COVID has Employer-Employee Relationships on the Rocks
72% of employers and 62% of employees feel the balance between them has changed as a result of COVID, according to new research by MetLife UK.
And 32% of employees say that this has weakened their relationship with their employer, which also has a knock-on effect on their sense of belonging and productivity. Almost half said their productivity had dropped.
Much of this change is attributable to working remotely. With 40% of office workers now mostly home-based, it seems Zoom, Teams and Slack can’t replace the water-cooler when it comes to creating a sense of community.
Nevertheless, some positives have emerged from the report. Employers have become more empathetic, with 44% saying COVID has given them a new understanding of the importance of the employee experience. And 75% of SME leaders agree that they need to adapt employee benefits post-COVID.
Two-thirds of employers say they’re already changing their employee benefits packages to suit employees’ changing needs. Almost as many have been promoting benefits more during the pandemic. This shows business leaders are ready and willing to make changes to respond to the needs of their people.
How Can Leaders Fix Broken Relationships?
According to the research, the main reason for broken employer-employee relationships is breakdowns in communication. Remote working will inevitably impact communications, but a good leader will communicate more, not less, with employees who are working from home.
Another important point to remember is that community can’t be created by corporate communication alone. There needs to be social time too, where workers can discuss their lives outside work. While people may be tired of awkward Zoom office parties, it’s still worth making the effort to schedule some kind of team building or social time. This is especially important if some of your workers are feeling isolated during lockdown.