Media Contact: Heather Nezich, Manager, Communications, ASE, 248.223.8040, hnezich@aseonline.org

ASE, Michigan’s largest employer association, released a survey today that tracked employer’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The survey, launched on March, provides a comprehensive look at efforts and measures employers have taken or are considering in response to both human resource and business continuity concerns

Mary E. Corrado, ASE President and CEO, stated, “This is unprecedented times for everyone. ASE is helping employers respond swiftly and appropriately to this pandemic crisis – from providing the necessary information and resources for implementing remote work to maintaining compliance with new CDC, EEOC, etc. regulations

The survey data suggests that employers took quick action to address the immediate concerns generated by the crisis. Specifically, many employers took steps to ramp up their communication efforts with their workforce and educated themselves on the current crisis as it unfolded. This involved communicating with employees about personal hygiene and preventative measures (97.6%), monitoring government agencies for guidelines (97.6%), and communicating with employees about what to do if they or a family member show symptoms of the virus (91%). Nearly all participants (96.4%) ramped up efforts to clean and sanitize their office environments.

The survey also showed the dramatic cessation of business travel/mobility and the shift to remote work. Actions implemented in this area include the following:

Suspending international business travel (88.0%)
Canceling in-person internal events, trade shows, training, etc. (88.0%)
Canceling in-person external events, trade shows, training, etc. (87.4%)
Shifting to virtual meetings and virtual training sessions (85%)
Suspending domestic travel (69.5%)
Encouraging remote work where possible (62.9%)

The data suggests that some organizations may not have been equipped for remote work. Nearly 80% of companies worked to address technology needs to allow for remote work and nearly 90% (86.8%) reviewed their remote work policies to accommodate the changing business landscape. Additionally, while just slightly more than 60% have encouraged remote work, another 27.5% were considering it at the time of the survey.

Other Survey Highlights:

Nearly a quarter (24.6%) have considered a work stoppage or shutdown. Just slightly more than four percent (4.2%) have implemented one. Those that have implemented a shutdown are primarily in the manufacturing and educational industry.
Human resource departments have taken a close look at their policies in light of this crisis. Notably, remote work (86.8%), attendance (74.3%), business travel suspensions and restrictions (73.1%), paid time off or paid leave benefits (69.5%), and FMLA/Medical Leave policies (64.7%) have been evaluated in preparation or response to the pandemic.
Just 20% of respondents currently maintain a formal Pandemic Policy. 80% maintain a formal emergency plan and nearly 60% (58.6%) have a business continuity plan.
Slightly more than 70% of organizations have restricted access to their facility and more than a third (35.3%) are using a COVID-19 pre-screening questionnaire for visitors.

While it may be too early to know the full economic impact of this crisis, our data suggests that the unfolding crisis is impacting the business outlook for many employers. More than a third of respondents (34.2%) report that their hiring projections have been moderately to significantly impacted by the pandemic.

167 companies in Michigan responded to the survey. The majority (84%) of the respondents have 500 or fewer employees.

For employer resources on handling the COVID-19 pandemic and for daily updates, please visit https://www.aseonline.org/Insights-Analytics/Coronavirus-Resources.

To download full survey results, click here. Contact Kevin Marrs at kmarrs@aseonline.org for more information.

About the American Society of Employers (ASE) – a Centennial Organization

ASE is Michigan’s largest employer association and the premier resource for HR excellence. ASE is a non-profit, membership organization – everything we do is based on the needs of members and to drive the success of their organizations. ASE strengthens organization’s HR departments by offering member benefits and discounted services that span the entire employee lifecycle including recruitment, engagement, development, and retention while minimizing compliance risk. Learn more about ASE at www.aseonline.org.