Businesses are holding steady and prioritizing employees as they prepare for a potential recession.
As inflation and a potential recession dominate the news, we’re starting to see small shifts in business optimism. They’re on alert about health care costs, operating expenses, and more. But they also continue to report growth and stability overall.
The latest Principal Financial Well-Being IndexSM reflects growing concerns about the United States economy and reveals what businesses are doing now to protect their financials and their employees through the months ahead.1
Here’s a snapshot from each of the five trends in this wave—or view the full set of insights (PDF):
1. Businesses have remained stable as economic concerns rise.
Sentiment from small and midsized businesses regarding the health of their business remains steady despite growing economic pressures.
2. Businesses prioritize employees as they prepare for a possible recession.
The majority of businesses are expecting a recession in the next six months.
They’re already taking steps to reduce operating expenses and increase cash reserves. But not at the sacrifice of employees.
3. Businesses reimagine the future of work in response to burnout.
Burnout is on the rise.
Businesses are considering ways to mitigate it. Take time off structures, for instance (traditional leave with vacation and sick days vs. banked paid time off vs. unlimited flexible time off):
4. Businesses prioritize benefits to improve the employee experience.
Increasing benefits continues to help businesses attract and retain talent—while also working to combat burnout.
5. Businesses are ready to invest in innovation and digital upskilling.
Jobs are becoming more complex. In order to stay relevant, employees recognize that they need to learn new skills.
As the economy continues to shift in the months ahead, we expect to see corresponding shifts in business growth and stability. But staying nimble, optimizing expenses, and prioritizing employee experiences and benefits—as businesses show to be doing—may help. Stay tuned for the final wave of the 2022 Principal Financial Well-Being IndexSM this winter.
Visit principal.com/businesses for more resources to help your business grow.
Small businesses = 2–499 employees. Large businesses = 500–10,000 employees.
1 The Principal Financial Well-Being Index℠ (July 7–20, 2022) surveyed 500 business owners, decision makers, and leaders at companies with 2–10,000 employees. Businesses must offer at least health insurance or retirement benefits. This wave also included input from 200 full-time employees, surveyed July 7–18, 2022.
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