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How happy is your workforce?

Friday November 21, 2014
Human resource departments and senior leadership appear to be out of touch with employee attitudes and perceptions about their employers and their workplaces.

ADP Research Institute's Human Capital Management's Disconnect: A Global Snapshot found a persistent disconnect between HR and the workforce, irrespective of company size or location. And, according to the study, the disconnect extends through senior leadership.

Key findings from the study include:

  • Employees rank the level of their compensation and benefits less favourably than HR or management does
  • Employees rate their work/life balance significantly lower than HR or senior management ranks their employees' work/life balance
  • Employees rank career opportunities significantly lower in retention than HR professionals do
  • Senior leadership is also rated less positively by employees than by HR – sometimes as low as employees rate the HR function itself

“What this study shows is, despite efforts to improve communications and facilitate better relationships between HR, senior leadership and employees, a big gap remains,” said Ahu Yildirmaz, vice-president and head of the ADP Research Institute. “Companies are operating without a fully engaged workforce, an issue that has to be addressed if they are going to effectively manage their human capital.”

Difference in perceptions

Sixty-one per cent of Canadian employees report they are "extremely" or "very" satisfied with the companies they work of, compared to 63 per cent of employees in the United States and Latin America, 53 per cent of employees in Europe, and 48 per cent of employees in the Asia-Pacific region.

Perhaps more disturbing is the difference in the perception between HR and employees on how the company is managed. Employees tend to rate many management functions, particularly those dealing with workforce and talent management, much lower than HR does. This was true in all geographies and across nine different talent management areas surveyed, including opportunity for professional growth, training and support from management. Employee perceptions tended to be lower as company size increased.

Impact on employee retention

The relationship with HR also has a major impact on employee retention. In the U.S., two out of five employees indicated an intention to leave their companies within the next 12 months.  According to the study, dissatisfaction with HR processes, policies and functions is a major driver behind intent to leave.

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