Addressing all 5 of these challenges human resources teams are facing the rest of this year will help your organization to thrive.
Here's what you need to know:
- In the 2nd half of 2022, HR teams will face the challenges of the Great Resignation and inflation with a possible recession
- Human resources teams will also navigate the challenges of remote work, competitive benefits packages, and rapid changes in skill requirements
- These 5 major challenges are interconnected and the solutions for each have a ripple effect on the others
Once upon a time, businesses created 5-year plans. Things sped up, and annual plans seemed more realistic. Our new normal means that even those annual plans need to be revised at times, and that’s true for those working in human resources as well.
We’ve made it halfway through 2022. Earlier in the year, we identified the 5 challenges HR is facing and how to overcome them. Some of these continue to challenge human resources professionals, while other major challenges are emerging for the 2nd half of the year.
Successfully navigating each of these challenges in real-time will set your organization up for a more successful year in 2023. The 5 major challenges the human resources team will face the rest of this year are the Great Resignation, inflation and a possible recession, remote work, competitive benefits packages, and rapid changes in skill requirements.
While human resources departments are often overlooked, research shows that a successful department is critical to the success of any business, from an entrepreneur to a large organization. Let’s look at some strategies that can help mitigate and overcome any obstacles that HR departments face.
HR challenge #1: The Great Resignation among workers
Experts agree that the Great Resignation wasn’t caused by the pandemic. It started earlier, but we’re certainly feeling the effects of it now. Here’s the thing, though: the Great Resignation is avoidable.
Toxic environments, feeling undervalued, salary inequity, and a lack of work-life balance are a few of the resignation reasons employees cite. A good human resources strategy can counteract these issues and help retain valuable employees.
Organizations that are working through the Great Resignation have an opportunity to realign their human resources and address the underlying issues in their company.
Employee engagement and productivity will also remain a challenge for those employees that are left behind. That’s especially the case as they navigate the feelings associated with losing colleagues. Make changes now to ensure these employees feel supported and don’t further contribute to the trend.
HR challenge #2: Inflation and recession
Businesses were already grappling with pandemic-induced supply chain issues. For some of us, it was delayed computer orders while others suffered even greater business setbacks.
Now, inflation and a pending recession are adding to the mix. This means that human resources teams need to create strategies for addressing both issues now.
Most human resources departments were already reducing their budgets in the first part of 2022. Inflation and a recession might require further reductions.
One option is to further digitize the human resources process and adopt HR software that creates greater efficiencies. There are a number of sound strategies for reducing expenses. The most important thing is to find some that work for your company and implement them. Then stay with the strategy long enough to see a return on investment.
Employee fears are often heightened during downturns. Consistent and continuous internal communication is an essential tool to manage these fears.
The human resources department should work with organizational leaders on a communications strategy. They should also provide updates on benefits, remote work, and other factors impacting employees.
HR challenge #3: Employees want to continue working remotely
The pandemic proved that remote work is possible and that many can be successful working remotely. Some companies prefer workers to be remote and there are savings involved. However, this isn’t an option for all companies, and in some cases, we need our boots on the ground and in person.
The challenge human resources professionals face with remote work is employees that don’t want to return to the office or request remote work when the rest of the team is in person.
In fact, 85% of managers have already stated remote work is the new normal; employees know that it’s an option at many organizations. This fact, combined with the Great Resignation, adds additional challenges to handling the request.
It’s time to ditch our traditional models and the way things have always been done to find solutions that work for everyone.
We recommend compromising with employees to find a solution that works for both of you. Many employees state they’re more productive at home, and that’s beneficial for the company’s bottom line and employee morale.
Work out a flexible schedule with employees so that the office is always covered, or they spend half their week at home and half in person. It’s time to ditch our traditional models and the way things have always been done to find solutions that work for everyone.
HR challenge #4: Competitive benefits packages
Inflation and a potential recession may end up helping employers find and retain talented employees. Competitive benefits packages are another factor that never goes out of style in employee recruitment and retention.
Human resources teams must address their benefits packages and ensure they’re competitive to meet the demands of 2022 employees and beyond. Offering health insurance and a 401(k) is no longer enough. That doesn’t mean ordering a bunch of ping pong tables and some couches will fix it either.
Instead, human resources need to align the benefits with the core values of the company and the employees. In some cases, this may mean switching to a 4-day workweek or allowing flexible schedules for employees with children.
Career development, education support, floating holidays, and transportation subsidies are all benefits companies use.
More doesn’t mean better with a competitive benefits package either. We’ve found that fewer, higher-quality benefits have a greater impact than a plethora of unused benefits. Again, align the package with the company and employee values, and it’ll succeed.
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HR challenge #5: Rapid changes in skill requirements
Some days it feels like the world is spinning faster and that’s true of the skill requirements for our employees too. Technology has improved by leaps and bounds, and this has caused some rapid changes in skill requirements.
We’ve also seen business functions change thanks to the pandemic, and gaps that need addressing because of retirements and resignations.
All existing and new employees will experience rapid changes in skill requirements. Human resources teams can support employees through this transition by hiring new employees with a lifelong learning mindset.
They can also support them by offering professional development opportunities for all employees. Leadership teams can also incorporate new skill sets into career development.
Rapid changes in skill requirements aren’t restricted to employees. You’ll also face these challenges as a human resources professional. Preparing your team for this challenge is just as important, if not more so, than preparing employees.
The human resources department has an opportunity to lead the organization through this process and model how adaptive and resilient we can all be when rapid changes in our skills are required.
Staying 1 step ahead of human resources challenges in 2022
Staying 1 step ahead of the major challenges facing human resources teams is possible. It requires a future-thinking mindset that uses strategic thinking.
Address each problem with the long-term vision for the company in mind, and after reviewing a decision’s unintended consequences and potential pitfalls.
These 5 major challenges are interconnected and the solutions for each have a ripple effect on the others. Therefore, implementing strategies to address the Great Resignation also improves the response to rapid changes in skill requirements and handling inflation.
We will never return to a world where we created 5-year plans. But we don’t need to. Our plans can be as agile as the organizations we work in. Addressing all 5 of the major challenges human resources teams are facing the rest of this year will help your organization thrive and be ready for anything that 2023 brings.