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HR has a rosier view of levels of employee engagement than other managers


The views of HR managers on how the recession has affected employee engagement are at considerable odds with those of managers from other functions.

According to a survey of 300 managers across the UK and Ireland, by global talent and career management consultancy Right Management, managers do not rate their own knowledge and understanding of engagement techniques highly, showing many are approaching it in an intuitive way rather than through formal training.

HR managers believe there has been some downward movement of engagement since the start of the recession but other managers in the same organisations report the magnitude of this decline to be three times greater, the survey has revealed.

There have been decreased levels of perceived employee engagement in the past two years, attributed by respondents to the recession, with 44% seeing a small decrease or major decrease and only 15% seeing an increase.

On an index with zero being the point where no change has been noted in engagement since the recession, HR managers scored -9 points as opposed to -34 from all managers in sectors, which included retail and leisure, IT, media and telecoms and transport and distribution.
Andy Lowe, practice leader at Right Management, says: "There is a marked difference between the views of HR managers and those across other functions which does suggest that the HR function is somewhat out of tune with its internal clients or perhaps the reality of how engagement and, therefore, performance has been negatively impacted.

"The silver lining in the cloud is this confirms that the focus of the HR function to implement and embed sound people-management systems is as relevant today as its ever been - more so maybe. Ensuring employees have clear line of sight on organisation goals, an understanding of how they contribute and the ways in which their achievements are recognised and valued is not a ‘nice-to-do' it's an organisation imperative that HR must drive and the business should own."