Although unemployment has risen in recent months, the pandemic is causing some workers to jump ship.
According to a new survey, one-fourth of U.S. workers say they’ve considered quitting their jobs during the pandemic. As to why, about 70% cite the challenges of juggling work, childcare, and other responsibilities. Some say that fears of being infected with COVID-19 are a major concern. As a temporary solution, about a fifth say they’ve taken leave until they figure out what their next step should be.
Among other findings:
- 39% of workers in households earning less than $30,000 per year have considered leaving their job, versus 23% of higher earners.
- At least 50% of employees say that it’s very important for their employers to expand sick leave, provide flexibility for caregivers, and support workers’ mental health.
- 50% of working women say the pandemic is a major source of stress in their lives, versus 36% of men.
- 62% of Black workers and 47% of Hispanic employees cite the pandemic as causing significant life stress, compared to 39% of white workers.
There is some good news. Over half (57%) of respondents say their employer is providing “about the right amount” of employee support and protection during the pandemic, and 24% report that their organization actually is “going above and beyond.” Only 18% give their employer a failing grade.
Worker satisfaction with their employer’s response to the pandemic seems to center around physical protections, which workers across the board cite as very important. Interestingly, 65% of remote workers say they’re satisfied with their employer’s efforts to keep them safe, while only 50% of onsite workers agree.
Employees say that other efforts, such as expanded sick leave, scheduling flexibility, and mental health support, also are important to them. However, they report that such benefits are in short supply:
- Only 1 in 10 workers says their company provides childcare facilities, stipends, or tutoring services.
- Just 26% report that their employer is currently providing extended family leave.
- Under half (44%) say their company does a good job in offering flexibility for caregivers, and 18% rate their employer’s performance in this area as poor.
Pandemic-related support seems to vary according to company size. Workers at smaller organizations (those with fewer than 1,000 employees) are less likely than those at larger companies to praise their employer’s handling of the pandemic.
According to survey results, 28% of employees are working fewer hours than before the pandemic; among Black workers, the number is 38%. It’s unclear whether this is due to companies cutting workers’ hours or employees choosing to work less.
Don’t be blindsided by turnover in the coming weeks and months. Reach out to employees and identify those who might be at risk for leaving. Find out what benefits and support might encourage them to stay. Not only will this help you keep good employees; you’ll be able to maximize productivity and attract top-notch candidates when openings arise.