SHRM Research: Most Employers Say They Can Endure Omicron

January 5, 2022
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ALEXANDRIA, Va. — SHRM (the Society for Human Resource Management) released the results of a pulse survey of executives today that shows most of those business leaders—87 percent—believe their organization would be able to endure an outbreak of the omicron variant of COVID-19.

Eighty-six percent of executives polled by SHRM in December agreed that existing policies and procedures aimed at stopping the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace gave them confidence as omicron began spreading in the U.S.

At the same time, many executives are worried about impacts to their business, with 67 percent saying they were very or extremely concerned about their organization's ability to keep employees and customers safe due to omicron.

"Clearly, this variant is causing significant disruptions across the economy, and business leaders must continue taking steps to protect employees and their families and retain talent," said Johnny C. Taylor, Jr., SHRM president and chief executive officer. "Despite the anxiety, there is good news. Employers are confident the hard work of the last few years—all the planning and safety protocols—will help get them through the twists and turns of the pandemic."

Here are other key findings from SHRM's poll of U.S. executives:

  • 65 percent of executives said they were very or extremely concerned in their organization's ability to retain employees because of omicron.
  • 65 percent of executives said they were very or extremely concerned in their organization's ability to recruit new talent following news of omicron.
  • 62 percent of executives said they were very or extremely concerned in their organization's ability to remain productive following news of omicron. 
  • 61 percent of executives said they were very or extremely concerned in their organization's ability to maintain employee morale and engagement following news of omicron.
  • 59 percent of executives agree they would need to lay off or furlough employees should an outbreak of omicron occur.
  • 54 percent of executives agree that their organization would be at risk of permanently closing should an outbreak of omicron occur.

Methodology

A non-scientific poll of 110 U.S. executives was surveyed online Dec. 1-9. The data was sourced from Lucid.

About SHRM

SHRM, the Society for Human Resource Management, creates better workplaces where employers and employees thrive together. As the voice of all things work, workers and the workplace, SHRM is the foremost expert, convener and thought leader on issues impacting today's evolving workplaces. With 300,000+ HR and business executive members in 165 countries, SHRM impacts the lives of more than 115 million workers and families globally. Learn more at SHRM.org and on Twitter @SHRM.

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