A goBeyondProfit survey conducted earlier this month among working Georgians revealed encouraging news for Georgia businesses as well as tangible guidance on how to maintain the high levels of trust they garnered in recent months.
The pulse poll shows that, based on their employers’ pandemic response so far, 57% of employed adults rated their level of trust and loyalty higher than it was before the pandemic, while only 8% declared it lower. Interestingly, the poll helped delineate which response elements were most effective in increasing trust and loyalty.
Respondents gave the highest scores for the response business leaders implemented inside the company such as demonstrating care for employees (76% excellent/good rating) and communicating well with transparency (70% excellent/good), pointing the way for business leaders to keep these behaviors up.
In order to provide actionable insights for business leaders, the research dug into what Georgia employees think of pandemic response, what they’re worried about and what they want of their employer in recovery. The full report and data visuals are available at www.gobeyondprofit.org/research.
Employees report being more productive … yet emotionally impacted.
Compared with before the pandemic, 46% of Georgia employees rated themselves as more or much more productive, while 40% felt they were at the same level of productivity.
Respondents rated their mental well-being as better than neutral. On a five-point scale where one was “Exhausted, drained and stressed” and five was “Positive, energetic, happy,” Georgia’s employed adults rate their current mental wellbeing at a 3.59. A full 28% indicated being in the neutral territory.
While increased productivity and better than neutral mental well-being convey positive trends, Georgians are worried. When asked to choose the single thing they’re most worried about, a near three-way tie appeared between job security (25% chose this), coronavirus exposure (23%) and the health of family/myself/friends (23%)
A majority – a full 66% — want their employer to understand they are emotionally impacted by the pandemic.
Employees want CEOs to address both workplace safety and ongoing value of their contribution
Responses provided a glimpse into employees’ need to feel personally valued and connected to a larger purpose in their work. Georgia’s employed adults ranked their need for a work environment safe from COVID-19 (78% agree) as nearly equal to their desire to feel appreciated and valued by the business (75%).
We find it particularly relevant that respondents ranked wanting a sense of purpose in their work (75%) even higher than flexibility of work location for COVID contingencies (68%).
Overall, continued frequent and transparent communication should reap ongoing benefits for employers.
We summarize five takeaway priorities:
- demonstrate appreciation for individual employees’ value,
- convey business progress and COVID-19 safety measures,
- connect employee work to greater company purpose,
- acknowledge that employees are emotionally impacted, and
- reach into community to support broader needs.
goBeyondProfit is a statewide alliance launched by business leaders for business leaders to spur corporate generosity and improve people’s lives. Through peer insights and stories, members learn from one another and strengthen their ability to ensure stronger businesses and healthier communities. goBeyondProfit is a fully funded philanthropic venture inviting every Georgia business to join at no cost.
The online survey was conducted among 569 employed Georgians between June 4-7, 2020. At a 95% confidence level, the survey has an error range of +/- 4%.
Megan McCamey is the founding director at goBeyondProfit