A survey released today from Ceridian, one of the largest providers of human resource services in the world, has revealed the shocking lengths that employees would go to in order to keep their job in the downturn.
The survey of over 1,000 UK employees shows that even when the cost of living is rising and house prices are falling, one in ten respondents would be willing to take a pay cut. In addition, over a quarter would be prepared to have their hours and their pensions contributions axed and one in ten would take a demotion to make sure that they are not one of the nearly two million unemployed in the UK.
Three in five people are fearful of the impact that the downturn will have on their lifestyle, yet the research has revealed that in order to keep their job nearly half of the employees surveyed would be prepared to work longer hours, 44% of staff would accept an increase in workload and one in three people would voluntarily put in extra hours - which could potentially see employee stress levels soaring.
This is even more concerning considering almost half (47%) of the respondents agreed that they would forego their private healthcare, in a bid to keep their job and 43% would put additional healthcare such as counselling and physiotherapy on hold.
As the recession tightens its grip we are seeing staff compromise their principles and adopt survival tactics to stay ahead of the game. Nearly one in ten are prepared to stab people in the back in order to prove their value at work. With a quarter of people choosing to self promote and one in five becoming more ruthless to secure their position. Adding to this destructive atmosphere - almost one in ten agreed that they would tolerate unacceptable behaviour from their managers in order to keep their job.
A recession is a stressful time and employers need to ensure they have the mechanisms in place to support their employees.
Nearly half of those surveyed stated they would value access to confidential financial and personal advice emphasising the importance of employee assistance programmes. They are really valuable at this time, helping to support employees through the uncertainty at work and providing resources to manage financial concerns.
However, where this isn't feasible there is a lot to be said for not keeping employees in the dark about the state of the business. With four in five people (80%) saying they would value open and honest dialogue from their employers, there is a lot to be gained from open communication. By providing on honest reflection of how the business is doing you can build trust with your employees, helping them understand the reasoning for some of the decisions being taken and engaging them in tactics to improve business performance.Karan Paige, Chief People Officer at Ceridian
The downturn also affects employers. With 43% of respondents agreeing that they are more likely to stay in a job during a downturn for fear they may get made redundant in a new organisation due to 'last in, first out' policies, the chance of recruiting top talent is diminishing. Six in ten (60%) agreed that their biggest fear during an economic downturn was of limited availability of other jobs.
The talent pipeline is also in jeopardy as over a third (35%) of respondents agreed that they fear they do not have the skills and abilities for future employment. Combined with the statistic that nearly one third (32%) would agree to put higher education on hold as a result of the downturn - this could potentially result in a decline of a skilled workforce.
It is not all doom and gloom, the recession has also sparked a wave of innovative and frugal suggestions from employees. Nearly half of those surveyed agreed they would be more innovative and suggest money saving tactics to prove their value at work.