Corporations must prioritize the mental health of workers in Covid Lockdown: CEO


According to the CEO of the Adecco staff group, rising coronavirus infection rates and the accompanying wave of bans across Europe should encourage managers to spend more time on the mental health of their employees.

“Especially with … the second wave of lockdowns, we need more emotionally intelligent leaders because we see that many people are suffering,” Alain Dehaze told CNBC’s “Squawk Box Europe” on Monday.

Countries like the UK, the Netherlands, Germany, Austria and France are locked or have expanded restrictions, some of which are expected to apply beyond the end of the month. The lockdowns were first implemented last year when the coronavirus pandemic hit in early 2020 and were reintroduced as virus infection rates rose in the fall and winter.

According to a survey of 8,000 office workers in eight countries commissioned by Adecco, workers have reported deterioration in mental health during the pandemic.

“We saw in our survey that 28% of employees … say their mental health has deteriorated during the pandemic and that only one in ten managers has exceeded employee expectations for their support,” said Dehaze. “These soft skills will be extremely important to ensure that managers and executives look after their employees in the right way in this new world.”

Adecco expects the number of permanent employees to fall this year, for example in payrolls, with a greater focus on temporary jobs.

“Employers face the challenge of having the right talent at the right time … but unfortunately for some of them, [the pandemic] means they have to lay off people, and then it will be very important that the government, but also employers and individuals, invest in retraining and further education in order to remain competitive. “

According to Adecco’s survey, employees want to spend about half their working hours in the office and half at home (once restrictions are lifted). “Human interactions are still valued. And those numbers of 50-50 really go beyond geography, generation, and parental status. So it’s really kind of a new universal ideal,” Dehaze said.

“Hybrid work is here to stay. … It creates [a] more inclusive workplace, especially for people with disabilities or working parents. “

Adecco’s revenue declined 28% in the second quarter of 2020 and declined 15% in the third quarter. Dehaze believes revenue will continue to improve as lockdowns become less restrictive. “Governments have learned from this initial lockdown not to shut everything down and keep the economy going and protect employment through ‘smart’ lockdown (s).”