Silent Edge

HR directors ‘must recognise potential staff grievances’

Although HR directors in the UK continue to invest in their staff talent, they are guilty of failing to forecast potential staff grievances.

That is according to a new survey by Speechly Bircham and King’s College London, which found that longer working hours have become an even more serious problem in the last few years.

Smaller, overworked teams are reporting increased levels of work-related stress and higher staff turnover, often stemming from a sense of dissatisfaction.

Over the last two years, in fact, uncertainty within the business community has increased by more than 50 per cent, the survey found.

But despite these problems, research has revealed that employers are spending an increasing amount of time to identifying the best talent available.

Some 46 per cent of organisations revealed that they have invested more HR time and expenditure on managing high potential employees.

By contrast, 57 per cent of organisations said that they have invested less HR time and expenditure on high performers.

Reflecting on the results of the survey, Robert Thomas, employment partner at Speechly Bircham and co-author of the research, remarked: “We were hoping to see improved confidence, increased recruitment and greater employee engagement signalling the start of a genuine recovery.”

“Unfortunately,” he explained, “uncertainty about the business environment has increased and we are seeing leaner workforces, longer hours and even higher levels of stress, absence and workforce discontent. Employers ignore this cocktail at their peril.”

Mr Thomas added that redundancies no longer appearing to affect employee engagement is merely a sign of depressed times. Indeed, workers in the UK have, according to Mr Thomas, come to see cuts as part of their everyday challenges.

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