CIPD rubbishes claims that HR is mistrusted

The CIPD has rubbished research that claims employees have less trust in their HR departments out of all business functions.

A survey of more than 5,000 employees by leadership consultancy Endaba found almost a quarter (24.8%) did not trust their HR department, believing them to talk about staff in hallways, or tell line managers what should be private information.

The lack of trust in HR was far higher than other departments – sales was mistrusted by 14.1% of respondents, with finance at 11.4%. Frontline production employees came out top in the survey, with just 1.9% of colleagues mistrusting them.

But Linda Holbeche, director of research and practice at the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development,claimed the recession had inevitably made an impact on staff opinions.

She told Personnel Today: “The economic climate is probably what lies behind current low trust levels, and I suspect we’d see much lower rates of mistrust at a less turbulent time.With so many organisations thinking hard about staffing levels and driving cost-cutting measures, and with HR right in the middle of those initiatives, it’s inevitable that trust by employees will be a casualty of war.”

Patrick Egan, managing director of Endaba, said HR managers were perceived as unprofessional and tactless by respondents.

“The perception is that HR is not discreet and doesn’t keep personal or business details secret,” Egan said. “There is a belief that HR will talk about staff in hallways and elevators, or tell line managers what is considered to be extremely private information.”

Separate research found eight in ten HR professionals do not assess return on investment, significantly hurting their perceived value to the business.

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