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 In HR we trust?

Claire Williams

A major new study delivers the HR industry a rather well-deserved pat on the back. The study of over 1,400 full-time employees by delves into their experiences, satisfaction and levels of trust between employees and HR departments across the UK. Contributor Claire Williams, Director of People and Services –

The results point to HR departments are winning the battle, with employee experience rating highly for almost all questions asked: 56 percent of respondents say they regard HR as a trusted partner in staff and employer issues whereas only 23 percent said they did not trust HR. When asked about who HR is there to serve the most, employers or employees, 57 percent of employees said they feel HR are there to support them rather than their employers.

Furthermore, the latest data reveals the overall level of satisfaction among employees dealing with HR teams is high, with just over 60 percent describing their experience as great or good. Reassuringly for the industry, only 9 percent of those responded said their experience of HR in the workplace was poor.

Claire Williams, Director of people and services at, commented: “This is a really welcome outcome for the HR industry as a whole. The majority of employees have responded with positivity towards HR staff and levels of trust are clearly high. However, the data also shows there are still a large number of employees who have not been won over yet. There is ongoing work needed to encourage employee engagement and improve the overall experience employees have when dealing with HR, whatever the reason.”

The study reveals that just over half of all employees, 53 percent, have had cause to complain to HR concerning a work issue or colleague. Again just over half, 55 percent, of respondents said they have witnessed inappropriate behaviour at work which they considered serious enough to become an HR issue. 41 percent of employees who have witnessed inappropriate behaviour said they have actively reported such issues to HR, with 36 percent letting the issue slide.

One key issue highlighted in the study was, when asked, only 35 percent of employees said they felt more comfortable discussing their HR issue with a member of the same sex, and of these respondents, it was men who were more likely to do so (60 percent of men compared to 40 percent of women). 65 percent of employees said they weren’t bothered if they spoke to a HR representative of the same or different sex regarding any issues they may have.

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