Grace Smith
January 8, 2024

You know, on average, around 73,400 jobs are created for HR professionals every year in the US.

But this doesn't mean that the industry is devoid of its own set of challenges.

In fact, human resources are one of the most complicated departments in an entire organization. Managing people is no easy feat and we totally get that. But looking at the problems alone won't make the issue simple.

10 Biggest HR Challenges and How You Can Overcome Them

Managing humans is not easy. There are tons of challenges an HR manager faces in their everyday operations. Here are the biggest challenges of HRM and possible solutions for each one of them:

1. Keeping employees engaged

Make the work too challenging, and employees might get stressed out. But if you make it too simple, they will surely get bored of it. The trick is to find the sweet spot which makes your employee's work both challenging and rewarding. 

If not, what results is a dip in employee engagement, which is one of the biggest challenges faced by HR managers across the globe. If employees are disengaged, it results in poor performance, low morale, and an overall moody work environment. So, how do you overcome this particular challenge? 

Start with your onboarding process. Start strong and build a good impression by making the onboarding process engaging and welcoming. 

Prepare a good list of onboarding survey questions to ensure that every hire experiences smooth onboarding.

Identify good work and recognize it. A good employee recognition program can solve a lot of engagement-related problems for employees. 

According to HBR, a bad reputation forces companies to offer 10% higher salaries.

So focus on building a good reputation. Maintain a continuous feedback loop so that there is transparency in communication and clarity in the transfer of ideas. Also, cut back on micromanagement and start trusting your employees. All these steps have a profound impact on bringing up the level of employee engagement. 

2. Creating a solid company culture

It’s hard to make employees see the big picture when your company has a weak culture. And if employees do not work toward achieving the company goals and objectives, it becomes a challenge for HR to tackle.

Building a value-oriented culture can be a taxing project, but if done properly, can make a world of difference in the whole philosophy of work. Identify the personal goals of employees and evaluate what motivates them.

Now, try to build a bridge between employee goals and the company goals. It can be done through transparent communication and in-depth surveys. Creating a strong company culture lies in aligning the personal goals of employees with the goals of the organization.

3. Dealing with changes

If there is one thing employees hate more than a poor work-life balance, it is to find out that the company is about to undergo some major changes. Employees despise change because it creates an environment of uncertainty.

They are unsure whether they will be able to perform well in the new environment and if they will be able to adapt to it. This results in decreased employee morale and increased self-doubt. This is especially true when the change is technological.

So, what can you do here as an HR manager? Prepare your employees for the change. Let them know of the impending alterations before at least one month so that you have ample time to help them adapt. Communicate with the employees regularly and give them adequate training to fill the new shoes. By doing so, you can build employee confidence and make them more malleable to changes. 

4. Attracting the right kind of talent

The world is not getting any less competitive, so the only way to overcome the challenge of finding the right talent is to up your HR game. A lot of current candidates have significant skill gaps, making it all the more difficult to find the right ones for your company.

So stand out from the competition. Spend time on branding. Position yourself in such a way that good candidates choose your company to build their careers. Start by building a positive work environment. Give the employees competitive pay and show interest in their career development.

Invest in the development of strong organizational values and culture. Also, do not forget about company review sites like Glassdoor and Google. If candidates feel that your company treats its employees well and offers an environment of harmony and growth, you will not need to worry about attracting the right kind of talent anymore.

5. Upskilling employees

Once you hire an employee and welcome them into your organization, it is the responsibility of the HR manager to make sure that they have a fruitful career there. We live in a world where change has become a part of our everyday lives.

To keep up with the change, employees have to be put through continuous learning. Employees are ambitious, so show them that you support their ambition by providing customized training and development programs for them.

Succession planning and paving the right path for growth are all legible options. Identify the roles available in the organization that the employees can grow towards and curate training specifically for these job roles. Invest in cross-training and cross-skilling as well.

6. Employee wellness and balance

The outlook of organizations toward employee wellness and health has evolved significantly in the past few decades. But this does not mean that it has not become any less of a challenge. Helping employees find a perfect work-life balance without compromising on the goals of the organization is still a herculean task for many HR managers.

But there are now strict labor laws along with employee health and safety standards, which make it statutory for companies to heed the safety and health of employees. But apart from that, it is only humanitarian to ensure proper working conditions (both physical and mental) for employees.

In order to do so, keep yourself updated with the state labor laws and safety standards. Have an open-door policy in place, which makes it easy for employees to talk to you about their stress and anxiety. Train managers on developing emotional intelligence as well. Make sure to reach out a hand through official networking and communication sites like Hangouts and Slack.

7. Proper performance management

No matter how robust of training you provide for your employees, without a proper system to measure their performance, there is no actual way of knowing the effectiveness of these training sessions. So, instead of complicating things further, put in place a simple yet defined performance management framework.

Make sure your KPIs (key performance indicators) are legible and comprehensible. Implement OKRs (objectives and key results) to develop goals and communicate expected results. Also, provide regular feedback. This is how you tackle the monster of poor performance management.

8. Adhering to labor and compliance laws

Dealing with serious issues like workplace harassment and violence can be a daunting task for HR managers. So, the key to overcoming this hurdle is becoming well-versed in the state and local employment law. Sit with your in-house legal team and create workplace regulations. Print out a handbook even, and ask the employees to stick to these rules for a safe and positive work environment. 

9. Diversity, equality and inclusion

Ensuring that the workplace is diverse, inclusive, and equal is no simple task. Evaluate where your company stands in terms of DEI. In order to make your workplace more diverse, communicate the benefits of a diverse work environment to the employees. Then set up goals for expanding diversity. Conduct team-building exercises and host events that aid in the process. It is a long game, so be patient.

10. Retaining your employees

For 47% of HR managers, retaining employees is the biggest issue. It hurts to see your employees leave the organization. It hurts more to accept the fact that the company might have to spend twice the amount of money they spent on an existing employee to hire a new one. 

Retaining employees is cost-effective. Replacing them is not. Also, think of the hours of training and effort the company had put into the employees over the years. 

To avoid these situations, you could start by seeing the contributions employees make to the company and recognize them. 

Conduct exit interviews to understand the actual reason behind their exit. Create a proper working environment for them and communicate with them on a regular basis to prevent any fallouts.

No Wall is Too Tall

No matter how complicated an HR problem might look, it is not beyond help. Understanding your employee' needs and working towards achieving the same can solve 90% of the problems an HR face.

Conduct efficient surveys and visualize that feedback with Manager Reports and Team Analytics using ThriveSparrow. This will help you identify areas where the problem lies. Start from there and tackle them one at a time. The HR world keeps changing and so do the problems. The only way to stay one step ahead of the problems is by making sure you and the rest of the team are on the same page.