How to navigate your greatest HR challenges How to navigate your greatest HR challenges

How to navigate your greatest HR challenges
31 Aug 2015

Today’s HR managers have the technology and expertise available to contribute to an organisation’s ultimate success in ways that would make their predecessors’ jaws drop.

From advanced applicant tracking systems, to automated performance management interviews and documentation, to strategic succession planning capabilities, HR has never been in a better position to excel than it is today.

Gone are the days when HR was largely ignored by the leadership team. Today, their words and recommendations carry real weight with the employees and the top executives who determine the company’s next move.

With that being said, any significant increase in organisational value invariably leads to an elevated level of responsibility with more complex challenges. HR managers in today’s business environment can’t afford to become complacent and conduct business as usual.

Their organisations are expecting more out of them to attract the best talent, retain valued workers, and manage employee growth. Below are three ways HR managers today are being challenged:

Innovate and disrupt

HR managers must have the courage to break with conventional wisdom and disrupt established practices. HR managers must guide organisations away from conventional processes to a structure where a business’s future depends on the informed decisions made by the talent manager - not human resources.

Adapt and adopt

It’s no secret that business technology is changing and the tools employed by HR are no exception. HR managers are being challenged to adapt to this new technology and adopt new systems to help attract, retain and nurture the best talent in their respective fields.

HR managers must replace old HR systems that primarily existed to crunch numbers and track calendars. They need to be invested in the professional growth of each employee. Furthermore, HR managers must engender an atmosphere where employees are open to working with HR on their professional growth.

This is easier said than done. The key to fostering an invested workforce is to engage with employees in a way that is clear to understand on a conceptual level, advantageous to participate in, and designed with their best interests in mind.

Identify and incentivise

With the proliferation of job search engines and websites, recruitment agencies, signing bonuses and the like, it has become increasingly challenging to retain high performance employees. Without the proper incentive to stay, talented employees will always be tempted to look to grow in their career by taking a perceived opportunity for career advancement elsewhere.

HR managers are being challenged to identify high performing individuals and keep that talent in-house. This can be accomplished by providing a blueprint for these employees to plan their succession within the company.

This allows them to have a hand in managing their own careers without the need to look outside the company, empowering them to take ownership over their own success. The importance and influence of HR managers has increased significantly in recent years. It is critical that these professionals demonstrate they are worthy of this amplified role. For years, the challenge was simply attracting an audience.

Now that HR managers have the attention of both organisational leadership and the workforce driving their companies, the spotlight is on them to show what HR can do to help an organisation thrive when given the proper resources.

Addressing these three challenges will help any HR professional lay a foundation for organisational growth.

Protecting your biggest investment: Your employees

Do you know how much it costs to replace an employee? An Oxford Economics report cited on hrreview.co.uk estimated the cost in the UK alone to be £30,614. This is no small sum, and for good reason, as employees are an enterprise’s greatest investment.

They are the ones who collectively run the business, and without their skills and expertise, an enterprise would have little chance for success. This is why it’s critical that employers create a retention plan and avoid the costs associated with finding a replacement.

Given the incredible amount of time, energy, and expense it takes to bring a new worker on board, businesses should make protecting their employees and ensuring their satisfaction a high priority. How can businesses achieve this?

Conduct ‘stay’ interviews

Exit interviews are a common practice when employees leave a company. These interviews find out why the employee is leaving, what would have made them stay, feedback for management, and other insights.

While these answers are important and should be acted upon, it is equally important to hear the same answers from long-tenured employees. Current employees can provide insight into employee satisfaction. Why do they choose to stay? What would make it even harder for them to leave?

Capitalising and expanding on these responses can result in a greater number of longterm, satisfied employees.

Continue offering competitive benefits

Oftentimes, a large factor in why workers choose and continue to work at an enterprise is the benefits added to an employee’s compensation package. Flexitime, telecommuting, being able to take care of personal obligations, providing charity participation opportunities and other perks that add to work-life balance are incredibly valuable to employees.

The more attention employers pay to helping make the day-to-day lives of employees better, the more likely these workers will be dedicated to diligently working to finish projects in or after work hours.

Small perks go a long way The little things, like providing lunch on Fridays, dry-cleaning drop-off and pickup and birthday cards can make a great difference in employee morale.

Perks that are randomly added to the normal workweek can raise the moods and energy of employees. These incentives may be small, but they are meaningful to employees and can be a reason they don’t look outside for other employment opportunities.

Hire an HR professional

HR can lift responsibilities from management by streamlining organisational charts and processes. HR professionals are also up-to-date on labour laws and trends, and have a greater knowledge of programs, perks or incentives that can give the employer a competitive edge.

It’s indisputable that the right employees can be hard and expensive to come by. But once an enterprise has spent the time and money to hire a workforce, management would be wise to do what they can to protect their investment with retention plans. This can lead the way to saving money, time and stress—and we can all agree any savings in these areas are a good thing, can’t we?

