Economists have dubbed the mass exodus of the workforce The Great Resignation, but why is this happening? What is making people leave work in their droves and why? 

John Mclaughlin from Aon tells James Marsh on our last podcast that to understand what’s happening, we need to look at the historical trends of economic activity and how workers have reacted.

He says the pandemic has given people more time to think about priorities.


“Flexibility by default is moving towards a more results-orientated productivity model. The hours we spend in the office become much less relevant. Things start to centre on the output we produce.”


– John Mclaughlin

John said that people now realise what is important – family, relationships, physical health and mental health – and working all of the time is not on the agenda.

John says by not offering flexibility, businesses are closing down their talent pool, which is detrimental to their longevity.

Commenting on 75 percent of CIPD members who said their managers have wellbeing on their agenda, he said this is a step in the right direction. 

He also said flexible working allows managers to understand workers’ needs better. But, the main point John makes is that line managers need to be better equipped so they can make the right decisions for the workforce. 

When we break a role down into its components, he says, we can start to think about how that role be done – and whether it can be done flexibly. Only then can we predict the success and productivity of that role. He also suggests using assessments tools to help us figure out the performance of each role within companies.

James and John go on to talk about how 750,000 of Amazon employees in the US will have their university tuition funded, including books, and what sort of example this is setting for other businesses. 

To listen to the full podcast, click here now






Feyaza Khan has been a journalist for more than 20 years in print and broadcast. Her special interests include neurodiversity in the workplace, tech, diversity, trauma and wellbeing.