What Employees Want During These Uncertain Times

Aon Pulse Survey of the U.S. Workforce

What do employees want from their employers as the COVID-19 pandemic continues and the resulting fallout starts to become more real? To find out, we surveyed a representative sample of 2,004 U.S. workers, collected from March 27 through April 1, 2020. Here is a summary of what we learned about what has changed for employees, what’s concerning them, and what they want most from their employers.

What’s Changed?

Biggest Changes

Transition to working from home

Travel restrictions

Reduced pay/hours

Hiring freezes

Added benefits for COVID-19 related care or leave

Span of Impact

have already experienced some or significant impact to their job

Feeling the Greatest Impact


  • Hourly
  • Single status
  • <$50k household income
  • Age 20s
  • Smaller employers




What’s Concerning?

Top 5 Concerns

Having the money to get by (#1, #2, #4) and health fears (#3) are employees’ biggest worries right now.

Paying for monthly expenses

Job security

Family member or self becoming ill with COVID-19

Paying for daily expenses

Retirement savings

Job Security

Among those who already have had some or significant impact to work status, hours, or pay

are concerned about job security.


And among those who have had no significant impact to work status, hours, and pay

are concerned about job security.



Only 36% trust the U.S. economy will recover quickly



What Do Employees Want From Their Employers?

5 Most Sought After Support

Continued pay/benefits

Additional time off/paid sick leave

Other financial assistance

Paid family care leave

More frequent communication and hearing more from senior leadership

Employees Trust Their Employers

At this time when it matters most, employees are generally trusting their employers.


and Trust Are

Employees who say they are getting the information they need from their employers feel more secure about their job and have more trust in their employers.



5 Most Asked for Communication Topics

My job security

Future of the company

Leaves/paid time off policies

Company financial health or performance

Paying for health care expenses

Best Communication Channels
Right Now

Employees said the best ways for employers to share information with employees right now are:



Text messages

Conference calls


Say there’s too little communication from their employer



What Can Employers Do?

Focus on employees

Keep employees top of mind as you take action, listening to needs, concerns, and preferences

Build and retain trust

Clear, concise communication matters more than ever, and employees want to hear from their leaders and manager

Recognize unique needs

Find ways to support the unique needs of different groups (for example, younger or lower income employees)




Jane Kwon
Total Rewards Leader
[email protected]

Jim Hoff
Strategic Communication Leader
[email protected]

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