According to our collaborative partners at Littler, the economy has been “awash with mixed messages and unpredictability in recent months—throwing a wrench into many employers’ workforce planning.”
This complex picture raises a host of important questions for companies in how to respond.
To better understand how this uncertainty is impacting workforce management and planning, Littler surveyed more than 450 in-house lawyers, C-suite executives and human resources professionals. Respondents were “based across the United States and represented a variety of industries, including technology, manufacturing, retail and hospitality, and healthcare.”
To save you the time, we sifted through their results to pull out some key takeaways and insights. Here’s three points to keep in mind.
Confidence in their own businesses remains high
Despite an unpredictable economic landscape, the majority of employers Littler surveyed appear to be responding to what The Wall Street Journal called the economy’s “surprising vigor” with resounding optimism in the state of their businesses.
For example, 76% of employers have a high level of confidence in the current state of their businesses.
Economic uncertainty drives caution in hiring, but layoffs not yet widespread
While nearly a quarter of Littler’s participants (24%) say they have administered layoffs or are “in the process of doing so,” the more interesting finding, according to Littler, may be the lack of workforce reductions. For example, 6 in 10 respondents say “they are not planning or even considering them.”
Our interpretation? Workplace culture is more important than ever before
Potentially, business confidence and lack of layoffs could be linked to recent efforts companies have made to better enhance their internal culture. For example, Littler reported “94% of employers view retention as a medium or high priority, and 95% of employers view employee engagement as a medium or high priority.”
At Kantola, we know employees want to be seen as individuals, each with a unique identity and set of needs that must be considered. And —companies are increasingly seeing the organizational benefits that putting a focus on employee experience can create—such as greater productivity and higher performance.
It comes as no surprise that this is reflected in Littler’s results. Companies are honing in on their ability to create and maintain a positive culture, while putting the focus on their most prominent stakeholder: employees.