The world offers less security than it provided in the past. The concept of a defined job is over. We have to accept rapid and radical changes in our lives. A few years ago we enjoyed one business transformation at once. Nowadays, we have such frequent changes that we stopped giving names to strategic projects. From the employee’s perspective, this environment is not friendly. They see as a pure business done for profit. They do not realize an incredible pressure from competitors. They just want to keep their jobs. They want to choose the moment when they change the career. This is a challenging environment for Human Resources. Our teams face many challenges.
No success lasts forever; the organization needs to keep its agility, willingness to grow, innovative spirit and competitive corporate culture. Most businesses lose the potential as they grow. At one stage they start to stagnate. Other competitors grab their market share. They stop innovating. At some point, it is too late to become agile again. All customers buy from competitors. However, in the last few decades, the success is a short term victory. This puts pressure on Human Resources because it can help to keep the organization in a shape. It is the business function that must provoke others. Its aim is the change of behaviors in the company.
Human Resources has the power to fight against the most common HR challenges. They are not related just to HR; the leadership team needs to be an integral part of the solution. The agility of the business always starts with the leader. However, HR team can introduce the people management practices that ensure the comparative and competitive advantage.
We have to learn to distinguish between HR issues and HR challenges. An issue is usually just a problem that can be complex, but we have resources and visibility of it. It is different with the challenge because it is a mix of internal and external factors. We can minimize the impact, but there will always be some residual risk.
Finding common solutions to challenges will shape the future of Human Resources. We can implement new practices and procedures that will allow the flexibility for the business and provide more security to employees. We will change our strategic management processes so that they also include the view of employees. We can improve our change transformations to limit the chaos.
Human Resources will have to fight with the leadership challenge. The person of the leader is under enormous stress, and we expect her to be always right. No one can always be right. HR leaders will have to discover the way how to release some pressure.
The competitiveness of the business is the ultimate goal, but it cannot be reached if other challenges are not solved or mitigated. The HR leader plays a crucial role in the design of mitigates.
Structure of the chapter
This chapter starts with the sustainability challenge. It is the most difficult one because most organizations lose their ability to innovate and compete during the lifetime. The role of Human Resources is in provoking the business to watch competitors carefully, react and win. Most modern trends in Human Resources Management are about sustainability.
Globalization is not dead yet. In Human Resources it just started. Employees are moving cross-border, and the multicultural management is on a rise. Most HR Managers are not experienced enough to deal with the global workforce; we still use old ways of working. We do not utilize social media and other tools to increase the productivity of the remote team.
The next challenge is closely connected with remote teams. HR technology is revolutionized by technologies like HR Big Data and dedicated independent providers of HR solutions. The solid HRIS solutions are sunsetting. We just have to accept that our work and thinking about IT solutions need to change dramatically.
The aging workforce and change management are other closely linked challenges for Human Resources. We always like to hire new fresh college graduates, but we will not be able to find any young talents on the market. The society gets old; we will have to find a way how to keep businesses innovative, agile and productive. That is an excellent goal (as we will get old, as well).
Managing and maintaining the employee productivity becomes one of the critical roles of Human Resources in the business. Also, it is one of the most challenging HR roles. Each HR leader has to design a complex system to manage the efficiency of employees. As it sounds simple, it is a tough job for HR Managers and the leadership team.
The last issue is about the employee engagement and loyalty in the organization. Nobody trusts into a life-long employment anymore. On the other hand, the business needs to keep and develop its know-how. Having a great policy that combines successfully these two facts is a real HR challenge.