83% of Americans agree employer has managed COVID crisis well
Even after a year of unprecedented and continuing disruption to workplaces everywhere, U.S. employees give their employers strong marks for their management during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a new North American study.
In the Argyle Public Relationships Index™, a Leger survey conducted for Argyle, a leading North American reputation, communication, engagement advisory firm, 83 percent of Americans and 77 percent of Canadians agree that “my employer has managed the COVID-19 crisis well,” compared with just 13 percent and 19 percent who disagree in the respective countries.
“Whether you’re confronting the complexities of a virtual workplace or the stressful safety protocols of a physical one, the pandemic has turned the working world upside down,” said Argyle CEO Daniel Tisch. “As employers and employees navigate and negotiate whatever comes next, they do so on a surprisingly strong foundation of respect and trust.”
Americans have stronger relationships with employers
IT, finance & insurance sectors lead the way
American workers in the information and communications technology sector give their employers the strongest vote of confidence for pandemic performance, with 91 percent agreeing their employer had managed the COVID-19 crisis well. The finance and insurance sector was closely behind at 88 percent, followed by government/non-profit (81 percent), and educational services (80 percent).
While sectors with greater safety risks performed less strongly, ratings of employers were nonetheless high in retail (78 percent), manufacturing (77 percent) and health care and social assistance (76 percent).
Employee/employer relationships strong across the board
The data reflect a larger trend showing the strength of Americans’ relationships with their employers. In Argyle’s six research-tested most dimensions of a healthy relationship, Americans give their employers high marks in all but one category:
- 80 percent of Americans are satisfied with their employer (40 percent strongly agree), compared to 72 percent in Canada.
- 77 percent agree their employer “takes care of people who work here” (36 percent strongly agree) compared to 71 percent in Canada.
- 76 percent trust their employer (38 percent strongly), compared to 70% in Canada.
- 70 percent agree their employer is “committed to meeting my expectations” (31 percent strongly agree), compared to 65 percent in Canada.
- 69 percent agree their employer is “concerned about people like me” (32 percent strongly agree), compared to 61 percent in Canada.
- 54 percent believe they can influence their employer’s decisions or direction (12 percent strongly), compared to 44 percent in Canada.
“The weakest finding for employers is also their greatest opportunity: engaging employees about the future — and giving them some visible influence on the decisions you make today,” Tisch said. “While higher turnover is inevitable after such as stressful year, those who invest in these essential relationships will inevitably be better positioned for renewed growth.”
About the study
The Argyle Public Relationships Index™ is based on a survey of 934 employed Canadians and 548 employed Americans, completed between April 30-May 2, 2021, using Leger’s online panel. Leger’s online panel has approximately 400,000 members and a retention rate of 90%. A probability sample of 934 respondents would have a margin of error of +/- 3.2%, 19 times out of 20. A probability sample of 548 respondents would have a margin of error of +/- 4.2%, 19 times out of 20.
Public relations research suggests there are six dimensions of relationships between organizations and their internal or external publics: trust; satisfaction; perceived commitment to meet expectations; caring for those with whom you work or do business (“exchange relationship”); concern for people like me (“communal relationship”); and people’s perception of their ability to influence the organization. Argyle expresses its appreciation to Dr. Alex Sevigny of McMaster University for his counsel in the development of the model for this ongoing research.