SOME 90 per cent of local businesses are reviewing their staffing, despite employee wellness being their main concern amid fallout from the covid19 pandemic.
The observation was made in a recent pulse survey by HRC Associates for the TT Chamber of Industry and Commerce entitled Covid19: CEO Concerns and Expectations. Done from April 14-22, the survey polled executives from 148 organisations of annual revenues $10 million to $1 billion-plus, based mostly in TT but also the region.
Many businesses expect to lay off workers, permanently or temporarily, and are calling on payroll support from the Government, amid other forms of help.
Survey highlights show the reality of many businesses now, with 83 per cent having a decreased demand for their goods/services and 76 per cent expecting less revenue this year.
Businesses are responding to these changes. Some 91 per cent have taken steps for cost containment, with 90 per cent reviewing their workforce capacity and productivity. Some 78 per cent of businesses want payroll support by Government grants/soft loans to help retain staff.
About 95 per cent of employers showed concern for their staff well-being, namely 30 per cent showing some concern and 65 per cent showing great concern.
Businesses spelt out how they expected to change their staffing in the next three months.
“Thirty per cent of executive are anticipating some staff retrenchment within the next three months.
“As a less permanent measure, 34 per cent of respondents expect they will need to temporarily lay off some staff during the same period.”
Overall, 55 per cent of businesses expected a reduction in employee work hours. Some 74 per cent expected a decrease in the organisation’s recruitment in the next three months.
Bigger companies can better retain staff than smaller firms.
Among smaller firms with annual revenues under $100 million, some 37 per cent expected to retrench staff and 41 per cent to temporarily lay off staff. Among bigger companies of over $100 million in revenues, just 19 per cent expect to retrench staff, while 29 per cent expect furloughs.
Half of all executives expect a continued decrease in overall human resource productivity.
“An individual’s productivity level can be affected by the novelty of having to work from home and also by their general level of motivation and engagement, two things increasingly difficult to maintain when an employee is away from the workplace and his/her co-workers.”
The report continued. “Forty one per cent of respondents stated they expected a decrease in their employees’ motivation and/or engagement as a result of covid19.”
The report noted a big difference in this April report and a similar one a month before, reflecting the dynamic effects of covid19 currently.
While the Government’s public health measures have led many businesses to find it hard to operate optimally even as executives steer through unfamiliar territory, the report hailed most executives who were taking a “compassionate and pragmatic” approach, while seeking business survivability, continuity and evolution.
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