In 2008 the global financial crisis crippled the banks worldwide and led to the fall of many of the market’s principal participants. Notably, Ireland was one of the worst hit countries by this crisis. Ireland’s banking system went in to a state of turmoil verging on collapse, only to be bailed out by the Irish taxpayers. The Irish banking sector went from the epitome of banking “success” to one which nearly brought the entire economy to ruin. With both the reputation and financial condition and the morale of the industry decimated, it would undoubtedly have been an extremely difficult sector to work in.
The purpose of the dissertation is to investigate the role that HR managers played in engaging employees in the Irish banking sector since the economic downturn in 2008. This study investigates through a progression of in-depth interviews how the role of the HR manager has shifted in terms of employee engagement (EE). It further seeks to discover what factors HR managers felt had an impact on engagement levels during this turbulent period. Lastly, it highlights what potential challenges HR managers will face in this area in the future.
As this is an exploratory study, the objective is to arrive at a hypothesis on the role that HR managers play in EE in the Irish banking sector and how it has shifted since 2008. It will conclude with suggested additional areas of research which may help add value to the field of human resource management. Author keywords: Employee engagement