Why employees keep to themselves when they have a workplace issue

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A new study conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Bambee found many employees are more likely to keep issues to themselves (Photo by Energypic.com from Pexels)

Over half of American workers feel they have no one to turn to with a workplace issue, according to new research.

The survey asked 2,000 employed Americans about their thoughts toward human resources departments and who they would go to if they had an issue in the workplace.

Thirty-two percent of those surveyed without an HR department or representative said they don’t know who they would go to with questions or concerns — or wouldn’t go to anyone at all.

Conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Bambee, the study also found that 50 percent of respondents without HR would turn to their immediate boss or manager should they have an issue or concern in the workplace.

This could present an uncomfortable situation for workers — as six in 10 respondents said they would feel too intimidated to go to their boss or manager with an issue they were having.

On the topic of bosses, despite eight in 10 workers reporting that their bosses or managers do have good communication skills — 64 percent said there is, in fact, room for improvement.

Nearly half of respondents also said their boss or manager is ineffective in how they communicate with their employees.

It comes as no surprise, then, that 65 percent of workers also said they feel they could be better at the job than their boss.

When it comes down to who human resources “really” works for, unfortunately, 65 percent of workers said they believe HR is there to protect the company and not the employees.

This may be related to the 23 percent of respondents who never reported an issue or complaint they had.

Over half of these respondents who wished to file a report or complaint but didn’t, reported that they felt uncomfortable doing so.

Other reasons for not filing a report or complaint included not knowing who to go to (40 percent) and not knowing how to file a report or complaint (37 percent).

It does appear the grass is greener on the other side, though. Of those surveyed with an HR department or representative, seven in 10 have paid them a visit.

Aside from submitting reports or complaints regarding both their co-workers (36 percent) and boss or manager (34 percent), most respondents went to HR for a helping hand.

“Human resources is a critical part of every business because people drive results,” said Allan Jones, CEO of Bambee. “People management and operations can be challenging though, and HR is always there to help the business and its team members, no matter what.”

Half met with their HR representative for help enrolling in their benefits as well as for help understanding their time off.

Next in line for meetings was submitting requests for vacation time — at 49 percent.

More than four in 10 also met with their HR representative for help submitting and understanding the paperwork.

After their meetings, a whopping 92 percent said their issue was resolved in a proper manner by their representative.

“Feeling comfortable, happy, engaged and supported at your workplace is something we all want to experience,” added Jones. “HR is the function of the business that drives this culture forward, creating an environment where workers can thrive.”

1. I felt uncomfortable filing a report or complaint 52%
2. I didn’t know who to go to, to file a report or complaint 41%
3. I didn’t know how to file a report or complaint 37%
4. I felt intimidated by my boss/line manager 28%
5. Fear of retribution/I didn’t want to get fired 17%

1. For help enrolling in my benefits 50%
2. For help understanding time off 50%
3. To submit a request for vacation time 49%
4. For help submitting paperwork 43%
5. For help understand paperwork 43%
6. To submit a request for paid time off 41%
7. To submit a report or complaint about a coworker 36%
8. To submit a report or complaint about my boss 34%
9. Harassment 21%

>> Download the video & infographic for this research story <<

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