HR is failing to have a positive impact on employee engagement levels, with 30 per cent of UK staff opting to turn to peers for support at work instead, research by business software company Oracle has found.

According to the study, which polled around 1,500 employees of large Western European businesses, only three per cent of respondents said their company’s HR department had the biggest impact on their engagement levels.

Up to 42 per cent of employees across Europe, and just under a third (30 per cent) across the UK said their friends and colleagues at work had the biggest impact on how engaged they felt.

Loïc Le Guisquet, president for Europe, Middle East and Africa and Asia Pacific regions at Oracle, said the findings were a warning that: “HR does not ‘own’ engagement in the eyes of employees.”

Despite just one third of Western European employees feeling engaged most of the time, 56 per cent believe engagement can increase productivity; 37 per cent said it would reduce the likelihood of them looking for work elsewhere, and 35 per cent it would increase their ability to provide creative ideas to their company.

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