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Are we set for another ‘great resignation’?

Plus, the secret WhatsApp group helping CEOs with isolation, pension insurance chief calls UK a “banana economy”, and a landmark AI lawsuit is tabled

Smiling emoji on a desk in an office

The business landscape is changing at a seemingly record pace. Living in the post-pandemic world, political uncertainty and tech innovation are moulding and shaping our everyday lives but these are heightened in business – and employees are feeling it, according to a new survey.

PwC has released the 2024 edition of its Global Workforce Hopes & Fears survey. The poll of more than 56,000 workers across 50 countries and territories is the fifth instalment of the survey from the auditing firm and is a gauge of employees’ experience and work expectations.

Almost two-thirds (62 per cent) of respondents say that the pace of change at work has increased in the past year and 53 per cent feel that there’s too much change happening at once.

PwC 2024 Global Workforce Hopes & Fears - feeling

However, 77 per cent of employees feel ready to adapt to new ways of working. The integration of AI is one of the more notable changes rippling through the world of business. Some 82 per cent of survey respondents who use AI expect the tech to make them more efficient in the next year. But there are still many workplaces that aren’t using AI, as shown in the data below.

PwC 2024 Global Workforce Hopes & Fears - AI

Although employee satisfaction is up 4 per cent year on year, one of the stark takeaways is that 28 per cent of respondents said they plan to change jobs. This is up from 2 per cent from last year and 9 per cent more than 2022 – the year of the ‘great resignation’.

The survey points to the upskilling of employees as a key way to boost employee satisfaction and retention.

These stats show how critical it is for companies to create ample opportunities for all employees to develop skills on the job and to ensure that leaders are providing guidance and mentoring about what kinds of skills employees need to build. It’s also important to create a culture of learning, where creating time for learning on the job is part of the organisation’s DNA.

Meanwhile, don’t overlook the talent hiding in plain sight. Use skills inventories to gain comprehensive insights into the skills and expertise of your workforce. This can also help you shift to a skills-first approach, which helps companies, workers, and society by removing barriers to people’s ability to apply their skills and contribute at work.

You can read the full report here.

Business Question

Guess the company

  • This firm was formed as a result of a merger in 1997
  • It is listed in London and New York
  • Its CEO previously held roles at Nestlé, Mars, PepsiCo and Mondelēz
  • Its sales last year were more than £17bn
  • It operates in 180 countries
  • Its distilleries produce 40 per cent of all Scotch whisky

The answer can be found at the bottom of the page.

Business in Brief

Everything you need to know

1. Pension Insurance Corporation says Britain is a “banana economy” with an ethos of “build absolutely nothing anywhere near anything (or anybody)”. However, it also suggests there is enough capital available to change this. Its finance director, Dominic Veney, adds: “We see no shortage of domestic capital to support viable projects. There just aren’t enough viable projects to invest in.” You can read more here.

2. Two-thirds of applications to build renewable energy projects in Britain have failed to get through the planning stage over the past five years, hampering efforts to shift towards clean electricity generation. A study of the “renewables pipeline” finds that 63 per cent of mooted projects were either abandoned, refused planning permission, or the application was withdrawn or ultimately expired between 2018 and 2023. You can read more here.

3. The UK’s biggest winemaker is looking at ways to finance its long-term growth plans, including a sale. Chapel Down was listed on the AIM market in December last year at 55p a share and had plans including investing in a new purpose-built winery. The company says: “Considering the timeline of these investments, the board believes that it is now appropriate to review the full range of long-term funding options that support this plan.” Read more here.

4. ‘The higher you climb, the further you have to fall’ seems to be apt for Nvidia. The AI chipmaker was the world’s most valuable company last week but its value has since fallen by 16 per cent since Thursday. This has wiped more than $500bn off its market value. You can read more here.

5. The world’s biggest record labels are suing two AI start-ups over alleged copyright violations in a potentially landmark case. Firms including Sony Music, Universal Music Group and Warner Records say Suno and Udio have committed copyright infringement on an “almost unimaginable scale” and are seeking compensation of $150,000 (£118,200) per work. You can read more here.

Business Quotes

Inspiration from leaders

“Success isn’t about the end result, it’s about what you learn along the way.”
– Vera Wang

Business Thinker

Ideas on the future of business and leadership

1. 🤐 Bloom and Wild: How a secret CEO WhatsApp group helps boss deal with ‘isolation’ of the top job 🤐

2. 💰 Oxford University innovation chief warns of funding gap for spinouts 💰

3. 🎢 Beware of companies moving targets 🎢

And finally…

Noland Arbaugh was a recent guest on the Joe Rogan podcast. He’s the first human recipient of a brain chip from Elon Musk’s company Neuralink. After suffering a spinal injury that saw Noland lose feeling from the shoulders down, his case has been closely watched by many who see Neuralink as tech that could change the course of human history. 

The chip was installed in January and the company’s work has already revealed details about the brain that main scientists didn’t know. The tech has also raised concerns around hacking, which Noland discusses in the interview.

You can listen to the episode here.

The answer to today’s Business Question is Diageo.

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