Survey Finds Safety Top Business Priority for 2021

Security The Importance of Hiring Trained Guards

More than one-third of business leaders say ensuring a safe workplace will be more challenging over the next 12 months.

In a sign of the times, attracting top talent is no longer the No. 1 priority for businesses.

Instead, employee safety and well-being are now top priorities, according to a survey. Oasis, a professional employer organization that specializes in human resources, commissioned the survey of 300 business leaders from small to mid-sized companies across a broad cross-section of industries in December 2020.

"2021 will be challenging as businesses, in particular small and mid-size businesses, navigate safely bringing employees back to work and adjust to the long-term impact of the pandemic," said Teresa Carroll, president of Oasis, in a press release. "No matter the industry they serve, all businesses have had to adapt to new regulations and local and state mandates as the pandemic evolves.

“Likewise, whether employees have faced cutbacks or mental health challenges brought on by the pandemic, all workers have been impacted. In turn, this has brought workforce management and overall physical, financial, mental and social employee wellness front and centre among business leaders' list of priorities."

Other key findings from the survey include:

  • General stress levels are higher than before the COVID-19 pandemic, with 21% of business leaders feeling "much more stressed." Furthermore, 54% of business leaders say that they are more aware of their employees' stress level than before COVID-19.
  • Keeping employees engaged and productive is a higher priority now than it was at the start of 2020, with 16% reporting it is a "much higher priority now."
  • Thirty-six percent of business leaders want to make employee benefits easier to access and more affordable. Thirty-three percent want to improve the overall benefits that they offer in order to remain competitive when recruiting and retaining top talent.
  • Looking at how employers communicate, 66% of business leaders said they use video conferencing more now than prior to the pandemic, and 39% believe they will continue to use it with their customers and employees after the pandemic.