Nearly half of Brits are worried about losing their job according to a new study.
- Almost a third are working unpaid overtime over job security fears
- Almost four out of five business owners are worried about their business
- Rising energy costs biggest challenge for businesses
Nearly half (47%) of Brits are worried about losing their job, a study shows. To help them lessen the chances of being jobless, 31% of employees are still working unpaid overtime.
The research, by employment experts Citation, also found that it is not just workers that are worried about their future. Almost four out of five (78%) of business owners are worried about what could happen to their business.
It is understandable given many entrepreneurs have seen a 22% drop in profits on average since the cost-of-living crisis. One in four (25%) also believe that soon their business will be smaller or struggling to survive.
The biggest challenges that owners face are the rising cost of power and fuel (53%), rising wages (47%), rising costs of services like broadband (34%) and the rising cost of rent and mortgage (30%).
Due to the cost of having office space to work in, owners are looking at varying ways to lessen their bills.
In the building, 38% will turn down the heating and 36% would switch off some lights. Others will get staff to work from home (28%) or move to a smaller premise (17%).
Gill McAteer, director of employment law at Citation, said: “It’s important to be honest with employees, particularly in difficult times. When trading conditions are difficult, employers will often become so consumed with their own concerns that they forget to speak honestly and directly to their workforce, which leads to speculation, worry and demotivation.”
“It’s easy to fall into a trap of thinking that employee engagement is something to consider when your ‘real’ problems have been tackled, but this strategy can ultimately lead to more problems further down the line.”
“Businesses who communicate honestly, regularly and empathetically with their employees and who show they value their contribution and care about their welfare will be giving themselves a great advantage in navigating these difficult economic times.”
Gill’s top tips for employers navigating difficult times are:
- Be direct and honest with employees, speak to everyone together to avoid Chinese whispers.
- Give them the truth of the situation and what steps you are taking/have taken to move the business onto a better path
- Be real about what the consequences may be but cushion this what steps you are taking to avoid them
- Agree regularly updates where you discuss the plan, where you’re at, issues you’ve experienced and successes you’ve achieved since the last meeting
- Your employees can be a great source of creative and innovative solutions and by showing them their opinions are respected and the importance of their role in achieving your business goals, you will increase their engagement.
- Celebrate wins, regardless of how small, as this will give hope and motivation to the team to continue driving the business forward.
- Rewarding people in the face of adversity shows that you, as an employer, have integrity. While rewards don’t need to be big, simple email recognitions can be enough. These small gestures will motivate employees and help with staff retention.
- Ensure your mangers are trained in how to spot employees who may be struggling with anxiety of mental health issues, and offer a designated person to have proactive and reactive conversations with everyone