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Employers facing human resources crisis

Employers are facing a human resources crisis, a new survey by financial services firm Deloitte has found.

The survey said that lack of employee engagement and problems in retention of workers were a worry for 87 per cent of human resources and business leaders — up 8 per cent on last year.

Deloitte Bermuda director of consulting Jessica Mello said: “For many HR leaders in Bermuda and globally, 2015 will be a critical year.”

And she warned: “HR professionals will need to rethink the practices they have used for years — how they evaluate and manage people, how they engage employees and how leaders develop and operate.”

Ms Mello added: “Employee engagement has become the single most important issue facing organisations today and it will behoove companies on the Island to review and consider ways they can improve their culture.”

The results were contained in the third Deloitte survey of world trends in “global human capital”, which sought the views of more than 3,300 human resources and business bosses in 106 countries — one of the largest surveys of its kind in the world.

A total of 50 per cent of those surveyed said employee engagement was “very important” — almost double last year's figure.

But the report said the majority of organisations were still failing to take action to improve workplace culture — risking their prospects for growth.

The report said that 60 per cent of people surveyed said they did not have adequate programmes to measure and improve engagement — which showed a lack of preparedness to address the problem.

And only 12 per cent of human resources and business leaders had programme in place to “define and build a strong culture”, while just 7 per cent rated themselves as “excellent” at measuring, creating and improving engagement and retention.

Ms Mello said: “To succeed in today's working environment, Bermuda businesses must create organisational cultures that align with the values of the talent they want to attract, provide flexible career options and offer ongoing professional development opportunities.”

In line with last year's survey, gaps in leadership — last year's top worry — continued to concern businesses, with 86 per cent of those surveyed rating it as a top issue.

And the number who considered leadership failings as a “very important” issue jumped from 38 per cent in 2014 to 50 per cent this year.

The report also found that 85 per cent of those surveyed recognised that learning and development was crucial to tackling a general lack of skills, which threatened the bottom line — up from 70 per cent last year and the third biggest concern in this year's survey.

And a total of 80 per cent of leaders said workforce skills were a major issue, up five per cent on 2014 and 35 per cent said a lack of human resources skills was a “very important” problem, up 10 per cent on the last survey.

The survey also found that businesses were struggling to cut workplace stress and simplify business procedures, with 66 per cent admitting their staff were “overwhelmed” by the current work environment.

The Deloitte report also revealed that a lack of good talent analysis was a significant gap in capability. A total of 75 per cent of respondents said it was “an important issue”, but only 8 per cent believed their organisation was strong in the area — the same percentage as last year.

Brett Walsh, Deloitte's global human capital practice leader, said: “There are significant shifts happening in the global workplace that business must actively manage.

“There's an urgent need for organisations to re-evaluate their learning programmes and treat leadership development as a long-term investment rather than a discretionary training spend item when times are favourable.”

Deloitte's Jessica Mello

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Published April 02, 2015 at 9:00 am (Updated April 01, 2015 at 9:29 pm)

Employers facing human resources crisis

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