Tech companies might be famous for scripting far-reaching changes in the world and offering unbelievable perks to their employees, but it seems like they have a lot of catching up to do when it comes to fostering a team of HR personnel that is able, efficient and good at their job. According to a recent survey by ViewsHub, a workplace feedback platform, IT companies seem to have the worst HR departments among all organizations.
The findings of the study are based on the responses from over 50,000 employees across 11 sectors. Here are some of the outcomes of the survey:
- HR Departments in tech firms managed to get an average effectiveness score of 2.66 (out of five).
- This score reflects the departments’ “ability to get things done, how technically good they are at their job and how responsive they are to other teams’ queries.”
- The score is below the average score of 3.45 across all organizations and technology was the only sector to end up with a score below three.
- The best HR departments were in these industries: travel (4.2) and food (3.7). Professional services got a score of 3.1.
The findings seem to fit into the narrative that has recently seen tech giants like Google and Uber battle basic HR challenges – that of pay parity, healthy culture, and nondiscrimination. Closer home, a conversation between an HR personnel and an employee who was being laid off, that went public generated much controversy and evoked strong reactions. The episode only reinforced the stereotype that the IT industry views its employees as a replaceable number, which can be reduced or boosted, as opposed to individual humans. But, it also put the role of HR under the circumstances under scrutiny, while starting a discourse on what is the right way to go about things and how the situation could have been handled better.
Ab Banerjee, CEO, ViewsHub, said that people managers need to “know what employees think”. He added, “It is essential that managers and leadership teams have access to this type of feedback data for their organizations so they can act on it. HR departments might say they feel sidelined by tech firms, but they also have to take responsibility for this data and act accordingly. For whatever reason, employees have developed the perception that HR departments aren't responding to their concerns. HR departments in tech firms might want to launch engagement schemes to try to correct this.”
The results are rather significant, especially for a country like India, wherein millions of people are employed in the IT sector. If like study suggests, employees in IT organizations have developed a perception that HR departments are not helping them with their concerns, erosion of trust and disenchantment from company policies and ethics could not be far behind. While all companies claim to provide an employee-friendly workplace, a healthy culture and equal opportunity, what really matters is how their own employees feel about the same – and not what the company handbook says. There is an urgent need for companies, from all sectors, to communicate clearly and unambiguously, the essence of their employee-centered policies and undertake an assessment to dispel any misconceptions that their employees might have harbored. Whilst the survey says that IT companies have the maximum homework to do, one can be almost certain of the fact that all organizations need to understand how their employees view the HR and undertake the necessary course correction.