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Recent research also found that nearly half of employees surveyed avoid reporting issues to HR, out of fear of retaliation. 

Nearly half of employees surveyed in the US (49%) say they avoid reporting issues to HR out of fear of retaliation, a new survey has highlighted.

At the same time, two in three of these employees refrain from reporting their issues to HR, as they don't think action would be taken.

These results came Elements Global Services conducted the survey following analysis on Google search trends, to explore what HR-related questions people are frequently researching, and by extension, what pain points these searches implicate in the modern workplace. 

So what were these common search terms?

These are the top 25 HR questions that employees search for online:

  1. Do employers have to offer health insurance 
  2. Do employers have to pay for unemployment 
  3. Can my employer force me to take a lunch break
  4. Can my employer disclose my salary to other employees
  5. Can my employer monitor my personal computer
  6. Can my employer track my personal phone
  7. Can my employer deny my vacation request
  8. Can my employee pay me through my LLC
  9. Can my employer track my laptop location
  10. Does my boss like me
  11. Will my employer know if I file for unemployment
  12. Can I be fired for being sick
  13. Can my boss take my tips
  14. Can my employer change my schedule last minute
  15. Can my employer cut my pay
  16. Can my employer discuss my FMLA with other employees
  17. Can my employer pay me late
  18. Can my employer see my health insurance claims
  19. Do employers have to pay for jury duty
  20. Does my boss have a crush on me
  21. Can my employer call my doctor
  22. Can my employer track my personal phone location
  23. Do employers have to pay out PTO
  24. Can I be fired for no reason
  25. Do employers have to give breaks

View the full list of 50 common HR search terms here

By category, the analysis also revealed the following top HR questions searched:

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*Note: While this survey was conducted in the US, HRO believes some of the data would still resonate with our readers. 

Top five HR complaints

Apart from the above, the survey analysis also noted the five most common HR complaints, namely:

  1. Bullying/hostile environment
  2. Too much work
  3. Personality clash
  4. Compensation
  5. Issue with company policy

On that note, it added the top five issues that employees don't expect HR to fix:

  1. Too much work
  2. Personality clash
  3. Bullying/hostile environment
  4. Compensation
  5. Sexual harassment

Do employees trust their HR department?

All that aside, per the survey, 83% of employees surveyed said they do trust their HR department. That said, trust still lacks consistency in certain industries - such as the media where 50% say they don't trust HR, and hospitality where 69% say so.

Interestingly, it was also found that of the different categories of employees surveyed, entry-level women are the least likely to say they trust HR to protect their interests (68%), versus the other categories (79%).

On the other hand, entry-level men (83%) have a nearly equal expectation that their interests will be protected as do senior-level women (84%).


Lead image and infographics / Provided

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