Detroit Regional Chamber > Polls & Surveys > Your Employees’ Mindset on Safety? What to Know as You Reopen

Your Employees’ Mindset on Safety? What to Know as You Reopen

May 26, 2020
View the full findings from the May Michigan Voter Poll,.

Employers are entering unchartered territory.

They are reopening after a global pandemic brought the economy to a screeching halt for more than 8 weeks. And while the COVID-19 curve has flattened, for now, there isn’t a vaccine likely soon and testing is not as widespread as many health care officials would like.

It’s a recipe for an unnerving work environment requiring precise communication and thoughtful policy.

As employers are now fine-tuning or adjusting their reopening strategies, here is what the Chamber’s most recent statewide poll told us about the employee mindset regarding workplace safety.

A Majority of Workers Are Ready to Return to Work, Trust Employers

A majority of workers of businesses of all sizes are comfortable going back to work and trust their employers.

  • 66.1% of workers feel safe going back to work, and 32.7% of workers do not yet feel safe returning to the workplace. Note that the Chamber’s April poll indicated that 61% of respondents felt safe or somewhat safe returning to the workplace.
  • By a margin of 77%-19.6%, workers trust their workplace to keep them safe. This is an increase from 60% in April.

Small Business Employees Feel the Most Comfortable

Small business employees feel the most comfortable returning to their place of employment, with 83.3% for businesses employing 11 to 25 persons.

Number of Employees     Safe                 Unsafe

1-10                                         76.3%              21.9%

11-25                                       83.3%              16.7%

26-100                                     58.7%              41.3%

101-500                                   63.3%              35.0%

500+                                        50.0%              47.2%

Workers Support Three Major Safety Precautions

Workers were read four different things their workplace might do to keep them safe at work.  For each, respondents were asked to rate on a one to 10 scale how safe that would make them, with 10 being the safest. Three ranked higher than seven.

  • 7.6 Require that everyone maintains at least a six-foot distance from each other.
  • 7.4 Require that everyone wears a mask during the workday.
  • 7.2 Require that everyone has their temperature checked as they come into work.

When asked in an open-ended question what one thing employers could do to make them more comfortable, seven different answers rose above 5%.

  • 11.5% require masks.
  • 10.5% follow CDC guidelines.
  • 9.2% maintain social distancing/ or allow work at home.
  • 9.2% conduct extreme cleaning and sanitizing.
  • 7.1% provide personal protection equipment.
  • 6.1% screen upon entering the facility.
  • 5.9% have open communication with workers.

Outstate Workers, Men Generally Feel Safer

Demographic results from the poll show:

  • Outstate workers feel safe by a margin of 78.7%-19.7%.
  • Detroit Metro workers feel safe by a margin of 53.8%-45.2%.
  • Men feel safe by a margin of 73.7%-23.7%.
  • Women feel safe by a margin of 58.3%-41.7%.
  • African American workers feel unsafe by a margin of 40.0%-57.8%
  • White workers feel safe by a margin of 70.8%-28.2%.

View the full findings from the May Michigan Voter Poll.