There’s plenty of discussion surrounding human resources, which strategies work, which approaches to take, and it continues to change and adapt with the times. There are some that believe that the entire HR sector is overrated, and it’s no secret that there are employees that cannot stand this particular department. However, it’s hard to deny that HR departments are integral to a company’s culture.
The human resources sector has always had to balance productivity with accountability, and its role can often be taken for granted. Either way, there are more challenges than ever and here are some of the main obstacles facing this sector.
An organization often employs teams of individuals for specific projects, and teams will soon be more cross-generational than ever. Specifically, the baby-boomers still haven’t retired yet, the millennials are becoming the largest factor in the workforce, and Gen-Z professionals aren’t far behind. This may be a culture shock to some, whether it’s attempting to overcome stereotypes about someone’s age or not respecting differing views and perspectives.
We all know that HR has been there to solve employee conflict, but there will be more need than ever to figure out how human resources can play a role in mending this gap. Generations will have to use their strengths to their advantage and embrace different perspectives so that the organization can progress and succeed. There is even the possibility of mentorship within the organization, as well. While age difference is certainly an obstacle, the HR departments that view it as an opportunity to bridge the gap may end up being the most successful.
Employers understand that new generations of professionals have different values, and often offer interesting perks to ensure that they might be attracted to a company or startup. Silicon Valley, in particular, is famous for offering luxurious perks, including free meals, paid leave, and gym memberships.
Millennials might be a fan of these perks, but they also value flexibility tremendously. Increasingly, younger professionals seem to be attracted to “gig” work rather than a stable job at an organization over several years. It appears younger generations understand that the life-work balance has to tip in their favor for them to truly value what they do for a living, and this certainly presents a unique problem for HR. How does HR invest in the right professionals to be the organization’s next leaders when they aren’t even sure if they will stick around? Should they offer them more money? If they are offered more flexibility, will they become complacent? Many millennials’ eventual dream job requires that they move around more than previous generations, and this need for “something more” can end up causing some real leadership vacuums.
Technology now allows organizations to hire employees from all over the world, which can be a great move for the bottom line of organizations. In fact, there are studies that suggest that remote workers are actually happier and more productive, as well. There is also the fact that it’s also a very cost-effective strategy for many companies, as well. However, what about the specific aspects of a company culture that are lost when employees aren’t interacting and sharing their ideas? Sure, they can communicate through tools such as Slack, but what about team-building exercises? There’s a good chance that organizations with remote workers are not flying to corporate retreats or getting a real morale boost.
There is certainly nothing wrong with using virtual meetings, but the truth is that there is definitely something lost in the translation when it comes to true company culture. One of the largest challenges with respect to human resources management is understanding how to maintain unity when it comes to employees that are living in different regions of the world. There are companies all over the world that emphasize face-to-face communication and empower their employees through the occasional holiday party or happy hour. Remote working certainly isn’t going anywhere, and one of HR’s largest obstacles will be figuring out how to create a true company culture within that context.