Pedro Fernandez on April 10, 2019
4 Common HR Challenges (And How to Overcome Them)
Human resource management is more complex than ever. Teams have a lot on their plates with four HR challenges being most common.
1. Creating a Healthy Work-Life Balance for Employees
Collective employee stress levels are at record highs. A recent Gallup study found, “23 percent of employees reported feeling burned out at work very often or always, while an additional 44 percent reported feeling burned out sometimes.” When employees get to this point, it creates several issues:
- Performance and productivity decline
- Morale drops
- Absenteeism increases
- Retention decreases
How can HR teams create a healthier work-life balance for employees? It starts by providing a more manageable workload and not overwhelming staff with more tasks than they can handle. Next, managers need to provide ongoing support to employees and ensure they always have a leader they can turn to when problems arise. It’s also nice to implement flexible scheduling if possible. When workers are able to tend to their personal needs, they can usually perform their job at a higher level.
2. Building Cross-Generational Teams
We’re at an interesting point in time where four generations are part of the workplace — Baby Boomers, Generation X, Millennials and now Generation Z. With different mindsets, viewpoints, values and working styles, this has the potential to create friction. It’s important for HR to acknowledge this and come up with ways to build cross-generational teams.
Some ideas include:
- Getting past stereotypes
- Encouraging mentorship where more experienced employees help those who are still learning the ropes
- Embracing different ideas and opinions
- Encouraging collaboration between generations
3. Inadequate Onboarding
Kronos Inc., performed a study and found 76 percent of US organizations fail to effectively onboard new employees. Even worse, 24 percent have no onboarding program at all. When new team members lack proper training and development opportunities, their performance often suffers. It takes them longer to acclimate to their new job and they’re not equipped with the tools needed for success.
Onboarding can be streamlined and improved by creating an official employee handbook, appointing an experienced employee to get new hires up to speed, providing them with relevant resources (e.g. educational materials and website links) and offering consistent feedback.
4. Leadership Transitions
Sound leadership is at the core of nearly every successful company. Without great leadership, it’s hard for a company to grow and prosper long-term. Unfortunately, many organizations are having difficulty passing the torch and preparing current employees for leadership roles. That’s largely because younger employees aren’t staying with companies as long as they used to. According to Forbes, “43 percent of Millennials plan to quit their job within two years. Only 28 percent plan to stay in their current role for more than five years.”
Succession planning should be a major point of emphasis where HR identifies promising younger employees and develops them to eventually replace old leaders. Investing in the right people, offering promotions and working hard to retain key employees should be a top priority.
HR challenges are numerous for modern organizations. Understanding the specific barriers teams are up against and devising practical solutions will help them face those issues head-on.