More than a quarter (26%) of Irish employers experienced a workplace dispute in 2016 while almost one in five (17%) organisations experienced a personal injury claim.
In addition, one in five Irish employers are noting performance management as a HR priority in 2018 alongside retention and employee engagement.
These are among the key points learned at a seminar held in Shannon yesterday, organised by Shannon Chamber in association with Adare Human Resource Management. The study surveyed over 250 organisations representing more than 50,000 employees from across the private and public sector.
The research found that almost 1 in 5 (17%) organisations had experienced a personal injury claim in 2016 whilst 9% of them attended the Workplace Relations Commission or Labour Court during the year.
Thirty-five per cent of organisations who experienced a dispute in 2016 have been referred to the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) or the Labour Court. Of these, the majority have been invited on more than one occasion, with 30 per cent attending on more than three occasions. This underlines the additional burden that workplace disputes place on HR resources with the vast majority of organisations saying they believe that time spent by HR dealing with these issues has either increased (37%) or stayed the same (49%).
The reported average absence rate was 4% amongst organisations recording absences, a very significant proportion of payroll costs, yet 42% of organisations have no initiatives in place to reduce it. Minor illness (95%) is the most likely reason for short-term absence. Home, family, and caring responsibilities was noted as the second most likely reason provided.
Despite acknowledging it as an issue, more than half of the organisations surveyed for the Adare HR Barometer are not recording the extent of their employee turnover. In those organisation that are recording turnover, average rates of 11% are being experienced.
Of the organisations recording the reasons for employees leaving, career progression was cited as a factor by two thirds of their departing employees, just 22% were leaving due to an enhanced remuneration and benefits package being offered by a new employer, and 20% were changing career path.
Increased remuneration and enhanced benefits account for 35% of initiatives taken to improve retention. Increased investment in learning and development are also prevalent (19%), with increased social events (17%) and internal promotions also playing a role (15%). Worryingly, almost a third of organisations say they have not introduced any initiatives to improve employee retention in 2017.
Speaking yesterday, Managing Director at Adare Human Resource Management, Derek McKay said, "Without putting in place measures to monitor and record absence, organisations will find it difficult to understand if a problem exists and if it does, to determine the extent and cost of the problem. Organisations who measure and analyse the level, frequency and reasons for employee absence will be equipped with the information to support employees who are genuinely absent as well as address absence poor attendance or misuse of this policy should it occur."