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Most Workers Fear HR, Study Finds

MyPerfectResume, a leading resource for resume and career advice, polled nearly 1,000 individuals across the U.S. to collect opinions of the workforce regarding the HR department, revealing concerning perceptions and fragile relationships between employees and HR.  

The HR Perception Report finds that when asked if they fear HR, an alarming 86% of respondents say “yes.” Furthermore, 85% hesitate to approach HR professionals to discuss work-related issues. The report investigates the top causes of that reluctance to go to HR, which include:  

  • lack of confidentiality (37%); 
  • perceived ineffectiveness of HR (37%); 
  • lack of approachability of HR workers (37%); 
  • fear of repercussion (31%); 
  • preference to solve the issue on their own or with a manager’s help (31%); and 
  • uncertainty about HR’s response (20%).  

“If workers don’t feel comfortable reaching out to HR, those professionals can’t be effective in their role, and this can lead to a wide range of problems within the organization affecting critical aspects like company culture, retention, and employee morale,” says Jasmine Escalera, career expert at MyPerfectResume. “The report findings indicate that there is a substantial amount of HR departments struggling to connect and foster positive relationships with employees, and HR departments need to review their practices and collect feedback from staff to understand how they can better meet employee needs for security, support, and efficiency.” 

Additional survey results indicate other factors that may influence the reluctance to collaborate with HR. The top negative perceptions of HR departments include: 

  • HR tends to be too involved in office politics (71%); 
  • HR focuses on procedures rather than people (68%); and 
  • it’s hard to get a timely answer from HR (67%).  

Moreover, respondents cite personal experiences where HR falls short in addressing reported issues and concerns, leaving workers disappointed. Most (90%) workers, when reporting an issue to HR, feel that it isn’t adequately addressed, including 47% who experienced HR not resolving an issue once and 43% who say it has happened more than once.  

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