CEOs are taking their power back

After catering to the desires of employees during the labor market squeeze, executives are regaining their authority, The Wall Street Journal reported Feb. 2 

There is a shift occurring in some offices as employers regain power in negotiations with employees. Pay increases are slowing, as is turnover — and CEOs are starting to take a breather. 

"There is a segment of CEOs who are like, 'All right, I got the power back,'" Tim Ryan, U.S. chair and senior partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers, told the Journal

Some are expressing that power by requiring remote workers to return to in-person workplaces. Others are telling hiring managers to leave certain positions open or "scrutinize" their hiring tactics. Many are using this time to streamline their organizations, cutting staff and projects they deem unnecessary. 

"You’re starting to see layoffs happen and that’s a bit of an awakening for folks," Dan Fisher, CEO of aerospace company Ball Corp., told the Journal. "The stability and reliability of an employer is starting to matter more than it has in the last few years."

As layoffs occur — especially high-profile, high-volume layoffs in the tech industry — employees are looking for security, bringing the "Great Resignation" of 2022 to a halt. They are also more likely to comply with employers' wishes in hopes of keeping their jobs. 

"[Executives are] not as anxious," Jonas Prising, chief executive of staffing company ManpowerGroup Inc., told the Journal. "They look out and say: 'Wow, so we probably can take our time here for a moment.'"

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