Enhancing Employee Trust in Human Resources

Today, we discuss enhancing employee trust in Human Resources.

In an ideal world, employees would readily consult with the Human Resources (HR) department regarding employee related issues.  However, much like life, workplace interactions don’t always live up to ideals.  

In fact, in some industries, up to  80 percent of workers don’t trust their Human Resources department. 

Reports such as this are disheartening to the Human Resources professional.  A Human Resources Department that does not have the trust of an organization’s employees can cause a company’s growth to become stagnant

Here are three reasons why employees don’t reach out to HR.

They Believe HR Won’t Take Their Issue Seriously

Lack of confidence that HR will fairly address issues  is the reason why 39 percent of employees reported a distrust of the HR department. 

Further, as it relates to reporting racism at work, only 17 percent of those who witnessed racial discrimination actually reported it to HR. Of that 17 percent, only a half felt  that their issue was dealt with fairly and effectively. As it relates to cases of sexual harassment reports, many victims who report harassment to HR, report receiving no updates following their report. 

These issues create a lack of confidence in the HR department.  Over time, this lack of confidence in the HR department will lead to an erosion of employee morale.  

Employees need to be assured that HR will be attentive to the issues presented, and take necessary steps to address said issues.  

In cases where HR may not fully understand the issue, such as where issues of microaggression are reported, employees need to know that their HR department has the  resources available to adequately address their issues.  

They Fear Consequences

Dreading what might happen after filing a report is one of the principal reasons why so many employees fail to report areas of concern. 46 percent of employees are afraid that reporting an issue to HR will lead to retaliation.

Fear intensifies if the organization treated the employee unjustly before,  or if the organization has a history of punishing the victim instead of the perpetrator. However, prior instances of retaliation is not necessary for employees to worry about whether the perpetrator or the company will retaliate.

Fear of retaliation may encompass fear of being terminated, fear of becoming estranged from colleagues, fear of being characterized as dramatic, or fear of being passed over for future promotions. 

They Find The Investigation Process Too Ambiguous Or Complicated

It is essential to have clear, straightforward, and transparent policies to address employee reports, complaints, and need for support. Otherwise, such policies will rarely function effectively.

Employees need to know who to contact to initiate a report, how to initiate the report (email, formal complaint form etc.), the expected timeframe for completion of HR’s investigation, how the completion of said investigation will be communicated, etc.  

A properly functioning HR department is integral to diversity, equity and inclusion goals.  Does your HR department need help?  At Black Belonging Matters, we have a combined 40 plus years addressing HR and DEI needs, we’re always happy to help. 

Find  out how we can help your organization.