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Majority of Professionals Say They Have Less Drive and are Stressed, Bored and Sad
A new Korn Ferry (NYSE: KFY) survey of professionals shows that 2021 may not be bringing in a new era of optimism.
More than half (58 percent) of respondents say it’s harder this year to return to their post-holiday work routine and 52 percent say they have less energy and drive than in years past. Sixty percent say stress, boredom and sadness best describe their mood about returning to work.
“It’s been one thing after another for people, and the ongoing uncertainty regarding the pandemic, the economy, social unrest and political discord is taking a toll,” said Korn Ferry Senior Director and engagement specialist Mark Royal. “While employers can’t control external issues, they can focus on ways to keep employees engaged.”
The survey shows that an emphasis on employee satisfaction is critical to business continuity and employee retention. More than half (54 percent) of respondents say they are planning on looking for a new job in 2021. The top reasons they cite include a bad culture fit, boredom and a quest for a higher salary.
Of those planning on staying at their current job, 54 percent say they do not plan on asking for a raise. The top reason is that there is a freeze on raises at their company (56 percent) followed by fear of getting turned down and creating an awkward situation (27 percent).
The survey does offer some glimmers of good news for the coming year. Despite the challenging environment, more than three-quarters of respondents (81 percent) believe they will be more productive overall in 2021, and nearly two-thirds (63 percent) say they are more loyal to their company based on their employer’s response to the pandemic.
About the survey
802 professionals responded to survey in early January 2021.
Is it harder this year than in years past to return to your work routine post-holiday?
It’s harder this year 58 percent
It’s easier this year 42 percent
Would you say you have more or less energy/drive regarding returning to work this year?
More energy/drive 48 percent
Less energy/drive 52 percent
What best describes your mood about returning to work?
Ready and excited to return 40 percent
Stressed 37 percent
Bored 12 percent
Sad 11 percent
Are you more loyal or less loyal to your employer based on the way leaders have treated employees through this crisis?
More loyal 63 percent
Less loyal 37 percent
Do you think you will be more productive at work in 2021 than in 2020?
I was more productive in 2020 19 percent
I will be more productive in 2021 81 percent
Do you plan on looking for a new job in 2021?
Yes 54 percent
No 46 percent
If you are planning on looking for a new job in 2021, what is the top reason?
I’m bored, need a new challenge 26 percent
Culture doesn’t fit with my values 26 percent
I have either lost my job or expect that I will 2 percent
Higher salary 26 percent
Bigger title 4 percent
My boss 16 percent
Are you planning on asking for a raise in 2021?
Yes 46 percent
No 54 percent
If you are not going to ask for a raise, what’s the top reason?
Our company has put a freeze on all raises 56 percent
I’m afraid I’ll get turned down and it will be awkward 27 percent
I don’t really deserve one at this time 17 percent
If your company has put a freeze on raises, how long would you guess it will before raises are resumed?
Within the next 3 months 10 percent
Within the next 6 months 15 percent
By the end of this year 54 percent
I don’t think they will resume raises 21 percent
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.