I have been working for this huge international insurance company for four years now; Our branch is basically the IT provider for the company. I am quite vocal/assertive but never had any issue because of it during all these years. A few months ago a new CEO was appointed from the headquarters, we are in a different continent and I am an expatriate myself.
A few weeks ago I joined an internal group that is supposed to be a kind of a proxy between the top management and the employees. This, of course, was created by the company with the purpose of facilitating organizational changes (cascading down the information) and also to collect employees feedback (regarding the changes but also to raise employees concerns). All of my coworkers and the existing members of the group were very happy about me joining it because they know I am not afraid of speaking out and because they know I would make their voices heard (local culture is a lot about avoiding conflicts).
I have personally raised a couple of small topics which were raised to me by my peers, nothing really sensitive that would make the management angry. Of course, I have always been very polite but clear when raising those issues.
The HR department has been a mess for a long time, even now while is being lead by a woman also appointed from the HQ. Yesterday all seven of them handed their resignation letters and complained directly to the big boss in the HQ, alleging too much pressure from my department and from another one. I was told by my line manager to not push them. HR related topics are very critical at this point since a lot of people left the company and we need to cover a lot of positions and we seem to be unable to do so. HR even complained to my line manager about us rejecting too many candidates (sometimes we don't even receive candidates with the skills we are looking for...).
Today my line manager told me that the CEO is getting angry about this proxy group and that I should slow down. The only reason I can think of is a videoconference we had with this group leader in the HQ where he asked for several questions and we were very sincere on our answers. I suspect that our CEO didn't take it very well.
I think I am probably being too naive (and/or too black and white) but my mind works like this: If you create a group that should raise employees concerns and feedback then you should be able to digest that feedback. My feeling is that all this is just smoke and mirrors, you just created the group for the gallery but you just don't accept being challenged, you just want to hear positive feedback. I don't think this is the way it works...
So now I am thinking about quitting this group and focusing on the work I am getting paid for. All this whole situation made me so angry that I am even starting to look for a new job since now I get the feeling that all the changes which will come from this CEO will be for the worse.
I put a lot of personal time and effort on this group during these weeks, trying to improve things for the employees which I believe will improve things for the company and help reducing the turnover/attrition and it feels like all this is not only not being appreciated but I am being retaliated against.
Any advice or suggestions?
PS: answering to @joe since I can't yet comment, I tried to put it in the most objective way possible but, of course, this is my personal feeling (there is always the possibility of me being completely biased or detached from reality). What I feel is that I should run away as fast as possible since all this looks like a turn for worse instead of better.
PPS: answering to @jim comment, yes they all played a bluff. From what I know the pressure from our department that they referred to is: asking them how are they going to protect our annual health check up records (by local law they have to keep them for 2 years [we recently had an online training about data privacy because of EU law changes]), asking them how could we do to get the new joiners laptop in the morning instead of at 2pm (not even a HR topic but they took it personally). The other department (finance) complain was because they were told there was no budget for another recruiter. BTW our branch is less than 400 people and have these 7 HR members.