Communication tops priority list for HR professionals

Nearly two-thirds (61 per cent) of HR professionals consider that informing and consulting employees is the top “live” issue they must focus on when developing and updating policies and procedures for 2005.

This is followed by performance management (52 per cent), recruitment (50 per cent) and absenteeism (49 per cent), according to research released today by law firm Beachcroft Wansbroughs.

The results of the Employment Issues Monitor, which takes into account the views of 600 HR professionals from the public and private sector, illustrate that the introduction of new legislation does not necessarily determine the issues preoccupying the time and resources of the HR department.

For example, age discrimination is not yet rated as a priority by nearly seven in 10 (69 per cent) respondents. This is despite the fact that employers need to be preparing for the forthcoming legislation due in 2006.

Stress management is rated to be another important issue by nearly half (47 per cent) of respondents, with nearly three-quarters (73 per cent) considering it to be an issue for most employers. This is consistent with what has recently been described by trade unions as a “stress epidemic” in the UK.

In recognition of the need to tackle work-related stress the Health & Safety Executive last month published Management Standards, supported by additional guidance on the issue, and published by the Advisory, Concilliation and Arbitration Service.

Two-thirds (64 per cent) of respondents believe that performance management is not generally well handled by line managers, something that is still very much in the spotlight, following the changes to the dispute resolution regulations that were introduced in October.

Top 10 live issues rated by respondents:

  1. Informing and consulting employees (61 per cent)

  2. Performance management (52 per cent)

  3. Recruitment (50 per cent)

  4. Absenteeism (49 per cent)

  5. Employee reward (48 per cent)

  6. Employee retention (48 per cent)

  7. Stress management (47 per cent)

  8. Succession planning (45 per cent)

  9. Workforce diversity (42 per cent)

  10. Disciplinary and grievance procedures (42 per cent)

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