Jonathon Hogg, head of PA Consulting Group’s people and operations practice, is quoted in the Financial Times in a Business Life feature on employee engagement. Jonathon comments that the importance of employers effectively engaging with their staff has been heightened by the economic downturn. Jonathon talks about how, due to the recession, some employers are focused on cutting costs and staff without thinking about the employees left behind who will be needed to rebuild the company.
Jonathon says the recession has changed how employees view their relationship with employers. “Employees are disappointed with business.”
This change builds on broader shifts already under way in the workplace.
Jonathon points to the younger demographic entering the workforce – Generation Y – which is looking for a different relationship with employers. “Gen Y wants to feel part of a team, a community, rather than being an individual cog in a big corporate machine.” They expect companies to offer more than a pay cheque, and look to its values to accord with their own.
Jonathon says one issue is that too many human resources departments became fixated with systems that make an organisation more efficient but dehumanise management. “Companies have put in all sorts of processes to measure and evaluate performance, an arithmetic approach to assessing people. This puts the focus on compliance and fulfilling quotas” – instead of engaging with staff.
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