Nearly half of Brits are worried about losing their job
To help them lessen the chances of being jobless, 31 per cent 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 per cent) of business owners are worried about what could happen to their business.
It is understandable given many entrepreneurs have seen a 22 per cent drop in profits on average since the cost-of-living crisis. One in four (25 per cent) 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 per cent), rising wages (47 per cent), rising costs of services like broadband (34 per cent) and the rising cost of rent and mortgage (30 per cent).
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 per cent will turn down the heating and 36 per cent would switch off some lights. Others will get staff to work from home (28 per cent) or move to a smaller premise (17 per cent).
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 how small. This will give hope and motivation to the team to drive business forward.
Rewarding people in face of adversity shows that as an employer you have integrity. Rewards don’t need to be big, simple email recognitions can be enough. Small gestures may motivate employees and help with staff retention.
Ensure mangers are trained in how to spot employees who may be struggling with anxiety or mental health issues and offer designated person to have proactive and reactive conversations with everyone.