Number of the day: workplace health and safety

Nearly three in four U.S. employees say health and safety are top concerns when deciding where to work, according to new research from Qualtrics. According to their survey of more than 1,500 full-time U.S. employees, COVID-19 spread remains employees’ top reason for worrying.

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What it means to HR leaders

The COVID-19 pandemic has undoubtedly put workplace health and safety efforts in the spotlight. That is especially true as many employers look to bring their employees back into the office after two-plus years of working remotely. Yet, research shows that many workers are hesitant about returning to the office and are concerned about COVID exposure risks, data that indicates employers need to continue to prioritize health and safety efforts.

“The global pandemic has brought employee safety, health and wellbeing to the forefront of business priorities, and it can be challenging for leaders to know how to best support their employees,” says Jay Choi, Qualtrics chief product officer.

Additionally, HR leaders need to realize that not only are health and safety significant to current employees, but they are vital in attracting talent as well. The Qualtrics research finds those efforts are an important factor for job seekers when deciding where to work. That finding is important amid the Great Resignation, in which scores of workers are leaving their jobs

Company and HR leaders would be best served to beef up health and safety efforts, as well as talk to employees about how they are feeling and what they want from their employer to help them feel safe. While employers have increased health and safety measures, 27% of employees say they either don’t know if employers listen to feedback about workplace safety, or worse, they don’t believe employers are listening at all, the Qualtrics data finds.

Kathryn Mayer
Kathryn Mayer is HRE’s 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. She can be reached at kmayer@lrp.com.

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