Published in Employee Benefit News by Amanda Schiavo, July 29, 2021
The employer-employee relationship is an ever evolving organism that requires continuous care, support and understanding to keep it happy and healthy.
That’s why Elements Global Services, a global tech firm, analyzed Google search trends to explore what HR-related questions people are frequently researching in order to identify gaps within the employer-employee relationship.
As employees continue to get used to the new hybrid work environment, their main concern is how their company is monitoring them. Three-in-four remote workers are concerned about their employer tracking when and how much they work, according to the Elements Global Services research.
Empathy has never been more important, and its power for your organization and employees is real.
As a result of those concerns, 53% of the employees surveyed admitted to deleting slacks or other messages so their employer couldn’t see them and 64% have deleted their browsing history to hide lack of productivity.
“The results demonstrate an increased concern over surveillance and privacy, with it equating to 42% of the top 50 common searches,” says Rick Hammell, CEO of Elements Global Services. “As more businesses adapt to a global workforce, remote or hybrid work is here to stay, so it is imperative that business leaders and CEOs understand their employees’ worries to create a better working relationship.”
Many remote workers feel they must hide things from their employer, due to concerns the information will be used against them to either give the employees more work or result in a firing, Hammell says. This further blurs the lines of a work-life balance and the idea of privacy in the workplace.
“This erosion of trust provides organizations and companies ample opportunities to rebuild their relationships with employees by trusting and allowing employees to be accountable for missteps or miscues in the workplace,” he says. “CEOs and HR managers need to trust their hiring process and that the employees they’ve hired are the right employees for the job at hand.”
HR managers can arguably be described as PR for a company, not just to those they are looking to hire, but to the people within the organization as well. HR is the company’s voice and they need to be seen as a genuinely impartial go-between for employees and those who run the company. However, not all employees feel HR and the organization as a whole have their best interests at heart.
While 83% of employees surveyed by Elements Global Services overall say they trust their HR department, that percentage decreases somewhat based on industry and seniority. Around 50% of people working in media and 69% of employees working in hospitality, say they don’t trust HR, according to the survey. Additionally, 68% of entry-level women are less likely to say they trust HR to protect their interests versus everyone else (79%).
While many employees trust HR, that doesn’t mean they find the department effective. Two-thirds of workers say they haven’t reported issues like too much work, personality clashes and bullying to HR because they didn’t think HR would fix it.
Hammell says technology can actually be a part of rebuilding trust between employers and their workers, via tools and software that provide information and support on HR-related topics. And rather than secretly surveilling employees and creating an environment where people are nervous and distrustful, employers can be open about implementing software that tracks productivity and also helps employees set their own goals.
Sixty-seven percent of the employees surveyed by Elements Global Services say a software to track productivity would likely make them more productive.
“Employers need to be transparent and truthful with their employees,” Hammell says. “Clarity when it comes to an organization’s policies on benefits, privacy and surveillance would alleviate many pain points between employees and employers.”
—Published in Employee Benefit News by Amanda Schiavo, July 29, 2021