Employee confidence in the country has continued to take a knock as most companies continue to tighten their belts owing to a difficult operating environment.
According to the first quarter report by Industrial Psychology Consultants (Pvt) Ltd, the Employee Confidence Index as at March 2018 stood at 66 percent, a 5 percent decline from 71 percent in the last quarter of 2017.
This, however, is significantly higher than the 37 percent and 34 percent recorded in the first and second quarters of last year respectively.
“Most of the participants ( 60 percent) believe they will get a similar or better job in the next six months if they lose their jobs now as compared to 57 percent of the last quarter of 2017,” read part of the report.
The report states these figures show a relative increase in the optimism of employees in the job market, which started to improve during the fourth quarter of 2017, highlighting that employees were sensing stronger and better job security.
The index is part of a series of research carried out on a regular basis to assist business leaders and employees make better decisions that uplift the performance of their organisations. It gauges employee confidence in the economic environment obtaining at any given time during the course of the year and also reflects general perceptions of the country’s potential for economic recovery
In this regard, there was a 26 percent drop in confidence regarding the country’s economic prospects as only 61 percent of the participants said they expect the economy to improve in the next six months, compared to 87 percent in the last quarter of 2017.
There was a 10 percent drop in the number of employees who expected things to be better in the next six months at 59 percent compared to 69 percent in the last quarter of 2017.
There was only a 1 percentage point increase in employee’s confidence that the leadership in their organisations were capable of changing the fortunes of their organisations for the better at 68 percent.
The most negative thing that participants experienced in their organisations during the first quarter of 2018 is salary delay (29 percent) as compared to 25 percent of the participants who indicated this factor in the last quarter of 2017.
“It would seem more and more organisations are failing to honour their salary obligations to employees,” said Nguwi.
Hiring new employees was the most positive thing (41 percent) that happened in the past six months in the participants’ organisation compared to 42 percent in the last quarter of 2017. There was also an increase in the number of employees who were not concerned that they would be retrenched in the next six months at 81 percent, compared to 77 percent in the previous quarter.
The report notes that 69 percent of the employees surveyed were not confident that they would get a cost of living adjustment this year given their organisation’s current circumstances and outlook for the next six months. This represented a 6 percent uplift in confidence from 71 percent in the last quarter of 2017.
IPC managing consultant Mr Memory Nguwi said the results of the survey could reflect that the euphoria and optimism that followed the coming in of the new dispensation was slowly ebbing.
“Although the levels are still higher than during the Mugabe era, they must worry policy makers more as this pessimistic view of the economy by employees does not augur well for productivity.
“It would be important to keep a tab on the trends as we go into election season,” he said.