Employee anxiety, finances biggest Covid-19 issues: CAMM survey

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Employee anxiety is the number one problem reported by respondents of the second industry survey conducted by industry associations CAMM and Automate Canada. Financial concerns and declining sales were a close second to anxiety and protection of employees.

“We are in action mode for sure. We have been juggling many things to work quickly to assist our members as well as jump in to help with the overall manufacturing industry. Fear is about not knowing so we are ready to support our industry and the workers who are so vital to stepping up to help out our healthcare workers as well,” says Mike Bilton, Board Chair of CAMM.

Survey responses citing employee anxiety increased so sharply that the Canadian Association of Mold Makers (CAMM) and Automate Canada is collaborating with a local Canadian Mental Health Association branch to produce a webinar delivering information to human resources staff, managers and company owners.

“We knew this issue needed to be addressed immediately,” said Shelley Fellows, of Automate Canada, who has been assisting on analysing the data from surveys. “The red flag was raised when we saw 70 of our 90 respondents this week listed “employee anxiety” as a concern.”

 “We are ready to step up to help,” says Kim Willis, CMHA-WECB Direction, Communications and Mental Health Promotion. “We launched our On The Front Lines campaign earlier in March before this crisis hit – and we certainly are ready and willing to help immediately. We know all the other concerns raised in the survey contribute to anxiety. And kudos these organizations for prioritizing this need and reaching out to us.”

Some key data from the survey include:

  • 92% of our respondents have had some slowing of their operations, ranging from small reductions to full shutdowns.
  • Some workplaces have had no or minimal impact on their employees from the COVID-19 crisis, with full operations, no layoffs, new orders coming in and no personnel off work due to quarantine requirements.
  • 26% of respondents had increased or expanded their products and services for medical equipment manufacturing and in several cases, have actually produced medical equipment or products.
  • Almost 65% of respondents were companies under 50 employees in size
  • 25% of workplaces still have no impact from COVID-19 on the workplace
  • However, layoffs are escalating, with almost 1,100 employees laid off in the past weeks
  • 12% of our workplaces are hiring, likely tied to the 26% who have added or expanded their products and services for medical equipment manufacturing
  • The mental and physical health of their workforces are having a significant impact on businesses, as is the rapid decline in sales as it becomes increasingly difficult to fulfill current orders and obtain new work
  • Anticipated challenges in coming weeks are cash flow, health and safety and employee morale, with reduced demand and the overall decline in our economies emerging this week as concerns
  • Of the 26% of companies who have expanded or added product or services for medical equipment manufacturing, they most commonly offered production tooling
  • 8% of respondents have fully or almost fully shutdown their operations; the most common reasons were lack of personnel and slowing orders, followed by supply chain shutdowns


CMHA-WECB has waived the fees for this webinar to ensure this very urgent issue is addressed during this time of crisis.

Thursday, April 16: joining with Automotive Parts Manufacturers Association (APMA) to hold a webinar with detailed information on key government supports and programs of relevance to manufacturing (like the Canadian Emergency Wage Subsidy program)

For more information on these webinars, visit CAMM’s website.

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