It will come as no surprise to HR leaders that there will be a lot of challenges in the coming year. ‘Work’ has significantly changed in recent years. The changes have been on the cards for a long time, but the pandemic has undoubtedly accelerated the pace.
Modern workplaces might be wholly foreign to many who retired 5/10 years ago. So with all this change in motion, what are the top things HR leaders need to keep their eye on?
1. Retaining The Best And The Brightest
One of the biggest challenges facing all companies at the moment is dealing with the ‘Great Resignation’. Employees are leaving their jobs at a much higher rate than usual. It’s often not even for a new job. Many are leaving with nothing lined up.
If you lose one of your best employees, then it can have a knock-on effect on your whole organisation. Often, when employees hand in their notice, organisations do not have time to prepare. So employee retention needs to be proactive activity.
It can be worth identifying which employees are the most valuable to your organisation and ensuring that they are getting regular, effective feedback as well as opportunities to grow.
2. Building Towards Better Diversity, Equity And Inclusion
Remote working has allowed many companies to recruit far more internationally they in the past. This has, in many cases, highlighted existing issues surrounding Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI).
Employees, regardless of their background, are judging their companies on how they handle these issues. So with both internal and external pressures around these issues, it’s important for HR leaders to have a plan for moving forward.
Your workplace will not become more diverse, equal, and inclusive without an intentional effort. Making that effort is worth it because improving working conditions for any of your employees will improve things for everyone.
3. Shifting HR Online
The pandemic has likely already caused many HR leaders to shift many of their systems online. One of the benefits of this happening is that both time and money can be saved on recruitment. The challenge, though, is to continue the shift to online for as many aspects of HR as is feasible. Many tools can be utilised, and it’s worth investing time to find the best ones for your needs.
A great feature to look for is software that offers real-time reporting. The best way to keep your company moving and adapting is to know what’s happening as soon as it happens. That way, you can quickly respond to the needs of your employees.
4. Finding New Talent In A Shrinking Pool
With workers leaving their jobs in high numbers, many believed the talent pool was growing. However, it can still seem that the pool of talent may be shrinking. People are being more selective about the jobs they take. The result is that companies are getting fewer applicants for jobs. It’s not uncommon for no applications to be received.
The challenge for HR leaders is to determine how to attract talent. This could mean assessing the way that jobs are presented or even looking at the application requirements. Removing or changing the requirements might attract a more diverse pool of talent and uncover the people you need.
5. Upskilling Employees
Improving the skills of your employees has never been more important. Increasing your employee’s skills has many benefits. The most obvious is that they will be better equipped for their jobs. But the added benefits include increased employee satisfaction and the potential for new leaders you can promote from within.
Training your employees in new skills or developing their interests can address several challenges facing HR in the coming months, so it is well worth the investment.
6. Shaping New Leaders
With talent being hard to come by, finding good people for leadership roles is a challenge. A good solution for this is to begin shaping your current employees to turn them into the people you need. As mentioned, training and upskilling your employees is an excellent tool for achieving this. Mentoring programmes are another tool worth some consideration.
7. Promoting Healthy Working Practices
Having a healthy workplace is vital. If you don’t look after your employee’s physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing, they are going to suffer from burnout. So what does that mean from an HR perspective?
HR leaders need to be looking at the nuts and bolts first of all. Are salaries fair, are working conditions flexible enough, are working environments suitable? More than that, though, HR should be looking for ways to increase socialisation for employees, encouraging physical activity and stress management.
8. Addressing the Issues of Remote Work
As the pandemic surged, a majority of businesses shifted the bulk of their workforce to remote working. While there is a move to get people back in offices, over 92% of companies expect remote working to continue in some form.
There are advantages to having a remote workforce, and many of these can include cost savings. However, there are challenges as well. These will be harder to manage once some workers begin to return to the office while others don’t.
With this diversity comes the potential for a two-tier workforce. On one hand, there are the employees socialising and networking in the office. On the other hand, there are the employees working just as hard but missing out on opportunities while at home.
9. Enhancing Demand-Based Internal Training
Training has come up several times already, so it’s no surprise that it should be a priority. It’s incumbent on HR leaders to ensure that all training is not only fit for purpose but can be delivered on-demand and is engaging and valuable. Training should be available to cover both core competencies and critical skills.
HR leaders should design a system that they can easily adapt so as to meet the changing needs of your organisation.
10. Continue To Improve Change Management
There has been a lot of change in the last two years. There is no doubt that many employees are feeling stressed and overwhelmed by the pace of change they have had to adapt to. With that in mind, it is worth looking at how your company manages big changes.
Research suggests that the most successful transformation happen when the changes are modelled by the company leadership. So it’s vital that HR leaders work with leaders across the company to make sure everyone is on the same page.