“With promising signs of improving economic fortunes, companies face a stark reality check. Did they improve efficiency? And, if so, was it a temporary response to crisis – or is it sustainable? Based on views from people doing the work, the jury is still out on both questions.”
In the US, Workforce Management reported a Kronos Workforce Institute study that found:
“Of respondents who said productivity had been negatively affected by layoffs, 66% said that morale had suffered and that workers were less motivated, and 36% said they are concerned that as the economy picks up, they won’t have the right resources to meet demand.”
In the UK, HR Review reported large percentages of employees are working additional hours for no pay with “employers benefiting from £1.5 billion of unpaid labour every week.” The article draws the conclusion:
“Motivation in the UK workplace may be hampered after it was revealed that the average employee is working for four hours a week without pay.”
What’s the connection? Just this – don’t rely on studies or news reports alone to understand what your employees think, how they are reacting to the recession, and what that means for productivity and performance in your organization. The data in the UK study in no way supports the conclusion that motivation is hampered. Perhaps employees are more engaged in their work and willingly giving extra effort – or at least some percentage are. here is not enough evidence either way. The other two reports seem to contradict each other.
The bottom line is this – you know (or you should know) how this lingering recession and the actions your company may have taken as a result is affecting your employees. You also know the best solution for addressing these problems. Of course, recognizing and appreciating their efforts that have kept your running through the recession is a critical component to their engagement, efficiency and morale. What other steps are you or have you taken to truly understand the state of mind of your employee and then react appropriately?