Downturn hits UK workers’ morale as job loss fears rise

Confidence in corporate success is also falling. Expert warns: senior management must act to engage their workforce

Nearly four out of ten employees (37%) now fear they may lose their jobs, up by 10% in the last quarter of 2008 alone, according to data released today from the ETS Employee Survey  of 150,000 UK employees.

Employees are now far less confident that their companies will meet their objectives – with numbers dropping to 57% in quarter four of 2008 from a steady 84% over the previous two years.

“We’ve identified a sharp fall in employee confidence that started at the end of last year and we fear this will become a trend unless management addresses it effectively. People are starting 2009 with grave concerns about their jobs, based on the views of 150,000 workers in the ETS Employee Survey,” said John Southwell, Managing Director of company survey specialists ETS plc.

Company management needs to restore trust among its employees if it is to meet the challenge of returning to corporate health. Employee belief that senior management will tell them everything they need to know about the company fell 28% in the fourth quarter. Employees are also less happy about how major changes, such as redundancies, are made and only 30% now feel involved, a drop of 22%. These numbers normally change very slowly over time.

Commenting on the latest figures, ETS Senior Consultant Betsy Travis, said: “These are significant falls in key measures of employee confidence and they show how quickly sentiment changed at the end of 2008. I believe that employers who act quickly will re-engage their employees and keep productivity and morale high. This year is going to be tough, but it’s going to be even tougher if the workforce is demoralised.”


Comments are closed.