The Challenges of Working in Human Resources
Human resource success depends on the management of many different people. Living in a digital world comes with even more complications for HR professionals, including social media usage, HR software updates, and remote workforces. HR is a difficult job with many difficulties that need to be correctly and efficiently identified and addressed. Here are the challenges of working in HR.
Getting people to apply to your job is easy, but attracting the best talent is difficult, especially because you have tons of competition. Finding the best employees takes time and money. Even more, keeping the best employees requires an effective employee retention strategy.
To attract the best talent, they need to fully understand the requirements of a job and what the department is looking for. Unfortunately, job roles and expectations are always evolving, making finding the right person increasingly more difficult.
Dealing with Change
As if recruiting isn't difficult enough, HR departments must also deal with constant and consistent change that can influence the workplace such as marketing trends, collaboration, increasing work culture, and more. Therefore, HR departments must prepare themselves and employees for any change happening within the organization. For example, if there is a merger, HR will have to notify employees and let them know how they'll be impacted.
Change can impact employee morale, happiness, and efficiency, all of which HR is responsible for, which means they have to focus on how to help a large number of employees deal with change, even though employees may have different reactions.
Team leaders are responsible for ensuring their teams perform well. However, putting the wrong person in a management position can lead to inefficiency and employee unhappiness. Many employees consider quitting their jobs because of their managers, which is why HR needs to put the right people in these positions of power.
Finding the right leaders is difficult, though. Grooming current employees takes time, and you can never truly know whether someone you're training for a management position is going to stay with the company. Not only that but hiring management outside of the company can give employees the wrong impression and make them feel like they can't grow within the organization.
Continuing education programs help employees hone their skills and reach professional goals. Unfortunately, many individuals leave their jobs because of a lack of development opportunities offered. Training and learning opportunities help to keep employees motivated and stimulated. However, the training must be relevant to their jobs. You can't stick all of your employees in one workshop and hope they'll come out of it feeling better about their positions within the company.
Not only that, but training has to be continuous. If you genuinely want employees to learn and be effective leaders, they'll need different types of training and learning opportunities available to them. However, training should not put a strain on employees who already have a huge workload as it might contribute to stress and burnout.
Keeping Employees Healthy and Safe
Every business is expected to comply with health and safety regulations that can promote overall employee well-being. But, unfortunately, health and safety aren't just about making your employees wash their hands or putting up signs when there are slippery floors.
Today, the well-being of employees demands much more and includes a focus on the mental health of employees as well as their physical health. Of course, stress is normal at any job, but consistent, high levels of stress can't be sustained and can severely impact your employees' overall health, wellness, and productivity.
HR professionals need to monitor workloads and stress levels by checking in with employees periodically and acting as a sounding board for potential issues. In addition, they should make employees feel comfortable coming to them to discuss workloads and deadlines to help prevent burnout.
Building Company Culture & Improving Employee Experience
Fast-paced companies can expect to see some employee turnover even if they hire top talent. However, keeping them should be the next biggest goal once you hire those individuals.
Remember, if employees are happy with their job duties, workplace, and their coworkers, they probably won't go out looking for another job unless a recruiter finds them and offers them a higher salary and better benefits.
The employee experience and company culture should both be positive. If there is a toxic workplace, you can expect to quickly lose employees. However, if you can focus on creating a better employee experience than any other workplace, you can keep your best employees for the long haul.
Employee experience is just one aspect of company culture. Many factors go into your company culture, so it's best to figure out how you want your company to be viewed from the inside and outside. Make sure you have a plan of action that fosters continued education, diversity, and overall health and wellness in the workplace.
Letting Employees Go
Unfortunately, HR is responsible for one of the most difficult tasks of any business: letting low-performing employees go. While it might seem like the right thing to do for the business, people who work together often get attached and become friends, so firing employees can be one of the most emotionally difficult parts of working in the HR department.
Make sure you have a process for letting employees go that's fair and equal. It's best to keep write-ups that employees have signed so they acknowledge anything they might have done wrong, while also performing regular employee evaluations so they know where they need to improve before they are let go.
Solving Problems in HR
Many of the problems listed in this article can be solved as long as you can identify them. As the company you work for changes and evolves, it's up to you to provide a cohesive experience for the employees and ensure they're getting everything they need out of their careers.
Continue to stay relevant and address your challenges so you can build a winning team and retain them for years to come. Working in HR is never easy, but you might find some relief from administrative tasks using HR software so you can focus on building relationships, keeping employees engaged, and finding the best talent to help the business grow.
Matt Casadona has a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, with a concentration in Marketing and a minor in Psychology. Matt is passionate about marketing and business strategy and enjoys San Diego life, traveling, and music.