UK workers’ trust in their employers falls due to coronavirus

New data from a Gallup poll of more than 1,000 (n=1,048) UK workers, show that the coronavirus outbreak has had a dramatic impact on employees’ trust in their employers’ compassion and leadership.

Fewer than one-third of employees feel strongly that their employer cares about their wellbeing (27%), a 14% decline from 2019 (41%).

Trust, among employees, in their business leaders’ ability to manage emerging challenges has also fallen – from 35% in 2019 to 28% in April 2020.

A significant cause appears to be poor communication of COVID planning by senior managers. In those organisations where a clear plan has been well communicated, trust remains high at 57%.

More than half of all UK employers (55%) have made cuts – to jobs, hours or recruitment etc – due to the impact of coronavirus and social distancing measures on their business.

Within those organisations making cuts, 59% of employees report being personally impacted in some way, equating to 34% of the entire UK workforce. People working in non-managerial roles are more likely to have been personally affected than managers – 63% vs 52%, respectively.

In those organisations making cuts, only 23% of workers feel strongly confident that they will be an important part of their company’s future after the pandemic.

Commenting, Jeremie Brecheisen, Senior Managing Consultant at Gallup said, “These results should be of serious concern to businesses. Either their coronavirus plans are lacking or they are failing to communicate them effectively. Employees know there are no guarantees, but they do expect clear plans and some reassurance. Companies’ performance could be further damaged if their employees can’t focus on their work, without worrying about their health or job security. We believe people are likely to remember whether their employer treated them compassionately at this time.”

Other results from the survey show that, as expected, home working has risen significantly, from 43% of employees in 2019, to 54% in April 2020.

More surprisingly, when asked, 56% of workers said they would like to continue to work from home as much as possible even after restrictions on businesses are lifted. This was despite 48% of employees reporting that changes in working practices have made it harder to do their jobs.

Full results will be published on the Gallup website on 6 May 2020

Author: Editorial Team

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