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Nov 16, 2020
This article is part of a series called COVID-19 Coverage.

Recent return-to-work conversations have left employees feeling vulnerable and concerned about their future. For most companies, questions about childcare, safety, and communication have not yet been answered. And, as this uncertainty continues, it’s having a devastating impact on the employee experience. 

When it comes organizations supporting their workforce during this time, new research by Aptitude Research has found significant gaps in what employers and employees say around 

  • Productivity — 85% of employees say they are working more during this pandemic, but nearly 50% of employers say that employees are working less.
  • Flexibility —  Only 32% of employees are getting more flexibility during this time, even though 55% of employers state that they offer more flexibility.
  • Wellbeing — 62% of companies state that they are investing in employee wellbeing, but 64% of employees do not feel valued by their employer. 

Tomorrow, Tuesday, Nov. 17, at 2pm ET, I’ll be diving into these findings in a TLNT webinar, How to Elevate the Employee Experience During a Pandemic (and Beyond). In the meantime, however, it’s worth pointing out that one thing that both sides agree on is the amount of stress in the workforce: 71% of employees state that they are more stressed during this year, and 95% of employers agree.All of which suggest that companies need to rethink how they are supporting employees today in terms of communication, safety, and wellbeing.

Aptitude’s study showed other gaps:

Employee Safety. Although 49% of employers say that employee safety is their top priority, nearly 40% of employees do not feel safe returning to work. When asked what companies are doing to ensure safety, 58% are providing masks and protective equipment, while only 21% have redesigned their office spaces to provide a safer environment. Additionally, most companies are communicating frequently with employees about safety — but few are taking action.

Childcare/Homeschooling. Companies can’t talk about returning to work until they address the reality of returning to school. Most families are still uncertain about the future of childcare, but employers do not typically address childcare issues. Plus, employees do not feel safe talking about their needs with their managers — 1 in 3 employees do not feel comfortable talking about childcare, and only 11% of employers are asking their people how to support their childcare needs. 

Communication. One of the most basic strategies that companies can do today is communicate frequently with employees. Seventy-three of employees said that the only communication they are receiving is email, and 60% said they would prefer other forms of communication. Therefore, companies need to rethink tone, frequency, and method of communication. 

Recognition. One of the most concerning findings is that 61% of employees do not feel recognized today, and 78% do not feel recognized by leadership. People are working long hours, adjusting to change and new technology, and sacrificing their health and time with family. Yet most do not feel appreciated. Indeed, 1 in 2 employees have not received any recognition since the pandemic started. 

These topics impact all of us personally and professionally, so I hope you will join me for an important conversation about this latest research and what you can do to elevate the employee experience at your own organization.

Register here for How to Elevate the Employee Experience During a Pandemic (and Beyond).

This article is part of a series called COVID-19 Coverage.