As the months have passed during the COVID-19 pandemic, organizations are being more transparent about their financial situation with employees.
This was a main find in the “Employer Response to COVID-19 Update Survey” conducted by WorldatWork and Salary.com, which found that 57% of organizations were sharing financial information related to COVID-19 with employees in September compared to 33% in April.
Additionally, 30% of the 510 companies surveyed were offering personal finance guidance and tips in September compared to 19% in April.
“It feels like the speed and scope of change over the past six months has been what we would have expected in six years, but the upside is that organizations are becoming more accustomed to quickly responding to employee needs,” said Scott Cawood, CEO of WorldatWork. “We are still a long way from business as usual, and employers find themselves continuing to pivot, sometimes with very hard decisions (e.g., temporary layoffs that are now permanent) and sometimes for the better (e.g., increased listening sensitivity to employee needs).”
While 53% of companies in April and 55% of companies in September were balancing employee and revenue needs equally, in September, 13% said they are prioritizing revenue/profit to some degree compared to 6% in April. In April, 41% said they were prioritizing workers to some degree compared to 34% in September.
The survey also found that organizations are not very concerned about their ability to maintain a competitive compensation position to attract and retain talent; 52% are “not at all” or “slightly” concerned. From a benefits standpoint, 70% of organizations are now offering additional support because of COVID-19, as compared to 40% in April. And 67% said they are offering flexible work scheduling for caregivers.
Other key findings from the survey included:
• Layoffs. Organizations indicate temporary layoff activity has increased 29% and permanent layoff activity has increased 29%.
• Virtual work social events. In September, 56% of organizations said they were holding virtual social events, as compared to 34% in April.
• On-site COVID-19 vaccines. While 78% of organizations are providing PPE and are developing policies for employees to report COVID-19 symptoms, only 12% are planning to provide on-site COVID-19 vaccinations when they are available.
About the Author
Brett Christie is the managing editor of Workspan Daily.