Many businesses’ COVID response could cost them employees

by | Feb 1, 2021 | Covid-19, Public Relations

New research from employee engagement service provider SilkRoad Technology, in partnership with OnePoll, reveals that two in five office workers plan to resign and find a new job based on how their company handled its pandemic response.

The firm’s report, Full-time Flexibility, offers insights on how office workers and C-level executives have adjusted during the COVID-19 pandemic, if perceptions of remote work have changed, whether elements of flexible work arrangements or remote work will be desired in a post-pandemic world, and how onboarding new hires was affected during the pandemic. It also identified what office workers and C-level executives would like to see improved in a company pandemic response as well as revealed executive priorities for 2021.

Other key takeaways from the report include:

  • 86 percent of C-suite respondents thought their company demonstrated commitment to their employees in 2020
    • Over half of workers hoped their company would provide more support
  • 84 percent of executives agree that accelerating the path towards digital business transformation for long-term growth and profitability is a critical priority for 2021
  • Other top C-level priorities for 2021 include:
    • Finding new ways to serve customers and build resiliency without losing agility
    • Identifying roles critical to accomplishing organizational strategy or facilitating a new digital business
    • How to reskill talent to meet emerging needs
  • Of workers who started a new job during the pandemic:
    • 52 percent felt like they didn’t receive enough training
    • 56 percent still have unanswered questions about their role
  • On average, over 80 percent of executives believe the orchestration of onboarding, performance management and learning are critical components to the successful introduction or transition of individuals to new roles (new hires, transfers and promotions)

“This survey has confirmed and even emphasized what we were hearing from enterprises around the urgent need for adopting digital business models to help them compete in our new world,” said Robert Dvorak, president and CEO of SilkRoad Technology, in a news release. “Successful digital operating models emerging in 2021 will be centered on people and delivering an exemplary employee experience. Workforce transformation and change management are integral to planning and designing digital operating models, but are often overlooked, contributing to recent high failure rates (per BCG research).”

The findings also indicate a disconnect between executives’ view of their effort to support employees through the pandemic and what office workers have experienced. “Ultimately, this tells us is that there is an opportunity to better support and enable employees through transitions, change or disruption, whether they are taking on a new role, taking on additional responsibilities or working from another location,” said Lilith Christiansen, chief strategy and product officer at SilkRoad Technology, in the release. “It’s imperative to have regularly cadenced communication and check-ins, ample training and clarity around performance goals and expectations to drive retention and deliver a better employee experience that yields results.”

Many businesses’ COVID response could cost them employees

The study was based on a survey of 1500 office workers and 500 C-level executives based in the United States.

Richard Carufel
Richard Carufel is editor of Bulldog Reporter and the Daily ’Dog, one of the web’s leading sources of PR and marketing communications news and opinions. He has been reporting on the PR and communications industry for over 17 years, and has interviewed hundreds of journalists and PR industry leaders. Reach him at richard.carufel@bulldogreporter.com; @BulldogReporter