibility is vital to a company's bottom line.

Updated 42 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

  1. Health: The end of the Omicron wave is in sight — Transplants rebound from COVID lull — Omicron hits American hospitals disproportionately hard
  2. Vaccines: WHO: No evidence that healthy children, teens need boosters — Kids' COVID vaccination rates are particularly low in rural America — Starbucks drops worker vaccine or test requirement after SCOTUS ruling
  3. Politics: Biden concedes U.S. should have done more testing — Arizona says it "will not be intimidated" by Biden on anti-mask school policies— Government website for free COVID tests launches early
  4. World: WHO: COVID health emergency could end this year — Greece imposes vaccine mandate for people 60 and older
  5. Variant tracker

Highlights from Biden's marathon 2-hour press conference

President Biden answers questions during a news conference in the East Room of the White House on Jan. 19. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

President Biden Wednesday marked the end of his first year in office with a marathon press conference from the White House East Room, during which he defended his record in office and made headlines on several fronts.

Why it matters: It was only Biden's second solo presser while in office. The president said he would support splitting his flagship budget bill, the Build Back Better Act, to pass it in increments. He also called on the Federal Reserve to do more against inflation, and predicted that Russia will invade Ukraine.