By Claire West
This quarter’s Employee Outlook Survey from the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) illustrates the extent to which employees are concerned about their standard of living, as inflation continues to erode the real value of wages.
The survey of 2,000 employees finds almost a third of staff say their standard of living has worsened over the last six months compared to 10% who say that it has improved.
On top of this, more than half of employees report their organisation has either frozen pay (46%) or cut pay (7%). Highlighting the growing impact of spending cuts on the public sector in particular, the survey finds that seven in ten public sector workers have had their pay either frozen (63%) or cut (6%). This compares to 42% of private sector employees who’ve seen their pay frozen, and 7% who’ve seen it cut.
There’s also a growing sense of realism in the public sector relating to the risk of redundancy. The survey shows that a fifth of all employees (20%) believe it is likely they could lose their job, but in the public sector this figure rises to 31%, up from 25% last quarter. In the private and voluntary sectors, however, redundancy expectations have remained largely static, standing at 17% and 22% respectively, compared to 17% and 23% last quarter.
Ben Willmott, Senior Public Policy Adviser, CIPD, said: “With employees feeling the pinch financially, concerned over their job security and with fewer opportunities to move up or move on, employers need to deliver consistently high quality leadership and management on the front line. How managers communicate, consult and coach and develop staff is critical.
“If organisations don’t invest in developing high performing managers, they may find better managed competitors racing past on the road to recovery. Employers need to find cost effective ways of equipping their line managers with the people management skills to support employee engagement and wellbeing. They also need to consult and involve staff where major reorganisations or changes in terms and conditions are looming if they are to keep people on side and pulling together to deliver future success.”
“Many leading organisations in both the public and private sectors are already prioritising improving people management capability and employee engagement as they recognise this is central to gaining competitive advantage. These employers are looking closely at how they develop and support managers and are also using low-cost and no-cost solutions such as providing toolkits, guidance and line manager webinars or interactive forums to help managers acquire the key skills they need to manage effectively in tough times.”