Download your free copy of the Herefordshire & Worcestershire Employment Report, 2020-21
We are delighted to once again partner with the Chamber for our annual ‘temperature check’
on the labour and employment market across the two counties. Of course, this year has been
like no other and with so much uncertainty and ‘doom and gloom’ in the newspapers, it is
important that we report on what is really going on at a local level.
2020 has been a challenging year with many businesses experiencing reduced sales, especially when lockdowns were at their most restrictive. As a result, businesses have had to make difficult employment decisions.
For example, 27% of businesses have made redundancies due to the Covid-19 pandemic, although that percentage may have been higher were it not for the introduction of the Job Retention Scheme.
42% of businesses said their use of the Job Retention Scheme had prevented the need for redundancies.
Another key challenge was having to adapt working practices and workplaces to contain the spread of the virus. The introduction of social distancing meant businesses had to make workplaces Covid-19 secure and, where possible, employees were encouraged to work remotely. For some businesses this meant significant pressure to invest in more IT devices such as laptops and mobile devices to enable employees to work from home effectively. In total, 85% of businesses experienced at least one challenge of remote working.
Despite these challenges the level of resilience and innovation we have seen from businesses in Herefordshire and Worcestershire has been inspiring.
Laura Hewett, Director at Hewett Recruitment added: "A strong theme that came out of discussions and presentations at our recent (virtual) HR Conference, in partnership with the Chamber, was the importance of keeping people at the centre of our businesses. We have all faced so many challenges in 2020, having to rethink, restructure, even restart in some cases – but whatever we are trying to achieve, whether that is to survive or thrive and grow in a Covid and post-Covid world, our people will be our enablers for that."
"So, if employee engagement ever left the agenda – it is time to put it firmly back on the priority list. The gap between the best and worst employers is widening as many businesses are creatively and proactively ensuring that employees feel valued and connected, by using new and creative methods to communicate. "
"It’s not about having flashy technology or spending a lot of money… human kindness, communication and empathy have never been more valuable.
Here’s to a healthy and successful year in 2021 for Herefordshire and Worcestershire."
Read more in the Herefordshire & Worcestershire Employment Report.
For any additional support or advice, get in touch with the Hewett team, we'd be happy to help!