Recent surveys of managers and employees offer some eye-opening answers and reveal a broad split in post-election workplace sentiments.
Over 400 managers and employees polled at training sessions throughout the country provided responses to the following open-ended question:
“Which federal law or policy area(s) will significantly affect your job under the new administration?”
According to Philippe Weiss, Esq., Managing Director of Seyfarth Shaw at Work, the law firm’s global training and compliance services subsidiary:
- The most common answer was the possible implementation of Trade Tariffs. Thirty-eight per cent (38%) of those polled feared that the imposition of tariffs by the new administration might reduce available markets. Responders included managers and employees at companies that either trade internationally or supply other businesses that do so.
- Coming-in at a close second, Deregulation was cited by 37% of those surveyed as a significant workplace impactor – but with an approximately 50/50 split in opinion (generally along manager vs. employee lines) regarding whether the impact would actually be negative or positive. Employees surveyed often felt that less federal oversight would lessen or damage workers’ rights. Many managers, by contrast, anticipated time or money savings as a result of reduced federal fines, regulatory hoops, litigation and red tape.
- On the “positives” side, 30% of responders felt that the administration’s goal of increased Infrastructure Spending would (at least initially) boost business opportunities and further lower unemployment.
- Similarly, 22% of those surveyed expressed hope that the negotiation of more beneficial Trade Deals or terms would enable more jobs to remain in or return to the USA.
- Finally, Immigration Limits were cited by 20% of those polled as very likely to impact jobs and workplaces – both in good and in not-so-good ways, reflecting an approximately 50/50 split along manager vs. employee lines. Employees felt that more jobs and opportunities would be made available to them. On the other hand, supervisors/bosses tended to fear a brain-drain placing them at a competitive disadvantage if individuals with technical expertise are denied entry/visa extensions or are deterred from coming to work in the USA.