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Under appreciated young workers on brink of exodus

Half of young workers (49%) aged 18-34 say they are planning to quit their jobs in the next 12 months due to pandemic working conditions, according to a new report commissioned by HR software developer Personio.

A lack of progression could be to blame for the impending job exodus.

Almost two thirds (59%) of those surveyed felt that they had missed out on deserved promotions, while 66% felt that the pandemic has held them back in their career.

The pandemic's effect on younger workers and career progression:

Progression and training stifled by Coronavirus

Younger workers feel empowered to make changes in their workplace

Young people struggle to find quality jobs post-pandemic

Personio chief people officer Ross Seychell said remote working may have caused younger workers to be overlooked

He told HR magazine: “Many younger workers who have primarily worked remotely since the onset of the pandemic will have missed out on crucial socialising and team building, which may have led to them feeling isolated, disconnected or even, at worst, ignored by their management teams.

“HR professionals should pay extra attention to ensure culture, communication and performance management do not fall prey to being out of sight and out of mind.”

Young workers surveyed prioritised themselves more in the wake of the pandemic, with 85% stating that a work/life balance is more important to them now, and a further 88% increasingly prioritising care from their employer for their wellbeing.

Norman Pickavance, CEO and senior advisor at the Financial Inclusion Alliance (FIA), noted how things have changed in the past few years.

He told HR magazine: “The game has shifted. Three days in the office and two days working from home – which sounded good pre-pandemic – is no longer cutting it. Such 'inflexible flexibility’, doesn’t go far enough. Lifestyle has become critical in attraction and retention.”

The research also showed that younger workers felt undervalued, with 70% saying they didn’t receive enough recognition from their employers on their performance over the pandemic, compared with 38% of those aged over 45.

Seychell added: “I would encourage my fellow HR peers to spend time with these groups to better understand their needs and expectations.

“Regular performance and development talks play a particularly critical role – not only in understanding the priorities of employees, but also in developing and engaging younger talent who need that much more guidance on their progression and careers.”

The research is based on a survey of 250 senior decision-makers and 1,000 employees from SMEs across the UK and Ireland.