For businesses, this means three things. First, we need to recognize people’s mental and emotional stress and provide resources and support and recognize that just because we are having the same pandemic does not mean that we are having the same experience. Second, we need to find ways to bring more flexibility into working life, and not assume that attendance or travel time equates to production and value creation. And third, we need to bring people together and make connections. It’s just better when you can be with coworkers. Companies that fail on these three dimensions are really in a very vulnerable position when it comes to their workforce.
Beyond all this, what are the factors that you think are contributing to the labor shortage?
It’s a strong economy, and people are optimistic about growth and looking to invest, so there are a lot of jobs posted. Frankly, the government has provided a lot of support. We closed the immigration valve, and that was the dump valve. The flexibility of people to make different choices is greater than one would expect. So I think workers don’t rush to take a job and ask for more.
When the children did not go to school, they fired all the bus drivers. Now there is a lot of demand, but finding bus drivers is not that easy because some of them have made different choices in their life. You have to be well trained to occupy this position. It is not a job that just anyone can or should do. So even in a profession like that, when we’ve disrupted our workforce, people don’t come back in the blink of an eye.
We have known that climate change has been a problem for decades. Why do CEOs now seem so motivated to do something about it?
There is a tendency to say, “If I change the way you think, you will change the way you behave. But that’s not really true. It is the worldview of a psychologist. The worldview of a sociologist is: “If you want to change someone’s behavior, change the context around them and they will react to that context”. What we’ve seen over the past couple of years is really a reworking of the context. It’s topic # 1, certainly in Europe, many parts of the United States, and other parts of the world.
And it is clear that the investment needed to tackle it is real. We will hopefully spend between $ 3 trillion and $ 5,000 billion a year for 30 years to transition the global economy. There is a lot of business to be done there. Businesses realize that if they don’t move, they risk being disrupted. Put this whole package together. I think we are coming to a tipping point.
But so few companies seem to be taking the necessary actions that will actually reduce emissions globally, which is necessary.