Less than 1 in 4 trust their boss to tell them the truth about job security

26 September 2008

Survey results released today by Ceridian, one of the largest providers of human resource services in the world, reveal that despite one in five employees being unhappy in their job, more than half plan to stay with their current employer.

Survey results released today by Ceridian, one of the largest providers of human resource services in the world, reveal that despite one in five employees being unhappy in their job more than half plan to ride out the downturn by bedding down with their current employer until business conditions improve. This is the case even though 78% expect the impending recession to last up to two years.

The findings of the survey of nearly 1,000 employees are included in a white paper examining the importance of keeping trust within your organisation during an economic downturn. In addition, the white paper provides crucial insight into what managers and HR teams need to be doing right now to see their businesses and employees through the economic downturn.

As the downturn takes hold, employers can expect to see staff performance and commitment dip further just when organisations need employees to go the extra mile. Morale is falling with 22% saying that the downturn has affected their confidence that they will keep their job and 48% believing that the downturn has already compromised cultural values in their organisation.  

The survey also reveals that 9 out 10 employees believe they would find a new job within six months if they had to.

Employers face a tough challenge. Not only do they need to survive in times of recession, they also need to be in a position to take advantage of recovery when it happens, otherwise their best people will move on when times improve. Getting people policies right has never been more important.Karan Paige, Chief People Officer, Ceridian

Trust is plummeting with nearly half of respondents revealing that the cultural values in their business have already been compromised.  There is also unrest in organisations where redundancies have already taken place with nearly a quarter feeling that their jobs will be the next to go and 27% feeling the pressure with an increased workload.  In addition, 28% of respondents say they have already seen redundancies in their organisations.

The recession has become a regular talking point with 56% of employees discussing its impact twice a week or more, yet at a time when trust within organisations is vital, fewer than one in four employees would turn to their boss and have a conversation about the effect of the recession on their job security, even though their employers are the most likely to know the truth.  Instead insecurities are fuelled as 69% would turn to their families and share their worries with them.

Employees think that the best way to move forward is to go on unnoticed, with one in seven workers less likely to suggest new ideas as a result of recession fears.

Karan Paige said, “With business priorities frequently changing, people quickly become confused about exactly what is happening within the organisation and trust is low.  There is a need for strong leadership, and with the UK enjoying 15 years of a relatively stable economy, many of today’s managers are poorly equipped to see their business and employees through a downturn as this will be their first experience of a recession.  For those managers in particular, Ceridian’s free downloadable whitepaper acts as a tool kit giving guidance and advice for business leaders going into a downturn.”

Recommendations in the white paper to help mangers steer employees through the recession include:

  • encourage job swaps, mentoring and secondments to other parts of the business
  • consider flexible working, where applicable; it allows employers to cut down hours without letting staff go and employees will appreciate the opportunity of working from home to save money on travel to work costs and fuel
  • ensure that employee benefits schemes are reviewed to provide employees with maximum value: where there is little prospect of a pay increase an improved employee reward scheme can do wonders for staff morale
  • urge senior management to walk the floor and be more visible to raise staff morale