Published in HR Dive by Katie Clarey, August 5, 2021
- Workers may be skirting their HR departments, July survey results from Elements Global Services revealed.
- Two-thirds of the 1,000 workers surveyed said they have decided not to report an issue to HR “because they didn’t think HR would fix the issue.” Such issues included workloads, personality conflicts, bullying, compensation and sexual harassment.
- Half of respondents who said they avoided taking a problem to HR did so for fear of retaliation.
HR departments sometimes have to convince workers to complain — a somewhat ironic task highlighted by Elements Global Services’ findings. The survey identified two factors holding workers back. The first: A belief that HR would fail to resolve the issue at hand. And the second: A fear that raising a complaint would result in retaliation.
In the last several years, human resource leaders have been vocal in their call for employers to enhance complaint procedures, from the reporting process to the resolution stage. The #MeToo movement strengthened this message, emphasizing the need for workplaces to normalize speaking out and take action against wrongdoing.
Leaders may encourage workers to flag bad behavior and other problems by simply being present, one HR executive previously told HR Dive. Some may demonstrate their availability by enacting an open-door policy.
A remote work situation would likely complicate this strategy, of course, but that doesn’t give HR a pass to ignore workplace problems. In fact, remote work should compel HR departments to respond to claims with record speed, sources say. Virtual work can lead to pervasive problems with cyberbullying and misconduct brought on by a less formal work environment. When confronted with complaints of such behavior, experts previously told HR Dive that HR departments should investigate claims quickly and thoroughly and respond appropriately.
—Published in HR Dive by Katie Clarey, August 5, 2021