Staff engagement emerges as major HR concern in 2020

Staff engagement emerges as major HR concern in 2020

More than three-fourths of HR professionals in Malta believe that employee engagement is a major strategic objective. Findings in an annual survey on HR trends and developments conducted by misco shows that the top issue for HR professionals in 2020 was staff retention, mentioned by 78 percent of respondents, followed by staff motivation (76%) and staff development (75%).

“The HR function has shown resilience in the face of disruption caused by the pandemic this year, but priorities for professionals have shifted,” observed Joanne Bondin, misco Director. “During the uncertain months of the pandemic, HR teams were largely focused on developing, motivating, and retaining their staff.”

The greatest challenge for HR teams remains the management of salary demands, mentioned by 57 percent of respondents. Although still the highest concern, pressures from salary expectations have dropped from 75 percent last year. Meanwhile, a shortage of experienced staff represents a challenge to 42 percent of HR professionals, the same level as in 2019.

The uncertain economic environment this year led companies to reassess their workforce planning, a sharp contrast with the ambitious recruitment drives witnessed in recent years. Instead, management teams have stepped up their training programmes, registering an above-average rate of e-learning opportunities for employees.

Ms Bondin explains that, in a year of upheaval, employer brand management has emerged as an opportunity: “More than three in four HR professionals indicate that their companies invested in strengthening and communicating their employer brands, a jump of 15 percent from 2019. On the other hand, only 49 percent of respondents consider becoming an employer of choice as a key objective – revealing a general degree of short-termism in HR strategies.”

The misco HR Development Report is an annual survey on trends and currents in the field of HR in Malta, and forms part of the misco Sales and Benefits Report. The report is available free of charge and may be requested at [email protected].