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Lack of Confidence: Employee Concerns are Going Unheard by HR

A new study by Crucial Learning, a learning company with courses in communication, performance, and leadership, finds that a majority of employees do not feel supported by their organization’s human resource leaders and are not comfortable speaking up about their concerns, helping to fuel employee dissatisfaction and burnout.

In an April 2022 poll of 1,000 people, just 1 in 4 survey respondents say their HR leader is widely trusted as one who cares about the needs of employees. In addition, only 9 percent believe their HR leader would proactively advocate on their behalf; instead, 37 percent say their HR leader is more concerned with advocating for the organization, causing them to hesitate speaking with HR about sensitive issues.

As burnout and frustrations in many organizations continues to be problematic, employees are looking for advocates within their organizations to help them resolve concerns. And while many in the human resources field strive to be a positive resource for both organizational leadership and employees, such goodwill is still not being felt by much of the workforce.

In fact, just 1 in 4 say their HR leader does a good job balancing their needs with those of the organization. Thirty-nine percent of people don’t believe their HR leader would speak candidly with anyone in the organization to ensure employees’ needs are heard.

With this lack of trust, almost half of respondents (47 percent) say they don’t feel safe confiding in and getting assistance from their HR leader. When asked which specific concerns they felt safe talking about with their HR leadership, only sexual harassment had a positive response rate of above 15 percent – still a paltry sliver of the total population. All other issues polled even less:

  • Discrimination and/or disrespect (14 percent)
  • Pay, compensation and benefits (13 percent)
  • Concerns with supervisor or other leaders (9 percent)
  • Work/life balance (9 percent)

“When employees feel like the deck is stacked against them, conversations that could resolve meaningful concerns cease to exist,” says Crucial Conversations coauthor Joseph Grenny. “HR leaders should strive to be proactive in showing they can listen to, advocate for, and respond to employees or an increasing number of workers will leave for greener – and more caring – pastures.”

About Crucial Learning
Crucial Learning improves the world by helping people improve themselves. We offer courses in communication, performance, and leadership, focusing on behaviors that have a disproportionate impact on outcomes, called crucial skills. Our award-winning courses and accompanying bestselling books include Crucial Conversations® for Mastering Dialogue, Crucial Conversations® for Accountability, Influencer, The Power of Habit™, and Getting Things Done®.

CONTACT: Jordan Christiansen +1-801-995-5458,