Home / News / IFOP SURVEY
Published on 09.08.2022
Preface by Jérôme Fourquet, Director of the Opinion Department at IFOP
For Arthur Hunt, in partnership with Bona fidé, IFOP carried out an exclusive, unprecedented study on a robust and representative sample of 500 senior executives and managers from French companies with more than 50 employees [1]. At a time when work, from recruitment difficulties to social mobilisation for employees, is playing an increasingly important role in the public debate, the survey allows us to take stock of the state of mind of managers in September 2022. The impact of teleworking, ethical expectations and understanding of youth movements: this study reveals that the major debates permeating our society are also having an effect on the management of major French companies.

The “big quit” seems to be taking hold in the collective imagination. And senior executives and managers want to be somewhere else. 58% say they are “tempted” to resign in the coming months to change companies or activity, 40% being particularly attracted by freelancing or entrepreneurship. If there is a fine line between saying and doing, the temptation to resign seems to affect senior managers as well, and is much less linked to dissatisfaction with the management of “their” company than to a search for meaning and a profound change in their relationship with work.

Indeed, managers and executives have a positive relationship with the general management of their companies. They say they are committed to the transformation of their companies, satisfied with their general management, which they feel has the required capabilities and attributes, and their relations with their N+1 In details:

-76% of executives and managers say they are “involved in and committed to” the transformation of their company. Asked in an open-ended question to describe this transformation spontaneously, senior executives and managers mainly cite teleworking as the most important recent change. From this point of view there is definitely a before and after Covid, with no doubt a real ratchet effect from which it will be difficult to return.

-84% (96% of executives, 74% of managers) have a good image of the management of their company.

-87% (96% of executives and 80% of managers) say they are “satisfied” with their relationship with their N+1 and consider that they have the required qualities for their role.

It is therefore more a case of a profound change in the relationship to work, rather than dissatisfaction with management, that makes managers want to be somewhere else.

This sociological change in representations about work and career can also be seen in the rise in ethical expectations and the demand for more responsible companies.

Thus, respect for employees (69%) and ethics and honesty (68%) top the list of qualities considered “very important” for a executive, ahead of leadership, strategic vision, skills and capacity for innovation.

The “societalisation” of companies, i.e. the rise in moral expectations of them, does not only concern consumers, it also affects employees, including senior executives and managers.

These expectations of ethics and respect could well become key recruitment criteria in the future. In another sign of the changes underway, “established” managers and executives are sympathetic to youth movements against global warming. More than three-quarters of executives and managers (88% of executives, 69% of managers) say they “understand” the protest movements of graduates of the grandes écoles at Agro-Tech, Sciences Po, HEC or Polytechnique against companies perceived as insufficiently responsible in the fight against global warming. A level of understanding which is highest among young managers (88%) and executives and managers in the Paris region (80%). So no generational divide on this point; young people show the way and the established, older managers seem to follow! Finally, this survey makes it possible for the first time to take stock of the perception in companies of transition managers, one of Arthur Hunt’s core businesses. It shows that they enjoy a positive image and are considered useful by a large majority of executives and managers, with however significant differences in intensity between the two:

-96% of executives and 63% of managers have a positive image of transition managers

-68% of executives and 61% of managers consider that transition managers are useful

-40% of executives and managers consider that transition managers are also useful in times of growth and crisis, 23% that they are first and foremost useful in times of growth, 18% that they are first and foremost useful in times of crisis, with 19% considering that they are never useful. Transition management is, in fact, now seen more as a structural lever for development than as a firefighter and a cyclical solution to a crisis.

In a context where the relationship with work is changing, where careers are no longer linear, where ethics matter, transition management could well be a solution for the future, both for managers and their individual aspirations for change and a “multi-faceted” professional life, and for companies, by helping them overcome their recruitment difficulties In fact, the transition management model could well be redefined and reinvented in light of the ongoing social changes.

[1] Survey of representative samples of 200 senior managers and 300 supervisory managers from companies with more than 50 employees from 30 August to 14 September.

Jérôme Fourquet
Director of IFOP’s Opinion and Corporate Strategies Department