Low morale is the largest problem facing many Canadian workplaces today as a result of layoffs and an uncertain future in the current economic slump, a new survey shows.
Toronto-based employment law firm Rubin Thomlinson LLP said 70 per cent of Canadian workplaces report morale issues as the biggest challenge to overcome in the current economic environment.
Of the 219 companies surveyed earlier this month, 56 per cent said they laid off staff in the past 12 months. Of those companies that cut workers, 80 per cent said the layoffs included up to 10 per cent of their staff.
Many organizations are slashing budgets; 13.5 per cent cut salaries and 26.4 per cent cut bonuses, the survey shows.
About 17 per cent reported status quo at their operations.
“The story behind the numbers is a human story,” stated Janice Rubin of Rubin Thomlinson.
“The recession has taken its toll as companies portray their organizations as being distressed.”
Employers say their workers are suffering from low morale and feeling uncertain about their jobs and their future, Rubin said.
“Workloads are also increasing in the face of staff reductions, which has added to workplace stress,” she said in releasing the survey results yesterday.
“If the recession continues and uncertainty in the workplace remains, we will likely see employee burn out, an increased number of stress leaves, workplace harassment issues and more mistakes being made.”
Rubin said better and more frequent communications is critical at this stage to try to keep employees upbeat.
About 43 per cent of companies surveyed said they did not anticipate further staff cuts in the last half of 2009 and into 2010.
About 18 per cent said there would be fewer layoffs compared to earlier this year.