Insight

COVID-19 and the american worker: a KPMG pulse survey

KPMG pulse survey demonstrates valuing the employee pays dividends, even in volatile times

Paul Lipinski

Paul Lipinski

Principal, Human Capital Advisory, KPMG US

+1 312-665-1184

Brock Solano

Brock Solano

Managing Director, Human Capital Advisory, KPMG US

+1 858-750-7063

Matt Campbell

Matt Campbell

Managing Director, Human Capital Advisory, KPMG US

+1 917-488-1391

As COVID-19 transforms the American work experience, employers need to know about how their workers are holding up, what they can do to maintain employee morale and productivity, and how they can begin to plan for a smart transition to a post-COVID-19 environment.

For insights into these important questions, KPMG conducted The KPMG American Worker pulse survey in early April to learn more about how workers are struggling and to determine what companies should do next as the world moves toward recovery. KPMG polled 1,000 full-time and part-time workers across a range of industries and company sizes, including 58 percent management and 42 percent in non-management jobs.

The findings suggest employers did many things right in the immediate aftermath of COVID-19. It also shows that employees are remarkably willing to pull their weight under difficult circumstances, especially if they feel valued by their employers.  Some 94 percent of respondents say they are more committed to their company than they were before the COVID-19 outbreak.

At the same time, many workers are coping with added responsibilities, logistical challenges, and emotional demands—especially if they are working in management roles or juggling work and parenting under one roof. Sixty percent say their job has become more demanding, with nearly half (49 percent) characterizing it as overwhelming. Concerns about job loss – and having their jobs replaced by technology – are especially high in the tech industry, where 67 percent worry that tech could replace them, compared with 44 percent of all respondents.

As COVID-19 plays out, employers will inevitably begin to shift their focus from resilience to recovery—from responding to short-term disruptions to the business to planning for its emergency as those disruptions gradually disappear. To be successful, they will need to maintain regular and frank communication with employees to keep them engaged and committed to their jobs. 

Over time, KPMG recommends employers undertake key additional measures:

  1. Reframe the employee deal with a renewed focus on all facets of the employee experience
  2. Review how teams are tooled to be sure they have needed technology and collaboration tools
  3. Reskill workers with training and other support to reinforce productivity gains
  4. Invest in leadership with a focus on resourcing to guard against senior management burnout
  5. Start planning now for economic recovery and a new work environment in a post-COVID world

Read our findings to dive deeper into the insights and learn KPMG’s recommendations for organizations to help transition and position themselves for success.

For more information about how companies can respond to new ways of working and workforce implications of COVID-19, visit https://visit.kpmg.us/work-reimagined