Employee Morale is Rising
A survey of 264 HR professionals conducted over a 24-hour period to Thursday of this week, conducted by XpertHR found that:
- One in three (32.2%) thought employee engagement was now higher than it was before the pandemic;
- Half (49.2%) thought there had been no change; and
- Fewer than one in five (18.6%) thought employee engagement had fallen.
In XpertHR’s first survey was on 02 April in which less than half the professionals said that their work was driven by the crisis. Just one in five HR professionals (20.8%) now say that all or almost all of their work is driven by the crisis and down from one in three (32.2%) on 16 April.
This reflects the end of the scramble facing many employers to furlough staff, send others home to work and make extensive arrangements to improve health and safety when the lockdown was first announced.
Since then, HR has led the way engaging employees, with widespread initiatives to:
- Issue wellbeing and mental health guidance to those stuck at home;
- Provide regular updates on business and messages from senior management;
- Offer tips on working from home; and
- Organize virtual social activities.
When asked how they would describe current levels of employee engagement in their organizations today:
- 21.2% said excellent;
- 57.6% said good;
- 18.9% said fair;
- 1.5% said poor; and
- 15.4% said very poor.
The XpertHR survey found that HR professionals were working hard to promote engagement and recognize employees’ efforts as the lockdown continues. Approaches cited by participants in the research include:
- Saying thank-you – recognizing employees through public “shout-outs”, mentions in CEO newsletters and directly by letter and in e-cards;
- Introducing a home working allowance – to ensure employees are not out of pocket with the move out of the office;
- Increase continued professional development – one of the permitted activities for those employees who have been furloughed;
- Asking employees how the organization is doing – to discover whether or not it is doing the right thing and to show that the organization is listening; and
- Sending a gift – including chocolate, flowers and “cream tea hampers”.
Commenting on the findings, XpertHR Content Director Mark Crail said:
“Despite all the worry and uncertainty of the past few weeks, HR professionals can be proud of the job they have done. They put in place many of the systems and mechanisms that kept their organizations running when the crisis hit, and they have continued to support staff through a very difficult period. The results of their work can be seen in what are quite remarkable levels of continued employee engagement.”
Despite this, many HR professionals continue to report that they are struggling with inconsistent and changing government guidance, unrealistic expectations from within their own organizations, and the need to balance their own work and home lives.