Workplace Morale is Down, but Better than Expected

The new survey of employees and HR managers conducted by employee recognition company Globoforce, finds that worker morale and productivity are in a state of decline due to recessionary cutbacks, with 70 percent of employees reporting that layoffs and the reduction in programs and benefits have and will continue to negatively impact their morale. In addition, 55 percent believe that these cuts have also affected their productivity levels.<br clear="none" /> <br clear="none" /> But these numbers are not as high as HR managers expected. Of the managers surveyed, a full 89 percent believed the recession was having an impact on employee morale. Additionally, 80 percent believed that company layoffs, bonus reductions, and payroll freezes would impact employee goodwill toward their employers. In fact, 45 percent of employee respondents indicated that these cuts have had "very little or no impact on their goodwill [toward their employers]."<br clear="none" /> <br clear="none" /> The survey also reported that two-thirds of HR professionals have had layoffs within their organizations and more than one third (37 percent) believe they may have to conduct layoffs again in the upcoming months. Among the cost-reducing measures being taken, the biggest cuts have been in merit increases (63 percent), bonuses (47 percent) and training programs (45 percent).<br clear="none" /> <br clear="none" /> "While people may be attempting to 'grin and bear it,' the reality is that beneath those smiles are fear and uncertainty, which create a distracted and disengaged workforce," said Derek Irvine, chief marketing officer and head of strategy at Globoforce in a statement.<br clear="none" /> <br clear="none" /> Asked how employers could best respond to the current challenges, more than 75 percent of both managers and employees agreed that communicating company goals, initiatives, and values to ensure employee alignment was the best way.