Most employees feel cared for at work, suggests poll

Author: Kirsty Tuxford | Date: 06 Jan 2016

But HR departments could be more transparent and cut the jargon

Employees feel well taken care of by their HR departments, according to a new poll conducted by Bayt.com. The survey, entitled, ‘The Role of HR in the Middle East and North Africa Workplace’ showed that two-thirds of respondents felt their HR department is effectively promoting employees' wellbeing.
 
"Aspects such as employee wellness and wellbeing are slowly but surely becoming more crucial in our region’s workplaces,” says Radhika Punshi, managing director and positive psychologist at The Talent Enterprise. “This is no longer to a ‘nice to have’ issue, but crucial for organisations as they seek to optimise their people resources.
 
"Research clearly establishes that aspects such as workplace stress, disengagement, sickness and absenteeism have a significant negative impact on individual productivity and organisational performance. Ensuring that employees have a safe and ergonomically conducive working environment, offering best-in-class benefits and healthcare policies, providing flexibility as well as better work-life integration are some of the crucial ways in which employers can support the wellbeing of their employees, both blue and white collar. Building awareness and demonstrating sincere commitment on topics such as health and wellness is key."
 
The survey results do not indicate a totally happy workforce, however, as one third believed their employer did not promote wellness. Some of this discontent can be attributed to workers who feel their company does not communicate effectively.
 
Radhika adds: "HR needs to do a much better job of communicating its practices and policies in a clear and concise manner, putting ourselves in the shoes of our employees. We tend to use a lot of HR jargon, which not many outside our teams understand or care for. Our research shows that honest and transparent communication from the leadership within the organisation is crucial for employee engagement and commitment. The informal grapevine is often more powerful than the approved channels of communication, and with the increasing access to information and social media, we can’t undermine the need for regular, transparent communication. Our communication needs to be timely and genuine."
 
On a positive note, 66.2 per cent of employees believe that they mostly receive all the data they need. However, just over half of interviewees said that their HR department does not consistently or ever provide new joiners with company policies and procedures.
 
Overall, 46.1 per cent of professionals reported that their company is a good place to work. “It is no surprise that a company’s HR practices greatly impact employees’ performance, job satisfaction and engagement levels,” says Suhail Masri, VP of sales at Bayt.com. “Today, a jobholder’s workplace behaviour is strongly dictated by the very policies, procedures and goals that stem from HR. The HR departments are doing well but there is still room for improvement."