COVID-19 has caused the highest global unemployment rate in the 21st century.
However, those who remain in their jobs are not entering a post-COVID world completely unscathed. Research by Robert Half found that 38% of professionals said their career had been stalled since the beginning of the pandemic.
Robert Half’s survey of 2,800 US workers found that employees felt stuck because of lack of salary growth (54%), issues with the advancing their career (47%), an inability to grow their professional network in lockdown (47%) and troubles with developing new skills (44%).
These figures become even more concerning for Generation Z – 66% of 18- to 24-year-olds reported career setbacks in the past year.
It is clear that the career stalls are real since 59% of 2,800 senior managers told Robert Half they had postponed promotions because of the pandemic.
Impact on employee retention
Issues with career setbacks create concerns about employee attrition, which can be incredibly costly for companies.
Of those employees surveyed Robert Half, nearly one third said they were now considering looking for a more meaningful or fulfilling job. While 78% senior managers reported they were concerned about employee retention.
As a result of these findings, Robert Half weighs in with some advice for companies who don’t want to lose their staff in the near future.
Robert Half senior executive director Paul McDonald stated: “As the job market continues to rebound, employers need to be concerned about retention.
“Younger professionals, especially, want to be challenged and may leave if they’re unsatisfied.
“Now is the time for managers to invest in upskilling, review performance goals and develop mentoring programs that benefit all employees.”
Robert Half also suggests a better recognition and reward system, including re-thinking and adjusting salaries regularly.
“Even if your business isn’t able to increase pay right now, consider whether you could provide other forms of compensation, like bonuses, paid time off [or] retirement plans,” noted the report.
A final important option is enabling individuals to have a better work-life balance, including by offering flexible working arrangements and encouraging companies to take holiday and set boundaries at work.