Emerging human-resources issues in the 21st century
Challenges include leadership, change, and performance metrics
A survey of human resource managers by Villanova University laid stark the challenges facing HR professionals in the ever-evolving employment and staffing landscape.
Concerns and issues ran the gamut from compensation issues to recruitment challenges.
The top three issues, according to respondents, are change management, leadership development and development of metrics to gauge the effectiveness of HR offices.
Here’s a quick look at those three issues:
• Change management. This was the leading issue cited by HR managers. Change management refers to the art and skill of instituting change at all levels within an organization. This could range from the installation of new software to shifting roles within a business hierarchy. Employees can be resistant to change because they have mastered one way of doing things. This resistance can be overcome by constantly communicating the need for altering ways employees can affect change; allowing staffers to be vested in change techniques and processes; and simplifying and incrementally introducing change concepts within the workplace.
• Leadership development. There are concerns in many workplaces and businesses that talent is not being identified and groomed for management/leadership roles. It is often not understood that there is a stark difference between managing and leading. Managers implement the visions of a leader. It is hard to identify workers who can both inspire and lead and manage daily operational details. Human resources managers should know there is not a one-size-fits-all approach to leadership development and coaching along those lines should be tied to daily workflow.
• Metrics for performance. The role of an HR manager should go beyond benefits consultation and fielding complaints from workers who feel they’ve been harassed, bullied or feel unappreciated. Human resources staffers and directors should be at the top of their games in terms of organization, leadership, and ethics. But how do you gauge their effectiveness in terms of employee development and value added to a company? There are dozens of formulas out there, including equations involving employee retention, benefits cost per employee and employee reviews. But some of these techniques may be unfairly skewed or not truly representative of duties performed by HR professionals. It is important for a company to establish specific parameters and metrics on how the performance of the HR office is measured.
Human resources managers are the backbone of personnel management within a company, and they should be treated as such.
Their opinions matter.