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3 Ways to Combat Pandemic-Related Career Change

Keep your workforce intact after the pandemic. Here are three ideas for boosting employee retention when many of your best may be thinking about jumping ship.  

The Employer-Employee Game of Musical Chairs

It’s been over a year now since the world shut down due to a global pandemic. Everyone, including employers, pivoted to a new normal during this time. Now that we see the light at the end of the tunnel, we should all prepare for another shift. For many employers just catching their breath, it may seem like easy times ahead but those of us in talent acquisition know we’re heading into a different set of challenges. 

What challenges? 

I liken it to a game of musical chairs. In our Future of Work series, we’ve discussed remote work challenges employers are likely to encounter. Now we tackle the shift in who America’s workforce wants to work for.

80% of workers are concerned about their career advancement post covid. @REVEALGlobal says you should still offer feedback and performance reviews for employees. Click to Tweet

Reportedly, 38% of workers feel trapped in their careers since the beginning of the pandemic, and 1 in 4 workers will prepare to look for a new career change once the pandemic is over. What is driving employees to switch careers or resign post-COVID? 

Remote work and virtual meetings are likely to continue after the pandemic. Working from home may not be possible every day. However, 20-25% of our workforce could work from home at least three times a week

Statistics show that conservatively, perhaps 25% or MORE of your people will be looking to make a move. Let’s explore why employees are looking to play a game of musical chairs with their jobs so you can prepare for the onslaught and even understand it. 

REV-Top-3-Reasons-for-Pandemic-Related-Career-Changes (1)

Career Change Reason #1: Concerns about Career Advancement 

Post pandemic, 80% of workers feel concerned about their career advancement. Many employees feel at a standstill in their careers due to the pandemic. Some companies have stopped offering career advancement essentials such as performance reviews or continuing education during this time. While understandable, this, unfortunately, means some employees can not advance to the next level of their careers or gain the skills or feedback they need to see and feel progression in their current role. 

Employees who don’t feel they have a path to advancement can damage worker morale, succession planning, and profit overall. If employees feel they are at a standstill, they will look for other opportunities to fulfill their need for advancement, thus leaving the company. 

Employers could easily combat this by bringing back any “nice-to-haves” paused during 2020, such as continuous employee feedback, performance review cycles, and training & learning programs. Doing so is essential in employees moving their careers forward within the company instead of seeking outside opportunities. 

PURPOSE-DRIVEN TIP: Even if your company did everything right during the pandemic, many employees simply feel overworked, and advancement isn’t possible with the additional responsibilities they were obligated to take on during the pandemic. 

TO DO: Assess employee roles and responsibilities now versus the job description or advertisement to which they were hired. If you see misalignment, begin by redefining internal roles and hiring before your employees leave for greener pastures. If you really want to do this well, my Critical Sucess Factors exercise will give you amazing clarity. Click here and I’ll send you a video of how this works.

Career Change Reason #2: Rethinking Skill Sets

72% of employees surveyed said the pandemic made them rethink their skill sets. Companies that offered career programs or online courses saw a massive increase in users. 

DYK? It’s estimated that by 2030, 30-40% of workers in developed nations will have to move into new occupations or upgrade their skill sets. 

Additionally, only 7% of executives believe their companies are fully prepared to address skill gaps over the next five years. To bridge the gap, start by allocating some of the company’s budget for employees to attend seminars online or in person. Companies can help bridge the skill gap by devoting resources for employees to take online courses to learn valuable skills.  

PURPOSE-DRIVEN TIP: Skills gaps often appear after times of widespread change, such as the period we’re in now. While it’s easy to get caught up in the busyness of “rebuilding,” focus on looking for skills that are both transferable and future-proof.

TO DO: While there is no hard and fast rule about what constitutes a future-proof skill, often employers look to the tactical (which can be automated) versus the strategic (requires human intuition and thought.) An excellent way to determine if your company is future-proofing its skillsets is to assess by teams (as opposed to individuals.) Additionally, be sure to consider REVEALTalent for proactive career management strategies and resources. 

Career Change Reason #3: Post-Pandemic Flexibility 

During this time, people thought about what is important to them. Employees are looking for more flexibility post-pandemic. This could be as simple as giving them the option to work remotely. Working remotely would allow employees to have a better work-life balance rather than working from an office. Employees can choose where in the world they want to work. Plus, you can’t beat the commute. 

In fact, work-life balance is so important to employees that 30% of workers would give up part of their pay to achieve work-life balance. To help them achieve this, offer an online work environment, flexible scheduling, or mental health days. Doing so would allow better work-life balance. 

PURPOSE-DRIVEN TIP: Most companies did find themselves grudgingly adopting a remote or hybrid work model during the past 18 months. Instead of trying to replicate what your company offered in the past, survey your employees and their productivity over this period to determine how to tackle remote work in the future. 

TO DO: Conduct employee surveys and sentiment analysis to understand how your employees (and the work they’ve produced) fared during the pandemic. Did remote work initially boost productivity and then wane for a bit? Was your workforce able to quickly adapt through the use of collaboration software and new processes? Did employee engagement increase or decrease during stay-at-home orders? The answers to these questions will help inform your remote or hybrid work strategy moving forward.  At Reveal, we conduct an annual “Rerecruiting you to Reveal” exercise. This is a powerful retention methodology. If you want to see a video and resources for this, click here

1 in 4 workers will prepare to look for a new career change once the pandemic is over. @REVEALGlobal discusses what is driving employees to switch careers or resigning post covid.Click to Tweet

Stopping the Music

As we transition out of the pandemic, many employees may be considering changing career paths. Companies can combat this by offering pathways for career advancement, options for employees to improve their skill sets, and by adding remote or hybrid flexibility in their workplace. 


While there are many reasons employees are looking to make a move, retention is still top of mind for employers. Tackling these challenges may not solve all attrition issues, but by shoring up the foundations for learning and advancement and creating future-proof skill sets and work environments, employers can keep the best and set themselves up for hiring success in the future. 

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