HR must break down the trust barrier

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HR’s resolution for 2007 should be to break down the barrier of lack of trust in the workplace, according to the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development’s (CIPD) annual trends check.

The Barometer of HR Trends and Prospects 2007 reviews CIPD research from last year and considers the outlook for the labour market in the year ahead.

According to the report, employers urgently need to work at tackling the ‘trust deficit’ between managers and the managed in 2007.

CIPD chief economist Dr John Philpott, the report’s author, says: “The annual CIPD barometer clearly shows that successful organisations are those that can translate their HR policy goals into practice with HR practitioners working in partnership with senior management and line managers so that employees experience the benefits and voluntarily commit to ‘go the extra mile’ and raise their performance.

“In view of this, the findings of the large scale 2006 CIPD/Ipsos MORI/Kingston University survey of employee attitudes offer a serious indictment of the state of people management in UK organisations.

“It is extremely disconcerting that one in three UK employees are dissatisfied with the way their organisation is managed, while a massive 43 per cent are dissatisfied with their relationship with their manager.

“It is also depressing to find that two-thirds of employees don’t feel able to feed in views or opinions to ‘the powers that be’ at work, while two in five are not well informed about what is going on.

“This points to a worrying ‘trust deficit’ that is harming organisational performance and raises staff turnover. But closing the deficit needs more than HR simply coming up with a broader range of practices and a more sophisticated battery of human capital metrics. What is needed is a new approach to developing relationships in our workplaces.

“A good New Year’s resolution for HR would be to work on opening up internal lines of communication and killing off incomprehensible management speak so that managers and employees can talk sensibly about what they jointly aim to achieve.”

The report also predicts that 2007 will be a good year for job creation – providing employers maintain pay restraint to avoid the risk of pushing interest rates up to 5 per cent.

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