Let’s not beat around the bush: people don’t trust HR.
According to several studies, the majority of employees don’t trust the Human Resource department at their company. Some studies suggest up to 80% of employees are wary of HR professionals. This issue is seen both far and wide, in both small and large companies around the world. The overwhelming majority of employees at huge corporations like Apple, Amazon, and Google have a negative view of their HR departments.
But why is that the case? Human Resources are important to businesses because they are the great mediators, doing their best to make decisions for the greater good of the company. Despite good intentions, many HR professionals have to deal with unhappy employees and negative stereotypes. It doesn’t mean they can’t do something to change that though!
In this blog, we discuss what is making employees wary of their HR departments and what your HR team can do to help rebuild their image and the bridge of trust between Human Resources and your employees.
Where Is The Trust for HR?
As HR professionals, we want employees to come to us when they are having a problem at work, but when problems reveal themselves at the workplace, studies show that employees just aren’t going to their HR departments to discuss them. This is troubling to hear, but there’s a few clear reasons as to why.
The main reason employees aren’t speaking up about issues is out of fear. Nearly half of employees surveyed fear that they would face retaliation from their HR departments if they went to them with a problem. Additionally, nearly 40% of employees feel that HR isn’t objective enough to make good decisions.
Another huge problem employees have when it comes to trusting their HR departments comes down to gender. Many female employees feel that their complaints won’t be taken seriously because they are women. Is this an unfounded belief? Not necessarily – complaints made by male employees were 26% more likely to be looked into. Having such a disproportionate amount of complaints looked into by HR departments doesn’t do anything to help discredit the stereotype.
Top 5 Ways to Build Trust Between Employees and HR
These stereotypes are definitely not easy to overcome, but with the right attitude and an openness to employee feedback, anybody in Human Resources can take giant steps in the right direction! Here are Bryq’s Top 5 ways to build trust with your employees.
Honesty is the Best (and ONLY) Policy
Employees have come to expect full transparency from their employers. They don’t want to be lied to, and they certainly don’t want you to sugar coat things. When a member of the HR department either lies or keeps the truth from an employee, resentment will begin to grow once that employee finds out. Once trust is broken, it’s really hard to get back. HR should be as honest and as forthright about what their department does and why they have the policies they do. Manage employee expectations and be persistent and clear about accountability. If you are transparent with your employees, they’re likely to be transparent back.
Don’t Play the Blame Game
Try your best not to blame individual employees for things that go wrong. It will only lead to hurt feelings and anger. Instead, recognize what the company as a whole could have done differently to prevent mistakes from happening, and what your entire team can do in the future to make sure things don’t go awry again.
Celebrate Individual Success
On the other hand, you should definitely recognize individual victories when things do go right. By celebrating individual achievements and avoiding individual blame, you are helping to not only build a level of comfort and trust, but you’re helping to improve upon your company culture. Building relationships with employees that build them up without knocking them down is a great strategy.
Equality is Everything
The behavior of upper management will trickle down and affect the behavior of your entire company. Remember that as an HR Manager, you are not an employee advocate. You should always act as a neutral party that has the best interests of the company in mind. There should be no bias towards upper management or any other singular employee. When employees see that HR is unbiased and will treat every employee as an equal, trust and respect will be earned.
Let Data Do the Work
Once you’ve gathered enough data, make it a point to go to company higher ups with this information. Get them on board with building trust with employees and show them why a lack of trust will cause the business to lose money and be less productive. When they see the numbers, they’ll see why this is so important. Things to look at might include retention rates, employee turnover, and data from surveys you’ve conducted on job satisfaction.
How Bryq Helps HR
While fear is indeed a strong emotion, hope is much stronger. Give your employees hope that they can trust their HR departments to make the right decisions and be there to help them solve problems. We hope that you can regain the trust of your employees and make positive changes in your HR process so that you can start rebuilding that bridge.
A great time to build trust with your employees is at the very beginning of your hiring process. The Bryq talent intelligence platform allows you to hire talent, not resumes. Candidates are judged based on their cognitive ability and personality traits, placing them perfectly into the roles they’re supposed to be in. Candidates can be hired knowing that your application process was fair and unbiased, already putting you on the right track towards building trust with a new employee.
Remember that trust is gained, not earned. If you work hard to build trust with your employees, they’ll see how important this is to your company. Once you’ve built that trust, work even harder to keep it going. It’s a two-way street that takes effort from everyone – but it will be more than worth it.