New research reveals the troubling impact of COVID-19 on the employee experience

by | Oct 30, 2020 | Covid-19, Public Relations

Employees have been through the wringer this year, shifting for the first time to a virtually 100 percent work from home lifestyle. New research from employee experience software company Limeade revisits the firm’s 2020 Employee Care Report from March, comparing results from before the pandemic with today. The findings reveal how COVID-19 has impacted employee burnout, emotional health, overall well-being and engagement—and how both managers and companies are falling short on showing employees they authentically care.

New research reveals the troubling impact of COVID-19 on the employee experience

“The results of this survey show an urgent demand for organizations to better care for their employees,” said Dr. Laura Hamill, chief people officer and chief science officer at the Limeade Institute, in a news release. “Managers are trying to support their teams, but employees aren’t feeling the impact, suggesting a lack of bandwidth and training. Meanwhile, those same employees feel stuck in their jobs and women are disproportionately struggling. Organizations should read these findings as a call to action to take a closer look at their employee experience in a time when their people need it most.”

New research reveals the troubling impact of COVID-19 on the employee experience

The new report, Workplaces in Crisis: Employee Care Missing the Mark, surveyed 1,000 employees (500 in manager roles and 500 in non-managerial roles) at companies with 500 employees or more.

Key findings include:

Employee burnout has skyrocketed during the pandemic—and managers feel responsible

  • The percentage of employees that said they’re currently burned out (72 percent) is a sharp increase from the number of employees who said the same in the pre-pandemic Employee Care Report (42 percent).
  • Managers feel responsible, with 84 percent reporting they feel at least “somewhat” responsible for whether their direct report experiences burnout or not.
  • In addition, 38 percent of employees listed “struggling with burnout” as one of the most stressful aspects of their jobs since the outbreak of COVID-19.
  • Managers are no exception, as 59 percent reported working more hours since the pandemic’s start, and 72 percent reporting they at least “sometimes” feel pressure to work when sick.

New research reveals the troubling impact of COVID-19 on the employee experience

Managers are carrying the weight of COVID-19, but their teams are slipping through the cracks

  • Not only do managers feel their own burnout, they’re also navigating the severity of their direct reports’ burnout. Thankfully, 73 percent said their organizations provided them with resources support employees.
  • But their best efforts may be falling flat, as only 55 percent of non-managerial workers felt their employers genuinely cared about their well-being.
  • And while 71 percent of managers said they at least “somewhat agree” that one-on-one meetings with their direct reports have focused more on well-being, only 33 percent of non-managerial workers said the same.

New research reveals the troubling impact of COVID-19 on the employee experience

Male and female managers are living wildly different remote work experiences

  • Male managers feel more comfortable requesting a well-being day off. In fact, 60 percent said they felt “extremely comfortable” doing so, compared to 25 percent of female managers.
  • Only 11 percent of female managers reported “extremely positive” well-being during the pandemic compared to 42 percent of male managers.
  • Female managers have a greater fear of losing their job due to the pandemic, at 33 percent compared to 26 percent of male managers.
  • Only 73 percent of women feel equipped to support the emotional needs of their team compared to 94 percent of men.

New research reveals the troubling impact of COVID-19 on the employee experience

Read the full report here.

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Richard Carufel
Richard Carufel is editor of Bulldog Reporter and the Daily ’Dog, one of the web’s leading sources of PR and marketing communications news and opinions. He has been reporting on the PR and communications industry for over 12 years, and has interviewed hundreds of journalists and PR industry leaders. Reach him at richardc@bulldogreporter.com; @BulldogReporter

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