- As job losses surge and workplace closures carry over to 2021, 2 in 5 office workers surveyed in December by human capital management software firm SilkRoad Technology and OnePoll said they planned to resign and get new jobs based on the manner in which their companies handled the COVID-19 pandemic.
- The survey, which measured the responses of 1,500 U.S.-based office workers and 500 level C-level U.S. executives, found a slight disconnect between the two groups over organizational responses to the pandemic. While 86% of executives surveyed said their companies demonstrated commitment to employees last year, more than half of employees said they hoped their companies would provide more support.
- Most of the surveyed workers who started new jobs during the pandemic reported information gaps. For example, 52% of this group said they felt that they didn't receive enough training, while 56% said they still had unanswered questions about their roles.
The results of the survey conflict with some earlier research on attrition during the pandemic. In May, 78% of U.S. adults surveyed by The Harris Poll said they would not consider a job change during the pandemic, and 69% indicated that they didn't feel that they would be able to find a new job during the pandemic.
Even so, employers still saw attrition due to the pandemic. In November, a report by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation disclosed that nearly one-third of surveyed employers said they lost employees, with half reporting that child care was a particular concern on this front. In September, a Willis Towers Watson survey of employers found 1 in 4 respondents reported attrition due to employees' increased caring responsibilities.
Results from the SilkRoad and OnePoll survey indicate that there are opportunities for employers "to better support and enable employees through transitions, change or disruption," Lilith Christiansen, chief strategy and product officer at SilkRoad Technology, said in the firm's statement.
Other research points to a disconnect between workers and employers over support. A September report by IBM found evidence of what the company called a "trust gap" between the two sides, with employees giving comparatively low ratings of their employers' efforts to train them.
Furthermore, the movement of workspaces and the changes to workflows have only exacerbated the stress and burnout posed to employees, according to a Verizon Business executive who spoke to HR Dive last year. Compounding that stress, workers have also seen their list of duties grow in the past year. SilkRoad and OnePoll's survey found 63% of worker respondents said they took on new responsibilities or roles during the pandemic.
HR consulting firm Gartner said in October that employees also face decreased capacity to absorb change as a result of the pandemic as many worry about their health and job security. To combat this challenge, Gartner recommended that HR leaders focus on trust and team cohesion as well as an "open resource" approach that focuses on how employees experience change rather than the outcomes of changed behaviors.