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Progression and training stifled by Coronavirus

UK employees feel as though the pandemic has stunted any career progression they may have had over the past year.

Over a third (39%) of UK employees said they have regressed in their roles since the start of COVID-19, according to new research by recruitment software company Beamery.

The shift to remote work was cited as the most significant reason for career regression.

Over half (53%) said working from home has had negative impact on their personal development and progression at work.

More than a third (39%) also said their skills have grown stale and need updating.

Lucinda Pullinger, HR director at The Instant Group, said growth, support and wellbeing are all key elements of employment for many employees.

She told HR magazine: “The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the importance of these and provoked new challenges for employers to deliver to employee expectations and needs. 

“It is critical for engagement and retention to ensure employees are well supported in their daily working lives, with clear guidance and expectations of what their future development and success might look like.”

HR managers have a duty to work with the business to ensure that process and discussion linked to career progression does not fall by the wayside, Pillinger added.

“Line manager proactivity around the talent and career acceleration of their employees will be a point of difference between business success in the future, in particular as the talent market heats up over the coming months,” she said.    

Just under half (43%) of those surveyed believed the lack of one-to-one engagement with managers has hindered their promotion prospects.

Employees said their employer has not offered them any opportunities to learn or develop new skills (48%) since the working from home restrictions began.

Abakar Saidov, co-founder and CEO at Beamery, said now more than ever, if you want to ensure you attract and retain the best talent in your industry, employee communication is key.

He said: “Workers want a clear, objective way of understanding the skills they need to learn to progress in their career, and employers must provide the right training and mentorship opportunities to help them improve.

“Employers need to embrace more efficient ways to track employee happiness to remain competitive in the hiring landscape and put specific markers across career journeys to ensure employees are consistently learning, progressing and, most importantly, enjoying the work they do.”

Saidov advised adding efficiency to this process will in many cases transform a company’s approach to spotting, nurturing, and retaining talent.

The pandemic’s effect in careers:

Pandemic alters young jobseekers' career choices

Pandemic has caused career crisis for parents and carers

Coronavirus pandemic widens graduate inequalities