The Herald (Harare)

6 February 2013

Zimbabwe: Employee Confidence Tumbles

Employee confidence in the workplace continued to decline in December 2012 on the back of job security levels that remained low as industry continues to face serious viability challenges. According to latest survey carried out by Industrial Psychology Consultants, the employee confidence index experienced a 4 percent during the period under review.

The index went down from 58,18 in April last year to 55,83 in the last quarter. According to the results of a survey carried out by IPC 57 percent of the people interviewed said that they did not feel secure in their current jobs while close to 43 percent felt otherwise.

"Job insecurity in Zimbabwe is alarmingly high. However, this result for the last quarter of 2012 shows an 8,4 percent increase in overall job security amongst Zimbabwean employees when compared to the April 2012 survey," the report stated.

The report claims that the dominant stress factor amongst Zimbabwean employees is career development. While 21,59 percent of the respondents cited developing their careers as their main concern, 23,01 percent said job insecurity was also worrying.

When compared to April, the result for the quarter under review suggests a 0,8 percent decrease in the number of respondents that view job insecurity as a major concern.

According to the survey, 7,1 percent of the respondents said corruption and increasing lawlessness was their dominant stress factor.

Although there are growing calls for Zimbabweans living in the Diaspora to return and assist in nation rebuilding, their relatives, however, think otherwise.

"Based on the feedback that employees give their relatives in the Diaspora, it's important to note that relatives here at home have a strong influence on when and whether their relatives will be coming back home.

"Whilst the economy may indeed be stabilising, confidence in the Government's ability to create meaningful employment may still be low," IPC said. More than 79 percent of Zimbabwean employees said it is still premature to advise their relatives to come back home.

Only 19,89 percent said they would advise their relatives to come back home to explore the opportunities for employment available.

When compared to December 2011 this represents a 2,36 percent decrease in confidence in the economy and job creation. In Q1 2012, 76,5 percent advised their relatives to hold on as they were no employment opportunities available.

Respondents were also asked to rate themselves when they look at their current financial situation. At least 39 percent of these said that they were struggling while 6,5 percent said they were suffering.

Those that said they were thriving constituted 17,30 percent while 17 percent said they were happy and 15,90 percent said they were stressed. This shows that many people are struggling to make ends meet while very few are happy with their current financial situation.

IPC said although employee confidence levels are generally lower than they were in Q4 2012, the results suggest generally positive confidence levels amongst employees.

The Employee Confidence Index fluctuates with time and its trend is an important indication of the production and economic development of the nation.

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