Are HR managers in phase with employees?

Human resources managers are disconnected from their employees, according to a report published this month. It reveals that they have a much more optimistic vision of actions taken for employees than the employees do themselves.

The study titled Human Capital Managements Employee Disconnect. A Global Snapshot sponsored by ADP Research Institute highlights the gap between employees and their human resources department. Over 8,000 employees, HR managers and company leaders were interviewed through three studies conducted between February and October 2013 in a dozen countries, including Canada. It appears that HR professionals have a much more optimistic perception of employee management than the employees themselves, regardless of the region of the world. The primary disparities appear particularly on how employees are managed by the company. 47% of Canadian employees believe they are well or very well managed by their organization. For the human resources managers, 71% share this opinion. The gap widens slightly in companies from 50 to 999 employees at no more than 40%, compared to 76% for HR managers.

Offsets that reduce the gap

Another question raised by the study: that of social benefits. Providing employees with social benefits such as bonuses and contributions requires a major financial investment. It is logical that these social benefits have a value in the eyes of both employees and employers. This is the case to some extent even when employees assess their compensation and related benefits significantly less than HR managers. The balance between work and private life is, for example, well rated by 41% of Canadian employees compared to 60% of HR managers. Career prospects are considered positively by 40% of the country’s employees, compared to 54%. Compensations and benefits point up a smaller gap between the two parties, since 50% of employees consider them positively compared to 58% of human resources professionals.

Regarding the ease of obtaining answers to questions asked of HR managers and executives, employees seem to be less satisfied than the latter, 60% of them compared to 72% in Canada. This difference is much more pronounced in small companies where employees are at 68% compared to 90% of HR managers. This is an even more significant factor considering that employees facing difficulties in obtaining HR answers are twice as likely to change companies, according to the report.

Talent management: a core issue

Talent management is as much a key issue, again demonstrating that managers and HR are not on the same wavelength as employees. 56% of employees believe that they have received adequate training for the needs of their position, compared to 76% of Canadian HR managers. 52% of employees say they have career development opportunities within the organization, compared to 72% of managers. On the other hand, 58% of employees say they receive recognition for their work when it is well done, while this figure is 72% in HR departments. However, only 44% of Canadian employees think they benefited from an effective assessment of their performance in their career development, compared to 64% of HR managers.

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