NorthgateArinso found 59% of 450 HR directors questioned picked out employee engagement as key for their business over the next year, suggesting it will play a major part in driving businesses out of the recession.
Steve Foster, manager, business consulting at NorthgateArinso, said: "As cost is now under more scrutiny, and projects more difficult to get approved, the business case, or ROI, for any HR project has to be clear.
"Many directors will want to prevent talent leaving the business for other opportunities as confidence returns to the job market. We predict there will be an increased emphasis on employee interaction to help minimise the number of resignations."
Improved business intelligence was highlighted as the third priority, according to 16% of respondents.