A recent survey of HR directors and business leaders has revealed that three quarters of companies are finding it difficult to recruit top talent, despite the growing unemployment figures.
In addition 62% of those surveyed had also seen an increase of absenteeism due to stress over the last two years.
In response to questioning about how best to spend money on engaging with employees, over half of said that their strategy would be to invest in leadership development to create clear direction for their organisations.
Surprisingly only in one in 10 companies would increase salaries or pay larger bonuses, while just one in 20 companies would hire additional personnel to relieve pressure on the workforce, according to HR specialists The Curve Group, which carried out the study.
The Curve Group said the most interesting result of the survey was the focus on the need to develop organisational leaders in order to have a significant impact on employee engagement.
Resources for HR programmes have been squeezed and so finding cost effective options for developing internal leaders to drive employee engagement rather than investing in employee benefits has come to the fore, it said.
“These figures indicate some of the challenges facing employers in times of economic uncertainty. Redundancies or headcount freezes put pressure on the remaining workforce, leading to increased levels of stress,” said Lyndsey Simpson, co-owner of The Curve Group. “At the same time those who have a job often feel they should remain in a ‘safe’ position rather than risk moving, thus reducing the talent pool.”