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Career Development Declining Despite Employee Interest

Active mentorship is vital to helping employees achieve their professional goals and advance in their careers. These benefits extend to organizations too, as mentorship can be instrumental in chipping away at growing employee turnover rates. While this is true during the best of circumstances, it’s especially true during times of crisis.

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However, a survey of more than 1,000 employees in the United States by Doodle revealed that career development and mentorship opportunities have been sorely lacking during the pandemic.

The “Career Development in a Pandemic” survey found that 50% of employees said mentorship from their manager has become more important to them during the pandemic. However, organizations are falling short of meeting these expectations, with nearly half (49%) of employees saying they aren’t getting enough training, coaching and mentoring to advance their careers in these uncertain times.

“Career growth and crises aren’t usually the most amenable bedfellows,” said Jared Blank, CMO of Doodle. “Employees tend to hold back on discussing their goals out of fear of losing their job, of being seen as ungrateful and of rocking the boat. At the same time, organizations tend to buckle down in crisis mode and focus their energy, resources and budgets into keeping the business afloat. But it’s precisely why professional development is absolutely critical now. Not only can career development empower employees to reach their full potential and achieve their long-term career goals, it can also help organizations combat that always-looming challenge of employee turnover.”

The survey also revealed that 41% of respondents said their career development has stalled during the pandemic and nine percent said the crisis has actually caused their careers to regress. Additionally, despite the increased use of Zoom, Slack and Microsoft Teams in workplaces, email still reigns supreme (42%) as the primary method of communication between employees and their bosses. Phone (26%) falls in second place. Yet, employee communication tools and video conferencing tools are much less popular, at 21% and 10%, respectively.

Other key findings:

  • Employees value the boss’s role in individual growth. When it comes to employees’ one-to-one meetings with their managers, 32% like when their boss provides clear direction on their role and responsibilities and 15% appreciate their manager’s guidance and support of their career development goals. This means 47% would like their boss to have an active role in their growth.
  • Capturing the boss’s attention is tricky business. Only 18% of the respondents said their boss schedules weekly one-to-one meetings over video with them. Twice weekly one-to-one meetings, meanwhile, are even less common (14%).
  • Limited calendar visibility keeps managers walled off and inaccessible. Almost half (47%) of the respondents said they don’t have access to their manager’s calendar in case they need to schedule a quick touch base with them.

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