Complete Story


How HR Lost Employees’ Trust

Here's how to get it back

The way most human resources (HR) departments work just isn’t working for employees. Harvard Business Review's latest study of 993 employees reveals that when they have concerns — whether it’s how they’re being treated by their manager or uncivil behavior from a peer — they would rather reach out to most anyone before turning to someone in HR. First, they turn to their manager; then they go to a trusted colleague. If either of those lifelines fail, they attempt to handle the issue themselves. In fact, employees would even go to another leader in their organization or do nothing at all before turning to HR!

This isn’t news to many people, and, ironically, an HR evolution has been underway for decades. The goal has been to turn the reactive and compliance-focused HR model of yesteryear into one where leaders are seen as both trusted executive partners and employee advocates. In this approach, HR leaders have a seat at the leadership table to advise executives on culture and speak up for employees and their needs.

And, yet, our study clearly shows that few HR functions are making good on that second role. Despite efforts to transition from compliance officers to employee advocates, people still lack confidence in HR. Does this matter? And, if so, what is to be done?

Please select this link to read the complete article from Harvard Business Review.

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