Today's post comes to us from Neil Reichenberg, Former Executive Director of the International Public Management Association for Human Resources (IPMA”HR). Neil is currently teaching a course on human resource management in the public sector at George Mason University.
Back in July, I wrote about a fascinating and important report issued by the Center for State and Local Government Excellence (SLGE) about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on state and local government employees. At the time, the report showed that public sector employees were deeply worried about their personal safety, family finances, job loss, furloughs, and pay and benefit reductions. SLGE has recently issued an update to this report, Update on Public Sector Employee Views on Finances and Employment Outlook Due to COVID-19: May vs. October 2020, and I think there is great value in looking at how these workers we all depend on so much are faring as the pandemic approaches its one year anniversary.
A note before we delve into the results: the report was fielded from October 14 through November 2, 2020 so it does not reflect the results of the recent presidential election - we'll have to wait for the next update (planned for later this year) to see what impact that significant change had - or didn't have - on these issues.
The big takeaway here is that state and local government employees are feeling more stressed, fatigued, and anxious than they were when previously surveyed in May with 47% of them reporting feeling burnt out and fatigued up from 27% in May. 76% consider their jobs to be at least somewhat risky in terms of their potential exposure to people who may have COVID-19 up from 70% in May, and full-time remote work has decreased from 42% in May to 16% in October with almost three-quarters of those working in-person not being given a remote work option.
Survey respondents indicated the following impacts that COVID-19 has had on their jobs:
In terms of the financial impact of the pandemic:
Government employees who remain on the frontlines in fighting this pandemic continue to be negatively impacted. The survey results point to a need for governmental organizations to ensure that they are providing needed support and flexibility to support their workforces. The Congress should provide state and local governments with additional funding that will help to avoid further job losses and assist in bringing back some of those employees who have been furloughed.
I look forward to writing again in a few months about the next iteration of this survey and I hope that the vast majority of workers are feeling - and doing - better by then. How are you feeling at work? Are you experiencing more burnout and fatigue than usual? Tell us about your experience in the comments section.
© 2021 Workforce Institute All Rights Reserved • Designed and Developed by Morether Creative Agency, Temple, TX