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CEOs, HR and Employees – Oh My!

     I recently attended the Society for Human Resources’ national convention.  While I was there, I reviewed a study by a company called Achievers.  It was designed to see if CEOs and HR professionals really knew what employees were thinking about three key factors in employee retention: feedback, recognition, and managerial communication.  The results are very interesting.

     Here’s an example:  The feedback my manager provides is very useful.  Results:  79% of CEOs strongly agreed or agreed, for HR 33%, for employees 56%.  This was how many of the results panned out.  CEOs thought things were great, HR was a bit pessimistic and employees were somewhere in the middle.

     When it came to outright disagreement with the above statement – 9% of CEOS disagreed, but 20% of employees did.  HR weighed in at 23%.

     Why would HR be more negative than employees?  My guess is that all they hear are complaints.  And they are struggling valiantly to get CEOs to wake up before all their best employees leave.

     Another example:  How frequently do you receive feedback?  54% of CEOS choose immediately – (on-the-spot).  Only 24% of employees selected this option and only 11% of HR pros.   And scarily 10% of employees said they NEVER got feedback!  Even HR was blown away by this one (only 2% thought this could be the case).

     Why the variance?  Perhaps our CEOs wear rose colored glasses.  My guess is leaders think they are better than they actually are.  They think they give regular and effective feedback.  They believe they recognize their employee’s individual contributions.  When in reality they are probably too busy to do this effectively.  Or they haven’t given their middle managers the time or resources to do these things. 

     CEOs – time to start listening to HR!  Employee engagement is at all-time lows.  Stop thinking that what you’re doing is working.  Be open to HRs ideas on revamping things for a changing workforce.  And take off those damn glasses!

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