CIPD Members' Poll
Members were polled on the question:
"Do you think it's damaging to HR professionals to describe the profession as caring?"
The CIPD website showed 1,437 responses from members. The results were;
5.01% Don't know
On the basis of this sample, which is substantial enough to be statistically reliable, it seems that around 40% of HR professionals are failing to recognise the fundamental link between caring about people, giving them a sense of personal value and appreciation, and employee engagement. This ridiculous situation may well explain why so many companies' engagement 'strategies' are signally failing.
On one hand, the HR Directors Key Challenges Survey clearly identified employee engagement as the No. 1 challenge. That has been reinforced by the CBI employers' survey in May, which showed that 7 out of 10 employers see engagement as a barrier to recovery.
On the other hand, from this survey, it is clear that around 40% in senior HR roles are simply ignorant of what it takes to engage the hearts and minds of their people. This does not reflect well on the CIPD's capabilities to develop appropriate knowledge and understanding in its membership. It may be that respondents, perhaps in the middle of difficult downsizing processes, are seeking to allay their own cognitive dissonance by disclaiming a caring persona. This is to misunderstand what it means to be caring.
Caring is not tree-hugging, it is not taking full responsibility for others. It is an attitude of mind that is needed even when difficult decisions have to be made. Leaders have to care enough to take those difficult decisions rather than neglect them and see things get very much worse.
We want people to care don't we? Care for the organisation? Take care of its assets? Care for the customer? Of course we do. It is therefore patently absurd for anyone in an HR role - supposedly leading an organisation's human dimension - to disclaim it for their own profession.
We recommend everyone in an HR role - especially those with a negative perception of the need for a caring perspective - to read the white paper, The Rules of Engagement.
- HR Directors Key Challenges Survey
- Engagement news
- Engagement white paper
- Engagement workshops
- The CHOICE programme
- The Employers-of-CHOICE service
"This poll goes a long way to explaining why so many employers are struggling with low employee engagement.
The fact that around 40% of those in HR roles are fundamentally misunderstanding what it takes to engage people should be a major wake-up call for every CEO."
The Training Foundation