A new poll conducted by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) and ePulse determines how companies responded to the September 11 terrorist attacks, and how they think the workplace will change as a result.
HR Implications of the Attack on America included the responses of 5,673 human resource professionals. When asked what changes they predicted as a result of the tragedies, they replied:
- 66 percent of human resource professionals said employees would be more caring toward one another.
- Approximately half of respondents (56 percent) said organizations would put higher security provisions in place.
- 52 percent felt employees would not consider travel as glamorous. An additional 37 percent said business travel would be curtailed.
- 35 percent said workers would be more wary of working in high-rise buildings.
It’s clear that change will come as a result of the atrocities committed against America and the American workplace," said SHRM President and CEO Helen Drinan. "Since most companies felt they were not prepared to deal with the aftermath of the attacks, one of the most important changes that can come is employers and employees working together to set in place a crisis management plan."
As most Americans were taken off guard by the attacks, so, it appears, were many companies. More than half of the survey respondents (60 percent) felt their companies were either not prepared at all to deal with the aftermath of the attacks, or were only prepared to a small extent. Only 8 percent felt they were prepared to a great or very great extent.
With slightly more than half (54 percent) of respondents indicating their organization had a disaster plan in place, many organizations responded off the cuff to helping employees cope. The majority (83 percent) allowed employees to watch TV or listen to the radio at work. Fifty-one percent allowed employees time off if they needed it; 50 percent collected money and/or supplies to be sent for aid; and 49 percent offered employee assistance program services and encouraged its use.
"HR Implications of the Attack on America" is available online at www.shrm.org/surveys or www.eepulse.com. IBI