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The staggering impacts of change on employees, 2020-2021

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 — May 26th, 2021

The staggering impacts of change on employees, 2020-2021

2020 was a tough year that foisted unwelcome change on us all. At work and at home, new challenges forced us to adapt and tested our resilience.

How did the changes of 2020 affect our workforces?

At Poppulo, we set out to measure the impacts of 2020 on employees, surveying over 300 IC and HR leaders from January-April 2021.

Some results were unsurprising: 96% of organizations faced “heightened” or “unprecedented” levels of change. 92% of companies shifted to remote or hybrid working; 47% underwent mergers, acquisitions, or new company leadership; and 44% endured layoffs or furloughs.

Consequently, 82% of respondents reported increased concerns for employee wellbeing, citing the compounding effects of relentless change: employee burnout, stress, resistance, and skepticism.

IC & HR don’t feel ready to address the change fatigue plaguing their workforces.

Though 90% of respondents said change fatigue was an “important” or “very important” issue in 2021, only 23% felt "well-equipped” to tackle it in their role.

What do IC and HR leaders need to combat change fatigue?

There was a range of responses, from “more manpower” to “open dialogue” to “new communication channels.”

But four clear themes emerged: the need for empathetic leadership, effective communications tools, ways to support and include all workers, and a reconnection of employees to the company’s values and vision.

Or, as one respondent put it, “To look beyond the chaos to a more positive future.”


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