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HR and employees: Where they align and where they don’t

HR and employees: Where they align and where they don’t

Are your employees happy at work? If they feel that there is career growth at your organization or if they feel that your business is channeling resources and budget in areas that matter most to them in their careers? As US unemployment continues on its downward trend, it becomes increasingly difficult for employers to attract and retain talent. We surveyed 960 Americans with full-time jobs to discover how they feel about their employee experiences and career prospects. Some results surprised us. 

We didn’t only target employees—we also wanted to hear from people who work in HR (43% of the overall respondents). We were curious if HR teams and employees in other departments are aligned around issues like employee engagement, career opportunities, and areas for improvement over the next 12 months. Here’s what we found out.

More benefits and perks, please

We asked both HR respondents and employees what they would change about their organizations if they could. HR pros cited development and training as the second most important area for improvement at their organization, but training didn’t make it in the top 5 of employees’ improvement lists. Employees prefer to improve benefits/perks, total compensation (which both tied for first place), vacation policy, policies for measuring performance and compensation, career opportunities, and culture. 

Interestingly, employee and HR respondents are more or less equally unhappy with their office facilities. 19% of HR and 15% of employees agree office facilities could be improved. 

Career growth? Perhaps.

2 in 5 employees said they would be very open to exploring external opportunities. Sure, it’s good for everyone to be aware of the different opportunities available in the job market. But we were surprised that more HR professionals felt employees were “somewhat likely” to have career growth opportunities at their company than the percentage of HR respondents (36%) who felt “very strongly”. Career growth is important to employees and 25% of them said they would like to see more career opportunities at their current employment.  

Check in with employees more often

With the job market being an employee market right now, it’s critical for HR teams to survey employees regularly for feedback. While it’s most common to send out employee engagement surveys annually, that may not be frequent enough. According to our research, employees view opportunities to provide feedback in a positive light and only 9% of workers feel they spend too much time taking employee surveys. So, don’t be afraid to ask for feedback more often. If you’re surveying quarterly or annually, consider asking more questions. Frequent check-ins will help make sure HR and employees are aligned with where the challenges are and what needs to be fixed, as well as give employees a sense of ownership in the career paths at their organizations. 

We’ve gathered all the data from our survey into a report “How well do HR teams understand their workforce?”. Download it now and get a better view into employees and how they feel about their work and career prospects. You’ll also get data on whether you’re aligned with other HR professionals.