With the NHS poised for a second spike in COVID-19 cases, new research from employee experience experts Qualtrics reveals that just 23% of healthcare workers feel more valued by society now than they did before the outbreak of the virus.

The research, which surveyed 2,000 UK workers, also shows that less than one in five (17%) of those working in healthcare say that patients are expressing more gratitude than before the outbreak. Perhaps more shockingly, a further 12% don’t feel valued “at all” by their patients.

Despite these concerning statistics about appreciation from patients and society, over half (54%) of healthcare workers admit that they do feel proud of working in the healthcare industry. A further quarter (29%) have admitted that this was specifically due to positive feedback from their employer.

Speaking on these findings Sally Winston, Head of EX Solution Strategy EMEA at Qualtrics at Qualtrics said: “Over the last six months, we’ve leaned on the NHS more than ever before. While initially there were weekly ‘clap for carers’ with neighbours and painted rainbows in windows, these signs of support have slowly dropped off as lockdown measures have eased.

“We know from other industries that unhappy employees leads to a downturn in productivity and engagement. As we face a second wave of the pandemic, this could prove disastrous to both those working in healthcare and the patients receiving their care.

“It’s vital we’re learning from the first time around to understand how our frontline healthcare workers are feeling and the impact of feedback on their morale. From big national displays of appreciation to smaller acts of kindness, this is about making these workers feel as respected, supported and valued as possible – and not just in the short term.”

The Return to Work Pulse is available at www.qualtrics.com/back-to-business-employee. To find out more about how Qualtrics is working with businesses and workers to make work better, visit www.qualtrics.com