American workers are more likely to speak up if employers put their health at risk than if their companies don't respond to protests
- The strategic advisory firm Brunswick has been conducting a regular survey of 1,000 US workers about their attitudes and company responses to the pandemic.
- The latest survey asked workers about how they would respond if their employers put their health at risk or if they responded "inappropriately" to a social issue, such as to the
protestsagainst racism and police brutality.
- Their results show respondents are more likely to take action if their employer asked them to do something that put their health at risk than if a company responded poorly to social issues.
- Over 80% of respondents said they would go to either their manager or human resources if their employer made them work in a way that would jeopardize their health.
The US has been dealing with a lot of change over the past few months. The
And American workers have their employers' responses to the rapidly unfolding events of the last several months at the top of their minds.
A new survey conducted by the strategic advisory firm
In an exclusive partnership with Business Insider, Brunswick has been surveying about 1,000 workers every week to learn more about how the US workforce is feeling about the pandemic and their company's response to coronavirus. The survey also asks employees about how companies are responding to other important events that have happened recently, like the nationwide protests in response to George Floyd's death.
The most recent polling asked workers what actions they would take if their company made them work in a way that put their health at risk or if a company responded "inappropriately" to a social issue. The following chart highlights how US workers would react to their company's actions around those two issues. The results show that respondents were more likely to speak up or take some kind of action if their employer put their health at risk than if their company did not react to a social issue appropriately:
Workers were much more likely to go to their direct manager or human resources over health concerns. 87% of respondents reported they would go to their direct manager if their employer was making them work in such a way that their health was at risk, while 65% said they would report to their direct manager if their company responded to a social issue poorly. Similar to this 22 percentage point difference, 83% said they would go to human resources if their health was at risk, while 61% said this based on a company's inappropriate response to social issues, another 22 percentage point difference.
Aduro, a company focused on workplace performance, recently shared with Business Insider the different ways companies can reopen safely and take into consideration their employees' health, including evaluating how ready a company is to reopen and who is able to go back. The CDC also recommends vulnerable workers talk to their employers about remote working or other ways to reduce the chance of getting coronavirus and to reduce the number of people you interact with at work to mitigate the chances of getting infected.
Polling from Gallup found that most companies are taking at least some safety measures to make sure workers are safe. 65% of employee respondents asked between July 27 and August 2 reported their employer always provides personal protective equipment. 46% of employees said their company is always screening employees for coronavirus.
After the death of George Floyd and ongoing protests about systematic racism and police violence against Black Americans, many companies responded by sending memos to their employees. Business Insider recently analyzed the effectiveness of over 25 of those memos. The most effective ones highlighted where the company fell short and exactly how both the US and the company can address these issues.
Although only 50% of workers surveyed by Brunswick said they would participate in a strike if a company put their health at risk, 84% said they were more likely to side with employees than the company if there are walk-offs regarding health safety. 88% of union workers surveyed believe that these walk-offs are at least somewhat effective, while 78% of non-union workers believe they would be at least somewhat effective.
A high share of both union and non-union workers would address issues to both their direct manager and human resources, according to Brunswick. However, union workers were more likely to take action outside of the workplace. For instance, 67% of union workers said they would join a strike or post on social media, while 47% of non-union employees said they would join a strike and 43% said they would post on social media.
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