No End in Sight: Majority of Professionals Believe Employee Turnover will Increase in 2022, According to Korn Ferry Survey

Nearly Half Say Company Operations Are Being Negatively Impacted Due to Shortage

Los Angeles, Sept. 22, 2021 – As companies continue to scramble to fill open positions, a new Korn Ferry survey finds that professionals believe that the labor shortage issue is turning into a marathon, not a sprint.

More than half (55%) of respondents say that as 2022 approaches, they expect employee turnover will increase. Nearly half (43%) say the labor shortage is having a negative impact on their company’s operations, and two-thirds (66%) say the pandemic has made it more difficult to fill open positions.

The top reason employees are leaving, according to respondents, is that they are re-evaluating their priorities amid the pandemic (30%). This is followed by a lack of a clear advancement path (24%) and better pay and benefits (23%).

“This labor shortage is much more than just a people issue – it’s a business conundrum that can have long-lasting effects if not addressed,” said Juan Pablo Gonzalez, Senior Client Partner and Sector Leader, Professional Services.

Nearly three-quarters (74%) of respondents say their company has a shortage of the skills and capabilities needed for the future.

“These statistics show that the negative impact of this trend will increase over time, unless employers change course,” said Gonzalez. “Leaders must work to understand the priorities of employees and develop talent strategies that will keep employees engaged and on-the-job.”

The top way companies are combating the labor shortage is upskilling/reskilling current employees (37%).

About the survey: The Korn Ferry survey of 1,128 professionals took place mid-September 2021.

Survey responses

As 2022 approaches, what do you expect will happen with turnover?

It will remain the same as it is now                                         29%

It will increase                                                                         55%

It will decrease                                                                        16%

What do you believe is the top reason employees are leaving your organization?

Better pay/benefits                                                                  23%

Need for more challenging/rewarding work                           14%

Lack of a clear advancement path                                         24%

Boss/co-workers                                                                     9%

Re-evaluation of priorities amid the pandemic                       30%

Are your company’s operations being negatively impacted by a labor shortage?

Yes and it’s hurting business                                                  43%

Yes but it hasn’t had a significant impact on business           34%

We do not have a labor shortage                                           23%

Is your company experiencing a shortage of skills and capabilities needed for the future?

Yes                                                                                          74%

No                                                                                           26%

If it is harder to now to fill open positions, what is the top reason?

More people are leaving the workforce                                 17%

Can’t find qualified talent/skills                                               45%

Need more competitive salaries/benefits                               24%

Remote working policy                                                           8%

Safety/health concerns related to the pandemic                    6%

What is the top way your company is addressing the labor and skill shortage?

Upskilling/reskilling current employees                                  37%

Relying heavily on contingent/gig workers                             20%

Offering former employees incentives to return                     4%

Increasing compensation, rewards and benefits                    20%

Offering additional training and education opportunities       9%

Providing remote working opportunities                                 10%

Is the percentage of open positions at your organization higher or lower than before the pandemic?

Higher                                                                                     65%

Lower                                                                                      35%

Has your company experienced higher turnover since the start of the pandemic?

Yes                                                                                          56%

No                                                                                           44%

Has the pandemic made it harder for your company to fill open positions?

Yes                                                                                          66%

No                                                                                           34%

About Korn Ferry

Korn Ferry is a global organizational consulting firm. We work with our clients to design optimal organization structures, roles, and responsibilities. We help them hire the right people and advise them on how to reward and motivate their workforce while developing professionals as they navigate and advance their careers.

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