Trust within the workplace is one of the most important, if not the most crucial, elements for a successful business. Without trust within all parties, professional relationships can turn sour, standards can slip and employee loyalty can all but disappear in the blink of an eye.
So naturally, we can all assume that trust is a top priority for managers and is seen as the most critical investment within a business. However, Cezanne HR’s survey has shed some light on trust within the workplace, more specifically HR.
HR departments are there to protect all parties involved during both negative and positive events. Remaining impartial and gaining the trust of all employees, no matter their seniority, is at the forefront of the HR department.
We explore the results of Cezanne, suppliers of human resources information software and pick apart these intriguing results.
The Impact of COVID-19
From job loss, time off for isolation and constantly changing annual leave requests due to travel restriction updates, HR has certainly had a lot on its hands during the pandemic.
Whether staff are front-line workers, working from home or furloughed for months on end, HR has a crucial role to ensure each individual is supported. Let’s take a look at just how employees felt about human resources since March 2020.
32% feel that they now trust their HR departments more than before the pandemic, reflecting the hard work these teams have put in place and the reassurance that they have given during such a turbulent period.
54% have felt no different towards HR over this time. While we can only speculate as to why this is, it is likely that their HR teams were already performing their duties well and were fully trained and prepared for something as unforeseen as COVID-19.
However, 13% stated they now trust their HR team less than before. Again, we can only speculate, but with remote working being a new norm for such high numbers of employees, communication breakdowns have posed issues across the world. Team this with sudden job loss and lockdown, it’s no wonder people are losing trust.
Breaking It Down
Trust can’t be used as a blanket term. In our personal lives, we can’t put full trust in everyone to do everything, and it’s the same in our professional lives. For example, you can trust a neighbour to hold a spare set of keys to your home, but you may not be able to trust them with your newborn.
The same goes for HR. However, there are certain aspects that must be taken into account when performing HR duties that 100% trust should be maintained in order to keep the business successful.
Respecting confidentiality as an HR professional is just as important as the same responsibility or a doctor or therapist. However, 31% of employees don’t believe that their privacy and confidentiality will be protected and respected in their current place of work.
When a conflict within the workforce arises, a shock 47% wouldn’t trust HR to manage this issue correctly. This begs the question, are tensions high at work because of a lack of trust within HR?
But the biggest result was 48% of employees having no faith that HR would notify them of internal promotion. It’s well-known that providing progression internally is one of the key factors to staff retention, but with almost half thinking this isn’t a possibility due to untrustworthy HR teams, businesses could be losing out on their best members.
Who’s The Favourite?
HR is there to mitigate a myriad of situations and should always remain impartial and act in accordance with ‘what is right.’
However, 43% of UK employees believe that HR will favour senior staff, regardless of the issue at hand. Whether this high statistic stems from personal experience, hearing gossip through the grapevine or just a general belief, it can lead to catastrophic circumstances.
For instance, should an employee feel they are being discriminated against by their manager, they should feel comfortable enough to bring this to the attention of HR. After an investigation, the proper action can be taken against an offending staff member, or any misunderstanding can be properly handled and leave all parties satisfied with the outcome.
However, it seems almost half are suffering in silence, assuming that a senior staff member would be favoured and even the potential that they are reprimanded for making an accusation. Not only can this lead to high tensions at work, but also a decrease in mental health.
Whether you trust HR or not, your opinion is redundant if you can’t actually gain access to the HR team and put a request in. A shocking third of all respondents in the survey said that getting the help they need from HR is hard or nearly impossible, making the whole point of these professionals redundant.
Whether you are a new intern or the CEO of a fortune 500 business, we all need HR at some point in our careers. These statistics are worrying and it’s safe to say, without the proper care and attention needed to rectify it, UK businesses are going to suffer from poor staff retention and slipping standards over the next few years.