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Survey asks: Have employers gained worker trust on providing a safe workplace during pandemic?

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Photo: Nattakorn Maneerat/iStockphoto

Lowell, MA — During the initial months of the COVID-19 pandemic, only 20% of workers felt their employer met their needs to protect their safety and health, but many employers have since worked to earn employee trust in that regard, results of a recent global survey indicate.

Environmental consulting firm Savanta Inc., on behalf of The Workforce Institute at the Ultimate Kronos Group, in June surveyed more than 3,900 workers and business leaders in 11 countries – including the United States, Canada and Mexico – about attitudes around trust in the workplace, digital transformation and crisis response/management.

A third of the respondents said they trust their employer more now than they did before the pandemic because of how their organization has reacted. However, 36% said they wish their workplace had closed faster and safety measures for essential workers were implemented sooner. Half the respondents said they’ve been regularly working the same or more hours since the pandemic began. As a result, 43% said preventing worker fatigue and burnout by balancing workloads must be a priority for employers. To that end, 59% of the respondents said their employer has taken at least some measures, while 29% said they wish their employer would be more empathetic.


Other findings:

  • Respondents are more concerned about coming in contact with an asymptomatic workplace visitor (45%) than an asymptomatic co-worker (40%).
  • 32% of workers would like more communication from management, which was identified as a primary regret among 35% of C-suite leaders.
  • High-traffic areas in the workplace (elevators, staircases and lobbies) are a concern for 35% of the respondents, while 26% have worries about open floor plans.

“As organizations around the world operate through an unprecedented global pandemic, they need to double down on their employee experience strategy,” Chris Mullen, executive director of The Workforce Institute at UKG, said in a Sept. 15 press release. “Instead of looking for trendy perks, they must get back to the foundational needs every employee requires: physical safety, psychological security, job stability and flexibility.”

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