'COVID-19 crisis has created an unprecedented leadership challenge'

A third of employees have no faith in their leaders to help navigate them through the COVID-19 crisis.

This is according to the report ‘UK PLC: How the workforce is feeling during the coronavirus crisis’ published by Karian and Box, an employee research and analytics business which found that despite many businesses being effective in keeping employees informed and providing the systems and processes required for the change in working practice. Employees still feel they need more help from their leaders to help to adjust to this new way of working and living.

The company has described this as a “support gap” where workers need more assistance from their leaders. If left alone this gap could have an adverse effect on productivity.

James Tarbit, MD at Karian and Box said:

The crisis has created an unprecedented leadership challenge. Like everyone else, business leaders are adjusting to challenges they’ve never faced before. While we should definitely acknowledge the work being done to communicate and conduct business remotely, employers need to ensure they keep the needs of their workforce front of mind. By listening to their employees, leaders can ensure their teams enter this next phase focused, energised and determined to help their businesses through the recovery. People are already rethinking business-as-usual working patterns with one in four keen to explore remote working as a new normal. This was highlighted in our research as one of the top 10 questions UK employees want answered in the wake of Covid-19.

Back in March, Lewis Silkin, a law firm found that 59 per cent of HR leaders have confirmed they have implemented a plan to address pandemic diseases such as COVID-19 whereas 11 per cent had no plans to implement such a policy. However, Incomes Data Research (IDR) found that only 4 per cent of companies have the ability for their entire workforce to work from home. Remote working tends to be available for roughly a quarter of the workforce.

 This report is based on 76,558 responses to employee surveys between 9 March and 6 May 2020. 





Darius is the editor of HRreview. He has previously worked as a finance reporter for the Daily Express. He studied his journalism masters at Press Association Training and graduated from the University of York with a degree in History.