November 30, 2021

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Relaunch: business leaders, more combative than ever!

Tired, but upright, the bosses of VSEs, SMEs and ETIs are showing rather positive morale in the start of the 2021 school year, driven by the prospects of a strong economic recovery. According to the new barometer of the Fondation MMA Entrepreneurs du futur *, unveiled exclusively for “Les Echos” on October 19, 80% say they are psychologically in good shape on a personal level (+9 points compared to 2020) and 75% at the professional level (+10 points compared to 2020). In addition, 4 in 10 of them do not have any health concerns, apart from back pain for 44% of them.

Ready for the relaunch

“Overall, it’s rather positive,” says Patrick Miliotis, general manager of the MMA Entrepreneurs du futur Foundation. Their morale seems to be good, and most leaders have a strong sense of fighting spirit (89%) and investment (88%). Of course, the specter of the health crisis is still there. Besides 68% of business leaders say the crisis has destabilized them and 56% came out weakened. Particularly in regions where the pandemic has wreaked the most havoc, such as in the Grand Est.

But the situation is improving compared to the previous survey, carried out in June 2020: while they were 44% to say they are worried, they are 39% today. “The recovery is playing positively, after months of uncertainties”, analyzes Patrick Miliotis. And leaders are ready to seize these new opportunities. 55% admit to being ready to make the resumption of activity their priority. Even if it means having to deal with more stress and workload. The investigation reveals in this regard that they are more stressed (50% vs 44%) and overwhelmed (56% vs. 54%) than in June of last year. They are particularly worried about the problems of recruiting talent (42%) and the supply of raw materials in times of shortage (41%), in order to ensure the continuity of their activity.

Sustainably changed

If they engage in the recovery, business leaders do not forget the difficult months they have just gone through. The vast majority have learned lessons and intend to use them in the future. “The crisis has prompted many leaders to find new sources of growth and to rethink their activity : 7 out of 10 have implemented new actions to maintain their activity, mainly by rationalizing their costs (38%), by transforming themselves digitally (30%) and by diversifying their services (29%) ”, continues the Managing Director.

Changes perceived positively since 87% of managers intend to perpetuate them. “It has also strengthened empathy and emotional intelligence, with 88% of executives who say they are attentive to the experiences of their employees and 69% who recognize the beneficial role in their morale of employee engagement and customer support. . “

More family oriented

On the personal side, too, the habits taken during the crisis are bound to last. For example, 96% of managers who started a sporting activity during the crisis intend to continue. And then, “the confinements have put work-life balance back at the center. It has become a real pillar for business leaders, who are 75% wanting to benefit from their family and loved ones. That is 13 points more than in 2020. And 98% want this habit to continue, ”recalls Patrick Miliotis. The revival of activity, yes, but without forgetting.

* Study carried out by OpinionWay for the MMA Entrepreneurs du futur Foundation, conducted by telephone with a representative sample of 1,502 French business leaders (VSEs, SMEs and ETIs) between August 30 and September 22, 2021.