COVID-19 Affecting the Mental Health of HR Leaders: Report

September 7, 20204:37 pm508 views
COVID-19 Affecting the Mental Health of HR Leaders: Report
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The COVID-19 pandemic has brought the world to a standstill, engendering a multitude of far-reaching implications. Besides the economic fallout, it has also affected the mental health of hiring and HR decision-makers, a JobStreet online survey involving close to 700 hirers in Singapore finds.

Since the onset of the pandemic, the proportion of employers happy with their job has dropped from 87 percent to 54 percent, with the majority of them being local business owners, executive-level decision-makers and those holding recruitment and HR appointments.

The top concerns faced by employers are as follows:

  • Financial Health of Company 
    • 67 percent of the respondents are worried about their revenue, profitability and cash flow. This sentiment is especially prevalent amongst local small-business owners, who are uncertain about the outlook of the future.
  • Staff Well-being
    • The negative impact COVID-19 has on the workplace is weighing heavily on employers (49 percent). Being the bearer of bad news, from having to announce layoffs and salary cuts, has left them psychologically drained.
    • Nearly all organisations (93 percent) had implemented HR changes in response to Covid-19. The most common change was a requirement for staff to work from home (78 percent), which required employers to urgently set up appropriate IT infrastructure that can support remote working.
    • A further 47 percent had experienced a negative impact on head count, most notably having to impose a reduction/freeze on new hires, and 46 percent had to reduce staff remuneration.
  • Staff Engagement
    • 40 percent of employers found it hard to maintain staff engagement amidst remote working. Contributing factors include lack of physical interactions, poorer productivity and difficulty in staff management.

See also: 7 Ways to Support Employee’s Mental Health amidst the Pandemic

“Employers have to shoulder the responsibility of leading their companies through the pandemic, and that is a tall order in itself,” says Chew Siew Mee, Country Manager, JobStreet Singapore. “It is thus important that they take good care of themselves first, so that they can more effectively fulfil their leadership duties. The first step is facilitating open communication between managers and allowing them to air concerns on leadership challenges and difficulties with remote working. Thereafter, they can strategise on how best to iron out the kinks. It is also important to recognise that working from home blurs professional and personal boundaries. Employers must set time aside for themselves as well as their families, relatives and friends.”

On the road to recovery

While the current situation may be far from ideal, the general outlook for the future is optimistic. The ‘COVID-19 Singapore Report’ published today reveals that hirers are expecting an uplift, with 64 percent feeling positive about their organisations’ prospects, and 63 percent thinking their industries will rebound. About 1 in 3 hirers expect to resume hiring in the next 6 to 12 months. Roles most likely to be in demand in the next 6 months are in sales/customer service/business development (30 percent), administration/human resources (19 percent), engineering (16%) and accounting (15%).

“The hiring scene echoes the Government’s acknowledgement of there being bright spots in Singapore. There are several growth sectors where hiring activity remained relatively healthy in the past few months, such as healthcare, education, banking and finance, science and technology,” says Siew Mee. “For businesses and organisations, the key to survival is digital transformation. The expertise of talents who can support companies in their digital transformation journeys will likely be in high demand. On JobStreet, despite the effects of the pandemic, we have observed an increase in some emerging roles, such as cybersecurity, data analyst, digital marketing, etc. These roles alone have contributed to around 30 percent of jobs on our jobsite today.”

Read also: How to be Mentally Ready for Work AGAIN After Crisis