UPFRONT Undermining staff value

Many organisations believe staff are their most valued asset but then don’t allow them to reach full potential, according to University of Otago researchers.
After surveying more than 600 employees from companies in Christchurch and Wellington about HR management practices in their organisations, Fiona Edgar and Alan Geare from the University of Otago’s School of Business found disconnect between what HR practices provided and what staff wanted.
Most organisations focus on traditional methods of HR management such as performance and appraisal to engage their employees. But Edgar and Geare say what employees are really after is quality training and development.
HRM practices have largely been evaluated from the employer’s perspective but tapping into the staff viewpoint highlighted number of shared concerns, say the researchers. For instance, very few of the surveyed companies provided way for employees to have voice in the employment relations and not all practices used by the companies were considered beneficial for employees.
“We found that organisational fairness from the employee perspective is most related to health and safety and equal employment practices, but when it came to job satisfaction, opportunities for training and development appeared to have the greatest impact,” says Edgar.
Employer investment in this area may have the greatest potential to contribute beneficially to organisational performance.

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