Your Employees’ Mindset on Safety? What to Know as You ReopenMay 26, 2020
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%.