Workers anxious, less motivated about jobs: HR survey

1 in 5 worry they'll lose their jobs due to recession

Despite early signs of economic recovery, many employees remain concerned about their job, according to a new survey.

Build a Better Workplace, a survey of 1,128 Canadian employees by Ipsos Reid in May, found 22 per cent of respondents are very much concerned or somewhat concerned about losing their job because of the financial and economic crisis. This is down slightly from 24 per cent in January.

“Although employees tend to get accustomed to the turbulent environment in sectors deeply affected by the crisis, their level of anxiety is high,” said Ipsos Reid's J.B. Aloy.

“This is especially true in organizations where layoffs have been announced. In these organizations, 44 per cent are concerned, down slightly when compared to January’s study, but still indicating a high level of anxiety.”

While concerns among employees in the manufacturing sector were lower in May than in January (30 per cent compared to 40 per cent), concerns in the business services and communication sector have increased and are now on a par with the manufacturing sector.

The survey also found sales staff are more anxious than those working in administrative support, managerial or technical function. Almost one in three sales employees is concerned about job security, 12 per cent being “very much concerned.”

These high levels of anxiety should be a concern for employers because anxious employees are less satisfied with their professional situation and are less motivated on the job, said Aloy.

“Concerns about one’s professional future are clearly impacting staff motivation,” he said.

In addition to layoffs, employees report that a number of workplace measures have been implemented in response to the crisis:

· Hiring freeze: 27 per cent.

· Salary freeze: 26 per cent.

· Budget cuts for travel: 26 per cent.

· Benefits cuts: 10 per cent.

· Salary reductions: eight per cent.

· Mandatory vacations: eight per cent.

· 4-day workweeks: eight per cent.

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