HRE’s number of the day: employee views on pandemic response

15: Percentage of employees whose view of their employer has worsened since COVID-19 began

Since the pandemic began, 15% of employees say that their view of their employer has worsened, and 15% say that it became more positive, according to a survey of 5,000 working Americans from Morneau Shepell, a human resources services and technology company. The majority of employees (72%) believe that their employers are handling health and safety well, compared to only 7% of employees that believe it’s been poorly handled. Similarly, 68% of employees believe their employer is handling the use of technology well, 60% of employees believe their employer is handling flexible work hours well and 55% of employees are satisfied with how their employer is handling work-from-home policies.

What it means to HR leaders

Although the index reveals employees are feeling equally positive and negative toward their employers when compared to before the pandemic, there’s room for growth.

The pandemic has been a make-it-or-break-it time for many company and HR leaders, with health and safety, employee wellbeing, mental health, flexibility and compassion being vital strategies.

Related: Why health needs to be HR’s No. 1 priority amid return-to-work plans

“While it’s encouraging to see a positive sentiment in some, the negative sentiment is something employers should attend to,” says Paula Allen, global leader, research and total wellbeing at Morneau Shepell. “As employers continue to prioritize employee health and safety during this time, it’s important to remember that these are not the only factors needed to maintain workplace stability and positive culture. Proactive communication, inclusivity through virtual platforms and support for employees’ mental health and wellbeing during this crisis are equally as important and are essential for employees to feel valued.”

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Kathryn Mayer
Kathryn Mayer is HRE’s former benefits editor and chair of the Health & Benefits Leadership Conference. She has covered benefits for the better part of a decade, and her stories have won multiple awards, including a Jesse H. Neal Award and honors from the American Society of Business Publication Editors and the National Federation of Press Women. She holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Denver.