Almost one-third of executives fears low levels of employee engagement and trust could lead to the loss of key talent when the economy recovers, new research has revealed.
In the survey of 410 executives, by the Economist Intelligence Unit, 30% felt trust was either very low or low, and they expected to see resignations when the economic recovery became more certain.
Matthew Parker, group managing director of Stepstone Solutions, talks about ways of addressing retention, trust and recruitment issues (5m20)
But the Companies at the Crossroads report revealed a disparity in views over staff engagement between business leaders and managers. While 38% of chief executives and directors felt levels of trust in their companies were high and staff were engaged, only 16% of managers felt the same way.
In total, 57% felt clearer communication was essential to rebuild employee trust, while 49% said it was important to create clear career paths for staff. Just over one-third (34%) cited improved training and mentoring as a key way to raise engagement levels.
But while HR chiefs insisted their engagement levels had held up during the recession and they were not yet seeing staff abandon their companies, they stressed that employers had to make sure they were communicating the right information to staff.
Speaking at a roundtable hosted by Stepstone Solutions to launch the survey, Luis Henrique Souza, vice-president of HR at glass manufacturer NSG Group, which cut 2,500 jobs last year, warned that there was a "disconnect" in the information communicated by companies and what staff wanted to know.
"Getting the global results for [staff] is secondary, they want to know what's going to happen to me," he said. "The key issue for us is to get our results and translate that into meaningful things for those on the shop