Good crisis communication is essential for productivity during the coronavirus situation
Employees who are satisfied with the way in which their organization is handling the COVID-19 situation are able to perform 28 percent better. And during the first wave of coronavirus cases, sixty percent of employees experienced a poor work-life balance, an Effectory survey of 123,000 employees across Europe has revealed.
What lessons can we learn from employee experiences during the first wave of coronavirus cases? We share the insights provided by the 123,000 employees who responded to Effectory's COVID-19 Workforce Pulse surveys between late March and June 2020.
The positive effects of good crisis communication
Employees who are satisfied with the way in which their organization communicate and manage the crisis can perform better and get more work done. They also feel more confident about the future of the organization.
Effective crisis management: I am satisfied with the way Organisation manages the situation regarding COVID-19:
↑28% Performance Enablement, I am able to do my work effectively during COVID-19
↑22% Business continuity, I am able to qualitatively deliver on my primary taks and responsabilities during COVID-19
↑21% Confidence in future Organisation, I feel confident about the future of Organisation as a company despite the current situation
"If an organization shows strong leadership in times of crisis, it can help to develop a sense of solidarity," says Effectory's CPO and Innovation Manager, Merel van der Lei. "Employees then think: We are going to overcome this situation. That motivates them to be committed and to perform well."
Balance affected most at the start of the coronavirus crisis
On average, 60 percent of employees were unable to maintain a good work-life balance during the first wave of coronavirus cases. This percentage was highest (62%) at the start of the coronavirus crisis and has barely reduced since. Only 40% of employees were able to maintain a good balance. Normally, you would expect this figure to be around 69% on average, so the difference is considerable.
I am able to maintain a good balance between working and relaxing during COVID-19:
February 2020: 69%
Average week 14-23: 40%
Week 14 & 15: 38%
Week 16 & 17: 42
Week 18 & 19: 39%
Week 20 & 21: 39%
Week 21 & 23: 41%
Lack of energy reserves represent a higher risk of burnout
If there is a long-term mismatch between energy reserves and work requirements, the risk of burnout increases. "During the first wave of coronavirus cases, employees had fewer energy resources," says Effectory's CPO and Innovation Manager, Merel van der Lei. "For example, some employees did not have the right tools to perform their jobs properly. Collaborating with colleagues was, in many cases, more difficult. And many employees found that their living situations made it difficult to concentrate."
30% of all employees felt limited in their performance
20% of all employees felt less enabled to work effectively dure to the lack of a good work station
26% of all employees worked in an environment with distractions which caused loss of concentration (i.e., sounds, roomates)
25% of all employees felt less enabled to work effectively due to the limited availability of colleagues
Timely insight into reduced well-being to predict the likelihood of burnout
Pulse surveys are a quick way for organizations to gain insight into a number of critical indicators. Van der Lei explains: "Employees automatically given the same seven key questions. Three are about their well-being: Do they have a good work-life balance? Is their workload too high, too low or just right? And can they maintain their current situation in the long term? This last question predicts the likelihood of burnout. Carrying out Pulse surveys regularly can also help organizations to detect trends."
Crisis communication needs critical indicators
"Carrying out Pulse surveys periodically enables organizations to detect trends," explains Van der Lei. For example, employee confidence in the future of their organization decreased by more than 6% between mid-April and late May, before subsequently increasing again.
About Effectory International: Effectory is Europe's leading independent provider of employee feedback solutions. With headquarters located in the multi-cultural center of Amsterdam, and offices in Munich and Cape Town, we facilitate some of the world's biggest employee listening programs.