As the ongoing cost-of-living crisis and looming recession hits employees’ finances, research has found that almost half of managers believe HR teams should be prioritising health and wellbeing programmes to support staff.
Improving employee communications, preventing excess levels of staff turnover and upskilling the workforce were also stated as being important priorities for HR in the coming months, according to the survey by Cezanne HR.
Nearly 90% of senior business leaders predict their businesses to be negatively impacted by the current economic situation, with 55% saying this was already the case. Over 70% of managers said staff are worried about how the recession will affect their jobs, with 60% concerned about redundancies.
Two-thirds businesses said they have already or will soon be freezing or reducing recruitment efforts due to the volatile economy, and 80% of managers are worried a recession will drive rates of excessive staff turnover, with job insecurity cited by over a third as the reason.
Three quarters (77%) of managers said supporting employee morale is their top priority in a recession.
Paul Bauer, Cezanne HR’s head of content commented that: “The worsening economic situation and cost-of-living crisis has sent shockwaves through our society. With businesses having to take tough decisions, energy and food prices surging and job insecurity, many people are finding times incredibly stressful and worrying.
“It’s comforting then, that our survey found managers saying that during a recession, their HR teams should prioritise employee health and wellbeing – they really are putting their employees first. Of course, whilst the downturn in the economy means that many businesses can’t pay more to employees or step in to solve their financial issues, they can – at the very least – work hard to ensure their employees are safe, healthy, satisfied and engaged with their work.”
Bauer added that HR teams should ensure they have a sound framework in place to support people’s physical and mental health. “This can include providing sources of professional help, such as counselling, to more formal benefits, such as an employee assistance programme,” he added.