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Employee engagement 'being abandoned to save money'

27 March 2013

HR experts are concerned that many businesses are neglecting employee engagement as they focus on cutting costs and promoting efficiency.

Linda Holbeche, HR adviser and author, told Personnel Today that the recent drive to align the HR function more directly with the finance department in many organisations has meant that people are being viewed as nothing more than a 'cost'.

"[HR] people have aligned so firmly with the business partnering that they have deleted all notion of the people," she explained.

Economist Haig Nalbantian, a leader of Mercer Consulting's Workforce Sciences Institute based in New York, added that employers need to understand that 'expense' and 'cost' are not the same thing.

He said: "When the accountants' lens is put on, there is a narrow view of cost as expense. For economists, real cost is productivity - the relationship between expense and associated output." 

The impact of the economic downturn on employee engagement was examined in the latest Quality of Working Life study, published by the Chartered Management Institute and Simplyhealth last year.

One of the issues it highlighted was the rise of 'presenteeism', with 43 per cent of people saying they do not take sick leave when they are ill.

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Categories: Commercial, Human Resources

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