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Survey Takeaways: Bad News Hurts, Transparency, and Giving Back

COVID-19 Weekly Culture Pulse Survey: April 6-10, 2020

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Our weekly culture pulse survey tracks how the 2020 pandemic is impacting workplace culture and the employee experience. Use this knowledge to act with confidence to inspire your people and get through this together.


Bad news is eroding employee confidence.

Optimistic and hopeful as we all try to be about the pandemic, all the bad news is taking its toll on employees—diminishing trust, engagement, and productivity. As layoffs, furloughs, and pay decreases continue rise week-over-week (by 16.1%, 28.3%, and 34.1% respectively), 82% of employees report a decrease in feeling like the organization supports them. That’s a 44% decrease in confidence since just one week ago. Here are some other ways in which the pandemic is wreaking havoc on employee confidence and morale:

16% decrease in engagement since last week (24% decrease overall)

44% increase in fearfulness over losing one’s job

100% increase in feeling personally unproductive

Note that, with the passage of the CARES act, which makes furloughs beneficial for employees and organizations, we anticipate a continued increase in furloughs.


Transparency is everything.

This week’s research confirms the old adage that honesty is the best policy. Even when jobs are on the line and news is bad, organizations that are transparent and clear about what is going on, the steps they are taking, and why, have more engaged and positive employees than those at organizations that hold back, fail to communicate, or worse yet, attempt to withhold vital information.

Our research reveals that corporations who have increased transparency to employees have seen an 85% increase in employee engagement, while those who have decreased transparency have seen a 25% decrease in engagement.

For the whole story on transparency and a deeper dive into our survey data, read The Truth, the Whole Truth, and Notes About Transparency here.

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Employees want to see organizations giving back.

It pays to pay it forward. This week’s survey shows 56.3% of employees report their organization has engaged with their local community in some way to fight COVID-19. And those organizations that made significant or at least moderate contributions to their communities saw a dramatic impact on workplace culture including a 380% increase in employee net promoter score.

For the whole story on giving back and a deeper dive into our survey data, read Employers Giving Back Score Big with Employees here.

Stay tuned to our COVID-19 weekly culture pulse surveys for insights that will help your organization to weather the storm.

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