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Employees’ productivity as a challenge for employers

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Amid COVID-19 pandemic, organisations, particularly smaller ones are hurting as the ‘face of work’ has changed drastically.

Most leaders and employers are facing a very difficult operating environment when it comes to employees’ productivity and engagement.

This is followed alongside a number of compounding and wide-ranging challenges – stifled and stalled customers demand, supply chain disruption, people mobility issues, product and service delays or deferments and investment challenges among others. 

Already, organisations in the public and private sectors, have expressed deep concerns about the impact of COVID-19 on their workforce, productivity and cash flow.
 


In a survey conducted by finance professionals in Nigeria, under the platform of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA), about 55 per cent respondents said the most severe impact from COVID-19 pandemic is from employees’ productivity being negatively affected.

Followed by cash flow problems hitting business viability, 82 per cent suggested their organisations are expecting it as likely they will see negative revenue growth, while 77 per cent also said they are also expecting negative profit growth.

In the survey only 45 per cent of businesses have been able to conduct a financial re-forecast, due to the fast-evolving scale and duration of the COVID-19 pandemic, alongside the extent of necessary social distancing controls put in place by governments, which have created vast uncertainties for businesses.

Author of the report, Jamie Lyon, said the research aimed to understand businesses and financial blows to organisations from the viewpoint of ACCA’s members – finance professionals working in a wide range of businesses and organisations. 

The findings gauged the short to medium-term implications, while also looking at the measures being undertaken and considered by organisations to mitigate the damage, and lessons to be learnt from the pandemic.

The body recommended that organisations should follow the ‘three As’ of crisis planning – Act to respond in a sustainable manner and focus on employees and stakeholders; analyse the different information sources to secure organisations; and anticipate the business impact and future trends.

Head of ACCA Nigeria, Tom Isibor, who spoke on the economic challenges ahead amid the pandemic, while anticipating the future, said there is the need to help businesses stay afloat.

He expressed organisations’ commitment to ensuring the health and well-being of their employees, customers and other stakeholders are taken into cognisance.

He said while the pandemic continued to evolve rapidly, finance professionals are increasingly vital to organisations to manage finances, and offer strategic support and the professional guidance needed to get through this time.


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