Employees still feel problems of economic downturn, despite move out of the recession

  2nd August 2010      
 CIPD, Company News

The CIPD quarterly Employee Outlook survey suggests that the benefits of recovery from the recession have not yet filtered through to the workplace. Figures show that job satisfaction is still falling and there are high levels of job insecurity. Employees are also more likely to report that their personal standard of living has worsened in the past 3 months (29%) than improved (10%).

Worries of job security are still very much present, with 18% of employees feeling that losing their jobs is likely and 66% believe it would be difficult to find a new job following a redundancy. 31% of respondents said that their organisation has already made redundancies, and a further 16% say theirs is planning to. The survey also reveals that, in response to the economic downturn, 47% of employees’ organisations have either frozen or cut pay.

Attitudes of public sector employees, especially, towards their jobs and management have deteriorated, the CIPD survey shows. This follows, and shows itself, a clearer impact of government spending cuts on jobs, pay and benefits.

Job satisfaction among public sector staff has fallen by 3% since the last quarterly survey, and 26% think they are likely to lose their jobs – much higher than those in the private sector. Another large difference is that 40% of public sector respondents say their organisation is planning to make redundancies – four times more than private sector employees.

CIPD Senior Public Policy Adviser, Ben Willmott, says: “Today’s official GPD figures may suggest that the UK economy is continuing to move away from recession, however, the reality for many in the workplace is that they still feel like they are in the grip of a severe economic downturn.”

The survey also reveals that less than a fifth of public sector employees feel that they trust their senior managers or are consulted on important decisions. Willmott feels that it is very worrying to see such negative attitudes among workplaces. However, senior managers in the public sector are facing difficulties at the moment. Major cuts have been announced without many details being released; therefore they too are unsure how many jobs will need to be cut which makes it difficult to keep employees informed.

If this is the case, though, Ben Willmott stresses the importance of senior staff communicating the situation to staff “and continue to have an open dialogue with employees as more information comes through. People are more likely to accept tough decisions if they are kept informed and given the right information at the right time.”

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