Majority indicates improved collaboration with their colleagues and teams, but also report concerns for reduced pay and job loss
According to a pulse survey by KPMG LLP (KPMG), the audit, tax and advisory firm, 64 percent of workers in the U.S. say their quality of work has improved amid the disruptive impact of COVID-19. They also reported better collaboration (70 percent) and that their team has effectively adapted to working together (82 percent) during this time.
“There is a mutual resiliency and commitment between organizations and their employees that’s resulting in improved connectivity and productivity,” according to Paul Lipinski, KPMG’s Human Capital Advisory leader. “During times of uncertainty, like now, it is more important than ever to make sure employees not only understand their role and responsibilities, but also that they feel recognized and appreciated for what they do.”
Fifty-nine percent of American workers indicated that they had adequate resources to do their job remotely, and they also reported that their team is effectively using technology to communicate (87 percent).
American workers also indicated that they have concerns about the future. Sixty-three percent are concerned about reduced pay, and more than half are concerned about job loss (57 percent) and the future of their industry (56 percent). Forty-four percent expressed concern about technology replacing their job.
“Employees have demonstrated a welcome willingness to embrace new tools and work arrangements,” Lipinski added. “As technologies such as artificial intelligence continue to reshape the world of work, and employers inevitably shift their focus from resilience to recovery, it will be incumbent upon them to ensure employees’ skillsets keep pace and that their workforce has the learning ecosystem and flexibility needed to adapt to the change ahead.”
Companies that invest in quality relationships with their employees and effectively communicate their value will witness better collaboration and productivity among their workforce than those that do not. Of the 75 percent of respondents who indicated their companies made them feel valued, 60 percent reported an improved level of productivity (versus 37 percent who did not). Respondents who felt valued also indicated better team collaboration (75 percent) versus those who did not (55 percent).
“Organizations should focus on maintaining and improving their employees’ experience to keep them engaged and motivated as new workplace realities are accommodated,” said Lipinski. “When employers emphasize employee value, the more likely those employees will be collaborative and productive in a volatile environment.”
Overwhelmingly, 96 percent of upper-level management reported their commitment to their companies, along with 87 percent of middle-management. However, those in management roles reported having a harder time adapting in comparison to non-management respondents, indicating that their job is more demanding now (67 percent versus 50 percent), work/life balance is more difficult (55 percent versus 47 percent), and work is overwhelming (63 percent versus 39 percent).
“To address and prevent burnout in leadership ranks, organizations should reestablish expectations and resourcing for top-level leaders, making sure they have everything they need to do their jobs and manage their emotional and psychological challenges,” Lipinski indicated. “They should also take note of critical roles and ensure a succession plan is in place.”
KPMG conducted a pulse survey of 1,000 workers in the U.S. in April 2020 to gauge how employees were adjusting to COVID-19 work-from-home orders. The sample included a diverse mix of full-time and part-time workers from a variety of industries, company sizes and management levels. To see the full results, visit https://advisory.kpmg.us/articles/2020/covid-american-worker.html.
KPMG LLP is the independent U.S. member firm of KPMG International Cooperative (“KPMG International”). KPMG International’s independent member firms have 207,000 professionals working in 153 countries and territories. Learn more at www.kpmg.com/us.