Changes to the workplace aren’t slowing down, and one of the biggest is the Great Resignation. Employees across industries are saying goodbye and trying their luck elsewhere. While there are many factors behind this trend, there’s no doubt that it’s making the job of HR professionals particularly difficult. Overcoming persistent challenges like engaging, recruiting, and retaining employees has become more important than ever.
If you’re looking for help when taking on these tough tasks, you’re in the right place. Let’s dive into the top 9 HR challenges in 2022 and how your organization can take steps to solve them.
1. Employee engagement
Employee engagement indicates how motivated and committed your team members are. Engagement impacts everything from employee retention to your organization’s bottom line. Seventy-one percent of executives agree that it’s an essential factor in overall organizational success. But chronic disengagement remains an issue at many organizations, especially as they continue to adjust to remote work and the new normal.
Does your organization have the processes needed to drive strong, sustainable employee engagement in place? Engagement is affected by a wide range of factors, including how frequently employees are recognized, whether organizations solicit and act on employee feedback, and to what extent employees are empowered to succeed. You can address these drivers — and many more — in one go with the right employee engagement platform.
2. Supporting leadership
HR must ensure that leaders have the knowledge, resources, and constant support they need to excel. Train leaders on how to listen more than they speak, carefully considering and taking action on feedback from their direct reports and other employees. HR professionals can educate leadership on how and why to serve as recognition champions as well. When team members see leaders show appreciation frequently, they’re encouraged to follow suit. Finally, HR should help leaders act as coaches rather than micromanaging enforcers, which is one of the best ways to create a culture of positive collaboration.
3. Recruiting and onboarding great talent
Everyone has felt the nervousness and uncertainty that comes with searching for and starting a new job. HR professionals are responsible for turning those feelings into engagement through strong recruiting and onboarding processes.
To ensure your future team members have a great experience with your company from their first contact, develop a winning employer brand that potential employees respect. Build on this by implementing continuous onboarding initiatives like regular check-ins, training refreshers, and mentoring programs. Your company can personalize and improve these initiatives by taking the pulse of team members at every stage of the entire employee life cycle, gathering insights into what employees really want and how their perspectives evolve over time.
4. Retaining employees
Filling empty positions and onboarding brand new team members is important, but HR can’t afford to neglect retaining your organization’s current talent. SHRM notes that it can cost $30,000 to $45,000 in recruiting and training expenses to replace a manager making $60,000 a year. Low retention rates can also negatively impact your remaining team members in terms of motivation and productivity. Thankfully, there are ways that every company can address and prevent retention issues. Offer incentives that employees actually value, train managers on how to build trust with their teams, and develop an employee value proposition that team members find hard to resist.
5. Employee health and wellness
HR should stay focused on employee wellness, because when team members’ emotional and physical health declines, so does your company’s performance. Unexpected absences cost organizations between approximately $2,600 to $3,600 per year per employee. And employee wellness issues aren’t disappearing anytime soon: 76% of employees experience burnout on the job, while 28% feel burned out “very often” or “always.”
Your health and wellness program will be unique to your company, but there are some common actions that are effective across organizations. These include ensuring that team members actually use available PTO and offering flexible work arrangements that make it easier for team members to maintain balance in their lives. Your enterprise should also consider initiatives that increase access to healthy food, provide fun options for exercise, and encourage mindfulness activities.
6. Learning and development
HR professionals need to fully leverage the potential of current team members by fostering a strong company culture focused on learning and growth. If they don’t, they face risks beyond an unprepared, underperforming workforce. Forty percent of employees who receive low-quality training choose to leave their job within the first year.
Effective talent development is within the reach of every organization. Some companies can afford to offer tuition reimbursement and cover the costs of attending professional conferences. Even if yours can’t, allocate $100 per year to each employee to spend on online courses — or better yet, use modern learning tech to deliver customized training content directly to team members. And any enterprise can further demonstrate its investment in employee growth by establishing clear, achievable career paths for every role.
7. Adapting to remote work
Remote work is here to stay. Many employees enjoy the perks of this new reality, including flexibility in how, when, and where they work. Your organization has probably realized benefits as well, like reduced overhead and the ability to recruit with fewer restrictions.
Remote work also comes with some potential difficulties HR should address. Give remote team members the tools, technology, and training they need to communicate effectively, collaborate easily with other team members, and feel connected to the organization and its culture. Once these basics are taken care of, work to keep remote employees connected and engaged providing them with the same level of recognition and support in-office workers receive.
8. Diversity, equity, and inclusion
Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) are the keys to a healthy organizational culture that attracts the best talent available. Seventy-six percent of job seekers and employees say that diversity is a key factor when evaluating an organization.
Diversity at work means that your organization has a staff of individuals who bring unique perspectives and backgrounds to your daily projects. Equity involves working to ensure equal opportunities and outcomes for all employees. Finally, inclusion means that team members are valued as unique individuals who feel that they truly belong at your company. HR should keep all three goals front and center while working to establish a true culture of belonging.
9. Building a winning culture
Organizational culture consists of the values, expectations, and practices that guide and inform the team members’ daily actions. A winning culture focuses on positive traits that result in great performance. This requires developing and executing a plan with specific objectives that both HR and all additional team members can work towards and measure.
By prioritizing the five elements of great organizational cultures — recognition, company values, employee voice, belonging, and effective leadership — HR professionals can play a big part in shaping culture for the better. They should also align your employer brand with key aspects of company culture so it stands out to potential team members from their very first interaction with your company.
Overcome your biggest HR challenges
All these HR challenges are surmountable with the help of a solution dedicated to boosting every aspect of the employee experience. The Achievers Employee Experience Platform is a comprehensive ecosystem of tools that help increase engagement, improve culture, and foster a sense of workforce belonging. It includes both Achievers Recognize, a science-driven recognition and reward solution, and Achievers Listen, an engagement tool that captures the employee voice and guides your team from insight to action.