By Jayne Archbold, CEO of Mid-Market Europe and Sage ERP X3 worldwide

Today’s HR managers have the technology and expertise available to contribute to an organisation’s ultimate success in ways that would make their predecessors’ jaws drop.

From advanced applicant tracking systems, to automated performance management interviews and documentation, to strategic succession planning capabilities, HR has never been in a better position to excel than it is today.

Gone are the days when HR was largely ignored by the leadership team. Today, their words and recommendations carry real weight with the employees and the top executives who determine the company’s next move.

With that being said, any significant increase in organisational value invariably leads to an elevated level of responsibility with more complex challenges. HR managers in today’s business environment can’t afford to become complacent and conduct business as usual.

Their organisations are expecting more out of them to attract the best talent, retain valued workers, and manage employee growth. Below are three ways HR managers today are being challenged:

Innovate and disrupt

HR managers must have the courage to break with conventional wisdom and disrupt established practices. HR managers must guide organisations away from conventional processes to a structure where a business’s future depends on the informed decisions made by the talent manager - not human resources.

Adapt and adopt

It’s no secret that business technology is changing and the tools employed by HR are no exception. HR managers are being challenged to adapt to this new technology and adopt new systems to help attract, retain and nurture the best talent in their respective fields.

HR managers must replace old HR systems that primarily existed to crunch numbers and track calendars. They need to be invested in the professional growth of each employee. Furthermore, HR managers must engender an atmosphere where employees are open to working with HR on their professional growth.

This is easier said than done. The key to fostering an invested workforce is to engage with employees in a way that is clear to understand on a conceptual level, advantageous to participate in, and designed with their best interests in mind.

Identify and incentivise

With the proliferation of job search engines and websites, recruitment agencies, signing bonuses and the like, it has become increasingly challenging to retain high performance employees. Without the proper incentive to stay, talented employees will always be tempted to look to grow in their career by taking a perceived opportunity for career advancement elsewhere.

HR managers are being challenged to identify high performing individuals and keep that talent in-house. This can be accomplished by providing a blueprint for these employees to plan their succession within the company.

This allows them to have a hand in managing their own careers without the need to look outside the company, empowering them to take ownership over their own success. The importance and influence of HR managers has increased significantly in recent years. It is critical that these professionals demonstrate they are worthy of this amplified role. For years, the challenge was simply attracting an audience.

Now that HR managers have the attention of both organisational leadership and the workforce driving their companies, the spotlight is on them to show what HR can do to help an organisation thrive when given the proper resources.

Addressing these three challenges will help any HR professional lay a foundation for organisational growth.

Protecting your biggest investment: Your employees

Do you know how much it costs to replace an employee? An Oxford Economics report cited on hrreview.co.uk estimated the cost in the UK alone to be £30,614. This is no small sum, and for good reason, as employees are an enterprise’s greatest investment.

They are the ones who collectively run the business, and without their skills and expertise, an enterprise would have little chance for success. This is why it’s critical that employers create a retention plan and avoid the costs associated with finding a replacement.

Given the incredible amount of time, energy, and expense it takes to bring a new worker on board, businesses should make protecting their employees and ensuring their satisfaction a high priority. How can businesses achieve this?

Conduct ‘stay’ interviews

Exit interviews are a common practice when employees leave a company. These interviews find out why the employee is leaving, what would have made them stay, feedback for management, and other insights.

While these answers are important and should be acted upon, it is equally important to hear the same answers from long-tenured employees. Current employees can provide insight into employee satisfaction. Why do they choose to stay? What would make it even harder for them to leave?

Capitalising and expanding on these responses can result in a greater number of longterm, satisfied employees.

Continue offering competitive benefits

Oftentimes, a large factor in why workers choose and continue to work at an enterprise is the benefits added to an employee’s compensation package. Flexitime, telecommuting, being able to take care of personal obligations, providing charity participation opportunities and other perks that add to work-life balance are incredibly valuable to employees.

The more attention employers pay to helping make the day-to-day lives of employees better, the more likely these workers will be dedicated to diligently working to finish projects in or after work hours.

Small perks go a long way The little things, like providing lunch on Fridays, dry-cleaning drop-off and pickup and birthday cards can make a great difference in employee morale.

Perks that are randomly added to the normal workweek can raise the moods and energy of employees. These incentives may be small, but they are meaningful to employees and can be a reason they don’t look outside for other employment opportunities.

Hire an HR professional

HR can lift responsibilities from management by streamlining organisational charts and processes. HR professionals are also up-to-date on labour laws and trends, and have a greater knowledge of programs, perks or incentives that can give the employer a competitive edge.

It’s indisputable that the right employees can be hard and expensive to come by. But once an enterprise has spent the time and money to hire a workforce, management would be wise to do what they can to protect their investment with retention plans. This can lead the way to saving money, time and stress—and we can all agree any savings in these areas are a good thing, can’t we?

By Jayne Archbold, CEO of Mid-Market Europe and Sage ERP X3 worldwide