Only 5% of Kiwi leaders rate HR’s performance as “excellent”

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According to new research by Deloitte, lack of employee engagement is currently the biggest issue being faced by HR leaders.
Deloitte’s Global Human Capital Trends 2015 survey revealed that although 87% of HR managers agree that engagement is their main concern, the majority of organisations are failing to take action to improve their company culture.
The survey had more than 3,300 participants from 106 countries, all of whom were HR and business leaders.
Leadership gaps – last year’s most critical issue – continued to weigh on leaders’ minds with 86% of respondents citing it as a top issue for 2015.
Deloitte partner Hamish Wilson, who leads the Human Capital practice for the firm in New Zealand, said that leadership and employee engagement are the top issues facing Kiwi organisations.
“Leadership, in particular, is a longstanding issue for New Zealand organisations,” he said. “And there’s a significant capability gap between the levels of importance that HR and business leaders place on these issues and their assessment of the readiness of their organisations to respond to them.”
The proportion of participants in the survey who cited engagement as being “very important” was 50% – doubling from last year’s result.
In spite of this, 60% of respondents said they do not have a sufficient program in place to measure and improve engagement, with just 12% of leaders having implemented a program to define and build a strong culture.
A mere 7% rated themselves as excellent at measuring, driving and improving engagement and retention.

While the number of respondents who deemed leadership as a “very important” issue jumped from 38% to 50%, only 10% believed they have an “excellent” succession program in place.
Wilson also outlined why employers might be struggling to maintain high levels of engagement.
“Workers are becoming more mobile, contingent and autonomous, and as a result, harder to manage and engage,” he explained. “In this new world of work, organisations need to re-imagine the way they manage people and come up with new, out-of-the-box ideas to make themselves relevant.”
However, this is no reason for employers not to be optimistic, Wilson argued, as “there really is a great opportunity in all of this for proactive employers that get it right”.
Other trends particularly relevant to New Zealand workplaces included:
  • Learning and development (L&D) – into the spotlight: Recognising the fact that a general lack of skills is likely to hinder business growth, 85% of HR and business leaders ranked L&D as a top issue, compared to 70% last year. This was the third most critical issue in this 2015’s survey.
  • HR and people analytics – stuck in neutral: The survey reveals that analytics is one of the areas where organisations face a significant capability gap. Three quarters of respondents cited talent analytics as an important issue, but just 8% believe their organisation is “strong” in this area – almost exactly the same as in 2014.
  • Reinventing HR – an extreme makeover: Only 5% of respondents rate their organisation’s HR performance as “excellent,” and just 22% believe that HR is adapting to the changing needs of their workforce.

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