Mass layoffs are sweeping the nation’s largest corporations. From the headlines that Peloton laid off thousands of employees earlier this year to the recent news of employee cuts at Netflix, Shopify, Tesla and 7-Eleven, American businesses are experiencing uncertain times. While the Great Resignation took a toll on organizations with thousands of workers leaving their jobs in search of something better, the workforce has not yet collected its bearings on shaky ground. Numerous industries are feeling the effects of the current state of the workplace, but the U.S. tech sector has been impacted more than others, with more than 34,000 tech workers being laid off in 2022. Overhiring, the COVID-19 pandemic and rapid growth are a few of the reasons tech companies are citing for mass cuts, but one thing is certain– organizations must build company culture now more than ever.
- Mental Health Support: In 2021, 4 in 10 adults in the U.S. reported symptoms of anxiety, which is a notable increase since the year prior. Undoubtedly, the pandemic was a leading culprit in this spike. With many people facing the extreme pressures of balancing their personal and professional lives, in addition to the added stress of staying safe through a healthcare crisis, it’s no surprise that mental health concerns surfaced. After being pushed to their breaking points, many workers are demanding better work-life balance. In fact, 61% of Gallup survey respondents said greater work-life balance and better personal well-being was most important when deciding whether to accept a job offer.
- Improved Workplace Equality: Workplace equality is not a benefit, it is a necessity and must be cultivated in all work environments. Especially during uncertain times, workers need to feel valued and heard on an equal playing field. As a top factor for many when accepting a job with a new employer, 42% of survey respondents said that the organization being diverse and inclusive of all people is most important. Also, HR professionals should focus on creating fairer employee experiences, which may encompass equal pay and adopting inclusive language across policies. Gartner HR Research found that only 22% of HR professionals would characterize their workplaces as having a high degree of fairness.
- Maintain Employee Benefits: As employees witness layoffs occuring in every direction, now is not the time to limit workplace benefits. Actually, this is prime time to listen to your team and truly hear what is important to them. For instance, global companies are gaining a competitive advantage by increasing their paid leave policies. Google created buzz when it extended parental leave from 18 to 24 weeks and increased paid vacation from 15 to 20 days. Additionally, proper sick leave has become a must-have benefit, with AT&T and Verizon rolling out 100% paid sick leave for extended periods of time.
While mass layoffs linger on the horizon for some organizations and rapid growth ignites others, the workforce is experiencing uncertain times. Business leaders have a responsibility to ensure their employees feel valued and heard throughout this season by offering mental health support, improving workplace equality and maintaining employee benefits. Work Shield is proud to partner with organizations to protect workplace culture and manage misconduct through economic changes, unforeseen circumstances and whatever the future may bring.