28 February 2019

Over half of UK workers trust HR to serve their interests

Just 9% of respondents to a new Ciphr survey said their experience of HR was ‘poor’


Ciphr editorial

Ciphr editorial

Ciphr editorial posts articles that have been written or contributed to by Ciphr's in-house team of writers, who are experts in a range of HR and L&D topics, from recruitment and onboarding to performance management, payroll, and employee experience, as well as HR software and HR systems.


Leadership and management


Just 9% of respondents to a new Ciphr survey said their experience of HR was ‘poor’

More than half of UK employees regard HR as a trusted partner according to new research by Ciphr, which surveyed more than 1,400 full-time employees to better understand their satisfaction with HR departments.

The study found that HR teams across the country are winning the battle for employees’ trust. More than half (56%) of respondents said they regarded HR as a trusted partner in staff and employer issues; only 23% said they did not trust HR.

A similar proportion (57%) of respondents said they feel HR is there to support them, rather than their employers. More than 60% of those surveyed rated their experience with HR as ‘great’ or ‘good’ – just 9% said their experience of HR in the workplace was ‘poor’.

Commenting on the survey’s findings, Claire Williams, director of people and services at Ciphr, said: “This is a really welcome outcome for the HR industry as a whole. The majority of employees have responded with positivity towards HR staff and levels of trust are clearly high. However, the data also shows there are still a large number of employees who have not been won over yet. There is ongoing work needed to encourage employee engagement and improve the overall experience employees have when dealing with HR, whatever the reason.”

The survey also looked at how often UK employees have had to make formal complaints to their HR teams. Just over half (53%) said they have had to complain to HR about a work issue or colleague. A further 55% said they had witness inappropriate behaviour at work that they considered serious enough to be an HR issue. However, only two-fifths (41%) of employees who had witness inappropriate behaviour said they had reported the issue to HR; a third (36%) said they had let the issue slide.

A third (35%) of employees said they felt more comfortable discussing their HR issue with a member of the same sex, and of these respondents, it was men who were more likely to do so (60% of men compared to 40% of women). 65% of employeessaid they weren’t bothered if they spoke to a HR representative of the same or different sex regarding any issues they may have.

The research complements findings from a People Management/YouGov poll of UK workers carried out in November 2015, in which nearly half (48%) of staff said they had had no direct contact with their HR department in the previous 12 months. A third (33%) of the 1,150 UK employees polled by YouGov said HR had a positive effect on them, while 37% said HR had neither a positive or negative impact.