This is what managers predict for jobs, careers and wider business agenda as COVID’s impact continues

10 Sep 2020

This is what managers predict for jobs, careers and wider business agenda as COVID’s impact continues

Despite widespread fear of restructuring and job cuts, sustainability remains an increasing priority for DACH businesses.

It is well known that the German economy experienced a historic decline in economic output in the first half of the year due to the coronavirus. This was accompanied by a sharp drop in corporate profits across all sectors, despite short-time working.

Although the proportion of companies with short-time working fell again slightly in August, it is clear that the economic recovery will still take some time due to continuing effects of the pandemic.

But what would this mean for executives, and their future careers?

Our most recent Manager-Barometer survey, one of the most comprehensive surveys of managers in the German-speaking world, provides important insights into this.

Restructuring predicted and jobs impacted

The majority of around 1,500 managers in Germany, Austria and Switzerland that took part in May 2020 expect their employers to carry out significant restructuring, review jobs and make cuts.

When asked how they assess the impact of the lockdown on their employer over the next 12 months, 60.6% of managers said that they expect significant adjustments to management structures, processes and functions in their companies.

More than half of the managers (55.7%) expect jobs to be a serious focus. Just as many managers expect that their employer will make job reductions.

"There is clearly great uncertainty among employees and managers alike in view of the ongoing pandemic," says Daniel Nerlich, Managing Partner of Odgers Berndtson Executive Search Germany.

"We expect to see increasing focus on managers looking to move jobs over the next few months," he continues.

Sustainability measures rise in importance

Managers also see some positive news amongst the corona crisis.

As many as 45.3% of those surveyed expect that measures to drive sustainability in their companies will actually be strengthened by the crisis.

"Even though sales and profits are under pressure at most companies and there is a strong temptation to throw their own ESG policies overboard, many companies fortunately continue to see the opportunities and added value associated with a sustainable approach," comments Nerlich.

"We are currently investigating the significance of the topic of sustainability in German companies and how this is implemented operationally in a current study that we will publish at the end of the year. “

Working from home widely accepted as change accelerates

Leading and working from the home office have become a new "normality" in companies.

Nine out of ten managers we surveyed expect that the acceptance of home office regulations will continue to increase significantly in the coming months.

They assume that their teams and they themselves will work from the home office twice as often after the end of the crisis as before: an average of 1.5 days.

In addition, the managers expect change in other areas too.  Greater use of video conferences instead of business trips (86.2%). Greater dynamism in the implementation of digitisation projects (78.9%). Finally, managers predict an acceleration of change and innovation processes (68.4%).

If you would like to discuss your talent and leadership issues in the light of Corona, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.