You will definitely agree this quote by Mr. N.R. Narayana Murthy, Chairman Emeritus, Infosys Ltd. “You must treat your employees with respect and dignity because in the most automated factory in the world, you need the power of human mind. That is what brings in innovation. If you want high quality minds to work for you, then you must protect the respect and dignity.”
As easy it may sound, managing human resources effectively could be quite challenging .
We stay in an ever changing, complex environment and with introduction of tighter labor markets; economic uncertainty and globalization are reasons sufficient enough to make us anxious.
Here are 9 challenges of human resource management and ways to deal with them.
- Retaining your best talent – Make it your top priority
Gone are the days where recruiting good talent was enough, retaining that good talent is also imperative. Especially those employees who possess greater professional and technical knowledge are much in demand in the job market as such employees have the ability to keep their company ahead in the race. Such employees are invaluable assets for any company. Employee development and engagement, health and safety, recognition, flexible work timings, work-life balance are some examples of novel approaches that you could use to retain your employees.
- Ensuring better employee productivity to maximise your profits
Maximizing profit and minimizing cost is the core of every business. Higher the productivity level, more successful you will be. So ensuring that productivity levels of your employees are always high should be your top priority. However despite continuous effort, you might sometimes get unsatisfactory results. In such case, you should thoroughly analyze the situations and make proper conclusions whether it is the result of inefficient employee or inadequate resources.
In case it is due to inefficient employee, training the employee, or even recruiting new staff could be a solution or finding alternative resources for sufficient input if inadequate resources are the case. HRM should manage on-site as well as off-site job trainings for employees. Providing training and support to employees not only benefits the company but also helps the employees who take this route to feel like they are a vital part of the business.
- Managing a diverse workforce: Unity in diversity is the new business mantra
Composition of workforce is getting diverse at present situation. Diversity is not only created by age, gender, educational background and religion but also by the nature, personality and background of workers. However, with a more diverse workforce, some usual issues such as harassment or discrimination may arise. To control such instances, a company must formulate and implement strict rules and regulations.
- Dealing with the “new normal” – Globalization
We live in a global world today. In fact, mergers, acquisitions, collaborations, takeovers are a common phenomenon. While internationalization of firms is obviously a sign of success, it is also a challenge as with globalisation, you also have to deal with several challenges related to different languages, work culture, management approach, culture and tradition. You are also required to handle various functions such as scheduling meetings, managing holidays and outsourcing of talent to overcome these challenges.
- Resistance to change-What if I am replaced by a machine in the future?
This is a common fear which plagues the mind of many employees. Especially the ones who consider change to be a threat and think that their roles within the company will be replaced by a machine or computer that can do the job cheaper or faster.
As with any change in the workplace, changes in technology could cause anxiety or even resistance among your employees. The role of the human resource manager would be to develop strategies to combat this resistance to change which begins by assuring employees of their worth for the business. They must be able to perceive the technology as an aid not an obstacle to their work.
- Maintaining privacy and managing vital business information
As the technology within an organization advances, so do the privacy and security concerns connected with those technical changes. Ensuring that your employees are well trained in securing data and hence preventing privacy breaches Providing employee training on how to secure data and preventing any breach of privacy thus ensuring the safety of sensitive business information is a key challenge for human resources. Communicating with technology vendors and keeping up-to-date with the technical aspects of the company are some more ways for human resources managers to recognize and confront this challenge.
- Maintaining discipline and ensuring successful achievement of business goals
Discipline is one of the key issues, lack of which can cause various problems impacting the productivity of the company. For instance, if discipline is not maintained; employees may neglect their tasks and duties or even procrastinate their tasks and misbehave with co-workers. The ultimate result of these activities is decreased productivity of your company.
You need to make your policies clear and inform every employee about your disciplinary procedures as well as let them know who they can appeal to. You must follow different processes depending on the severity of the employee’s actions. There is a need to ascertain whether discipline is due to employee performance issue or if it is misconduct.
- Embrace technology or get extinct.
Any company must consider technological changes as the present day world demands every firm to move with the change, or else be left behind .Technological changes influence the overall nature of work and businesses need to find employees that are able to adjust with the change.
During this process, unemployment as well as employment opportunities arise, creating new challenges for HRM. With new developments in technology as well as with the use of new tools, such as talent networks and internal social networks, there is the promise of increased flexibility and productivity.
- Leadership Development and Succession Planning
Leadership development is one of the biggest challenges for human resource management. It needs to be a critical strategic initiative. HR professionals are expected to provide the essential structure, processes and tools to select the best and develop the future leaders of the organization.
Most such initiatives can also be successfully conducted with the use of a scientific approach through customised assessments. With online assessments on identifying the best talent, predicting success at your workplace as well as building the next set of leaders by evaluating them through this approach can be the best next steps.
What other challenges have you been facing while managing the human resources function for your company? Please feel free to share in the comments section.