showing employers are out of touch with their employees couldn’t have come at a
worse time – slap bang in the middle of Investors in People Week. This was a
time designed to draw attention to the contribution of staff to any
organisation, and of the need for employee training, development and
In People UK is the workforce development organisation that has designed
standards now adopted by more than 35,000 organisations, employing more than 27
per cent of the country’s workforce. Yet its own research shows UK employers
and staff at loggerheads, with staff feeling disenfranchised.
revealed that bosses and staff have widely differing views about the level of
involvement of those lower down the organisation and the effectiveness of
the real sting in the tail lies in the finding that a third of employers and
employees actually agree on – that people are not the key to making business
is extraordinary that in an era where the mantra ‘people are our greatest
asset’ seems commonplace, that such findings should come to light.
employers are not getting their messages across about things like business
goals, and staff feel under-valued, then there is much work around
communications to be done.
should ease the path, although e-mail and intranets have contributed to less
personal interaction in the workplace. Certainly technology is to be embraced,
but what has happened to the good old-fashioned management/HR walkabout to
bolster communication and put names to faces?
there is the management jargon used so liberally in staff communications, but
misunderstood (at best) or appearing meaningless (at worst) to those further
down the chain.
the former mayor of New York says, a phrase that typifies a failing
organisation is ‘we don’t know what’s expected of us (see right). Communication
is a two-way stream. The leading organisations – many of which will feature in
the Personnel Today Awards to be held in London later this month – recognise
they have to create mechanisms to tease the best out of their staff, and
generate meaningful feedback.
must be in the forefront of facilitating communication between management and
staff. And if these survey results are to be taken seriously, HR clearly has
its work cut out.
Penny Wilson, deputy editor