Stress levels across HR Directors caused by Covid-19 taking its toll
With many employees at risk of redundancy over the coming months due to the economic impact of COVID-19, new research highlights how they could be let down by employers in terms of career transition support, just when the job market is at its worst in over a decade. These findings along with insights into the pressures facing HR Directors and employees are revealed in a new report from global workforce transformation business LHH, ‘Redundancy Rethink’ published today.
The report, based on research conducted in April, shows increasing high levels of pressure across HR departments. A large majority (93%) of HR decision makers stated that they felt under more pressure than ever before, and quarter (25%) went as far as to say that they believe they were not handling redundancies and layoffs as well as they have done previously.
When it came to redundancies, over a third said they would find the whole process much easier if they were able to help departing employees find a new job, and 65% said that working with an outplacement provider to provide career transition support is important right now. Unfortunately, a third of HR decision makers admitted that while they see the benefit in this strategy, they believe there is a risk that their employer will focus spending and resource on other business priorities.
With employees ranking their biggest concern now as losing their job, more than taking a pay cut or catching COVID-19 at work, the research also suggests clear issues across the business from a motivation and productivity perspective. 88% of employees said that their morale had been impacted by these worries, and 83% admitted that their productivity has been affected.
Even more worryingly, HR Decision makers highlighted how the redundancy process also creates a culture of low morale and fear, with some talking about this externally, including 11% revealing that they have seen employees complaining more publicly on their social media platforms. This points to how dealing badly with departing people now will have a significant impact on an employer’s brand. Of those employees that work for a company that has offered outplacement services in the wake of redundancies, 53% say that they view their employer more favourably for doing so.
JC Townend, CEO of LHH said
“Right now businesses are faced with some very tough decisions and squeezed budgets. Unfortunately there will be unavoidable redundancies in the coming months, but the current jobs market and economic situation makes it even more of an imperative to support employees in this situation. Helping redundant workers land on their feet in transitioning to a new role is not only the right thing to do, but helps maintain a positive employer brand, boost morale internally for remaining employees, while supporting a vibrant economy. These things are more important than they’ve ever been right now.
“We know that redundancies so far this year are very much the tip of the iceberg. The furlough scheme has helped to protect millions of jobs, however this picture will soon change once the scheme comes to an end.”
“Our research suggests that many businesses understand the importance of outplacement strategies, however competing business priorities could leave behind potentially millions of people facing unemployment without any help to find a new role. Loyalty, morale and performance of remaining employees will suffer – and businesses who are complacent may also lose incredible talent by mismanaging their restructures and redundancy programmes.”