Overwhelmed HR Teams – Navigating Challenges and Preparing for the Future of Work
Human Resources (HR) teams play a critical role in businesses, managing most aspects of the employee lifecycle, promoting a healthy work environment, and driving organisational success.
However, in recent years, HR teams have faced increasing challenges, leading to overwhelming workloads and potential burnout.
This article delves into the reasons behind the overwhelming nature of HR work, incorporating insights from Gartner’s research, and provides recommendations for organising and leading HR teams effectively, ensuring they are well-equipped to thrive in the future of work.
What challenges are HR teams facing?
Talent Management & Acquisition
According to Gartner, 73% of HR leaders prioritise attracting and retaining top talent as a critical initiative in 2023. In a highly competitive job market, attracting and retaining top talent remains a significant challenge for HR teams, not least of all because at the current time of typing in the UK there are 2.5 million ‘off sick’.
There is also a growing concern over the wasted talent due to an increasing number of over-50’s choosing early retirement. Gartner’s research highlights that HR leaders are focused on enhancing their talent acquisition strategies by leveraging AI-powered tools for sourcing and screening candidates, as well as improving the candidate experience. The increasing demand for diverse and specialised talent adds complexity to the talent management process, requiring HR professionals to be proactive and innovative in their approach.
Agility & Adaptability
The future of work is characterised by rapid technological advancements, evolving workforce demographics, and changing organisational structures. HR teams need to be agile and adaptive to navigate these changes successfully.
Gartner predicts that by 2024, 75% of organisations will have adopted Agile practices as a way to navigate changing work dynamics and enhance organisational agility, which emphasises the importance of HR leaders building Agile HR practices into their organisation design and structure. This entails reimagining traditional HR processes and embracing new technologies to drive organisational agility, collaboration (online and in person) and being able to respond to change at pace. At People Efficient, we are embracing the concept of ‘change evolution’ – we accept that change is continual rather than viewing it as one change, rest, followed by another change project.
Employee Experience & Wellbeing
Employee experience and well-being have emerged as top priorities for HR teams. Research shows that companies with a strong employee experience achieve twice the innovation, double customer satisfaction, and 25% greater profitability compared to their peers.
This research highlights that HR leaders are increasingly focusing on enhancing the employee experience by personalising HR services and leveraging technology to provide seamless and user-friendly interactions.
Data-Driven Decision Making
According to Deloitte, businesses that use people analytics extensively are 2.3 times more likely to outperform their peers in terms of financial performance. With the proliferation of data, HR teams face the challenge of effectively leveraging people analytics to make informed decisions. Gartner emphasises the need for HR leaders to invest in data literacy and analytics capabilities within their teams. By harnessing data, HR professionals can gain insights into employee behaviour, engagement levels, and performance, enabling them to develop data-driven HR strategies and interventions.
How can HR leaders embrace this change evolution & avoid overwhelm?
Embrace Technological Advancements
Staying updated on emerging HR technologies and leveraging them strategically is crucial for HR leaders to streamline processes, drive efficiency, and enable data-driven decision-making.
By adopting innovative tools and technologies across various HR functions, HR teams can significantly reduce administrative burdens and create more time for HR team members to focus on strategic initiatives.
Talent Acquisition Adopting advanced HR technologies can revolutionise the talent acquisition process. AI-powered applicant tracking systems (ATS) can automate resume screening, candidate matching, and interview scheduling, saving HR professionals significant time and effort. At People Efficient, to support those companies that are evolving too quickly to settle on the right ATS, we show how to automate 70% of onboarding using what they already have available with Microsoft 365. HR leaders can then leverage these tools to enhance the overall recruitment experience, improve the quality of talent, and expedite the hiring process.
Performance Management Traditional performance management processes often involve manual documentation, tracking, and appraisal activities – and they are often dreaded by all involved! HR leaders can implement performance management software that automates these processes, making performance evaluations more streamlined and transparent. These tools enable continuous feedback, goal tracking, and real-time performance analytics, allowing HR teams to identify strengths, development areas, and provide timely coaching to employees (and their managers!). By reducing administrative tasks associated with performance management, HR professionals can devote more time to strategic talent development and succession planning.
Employee Engagement Technology plays a vital role in boosting employee engagement and creating a positive work culture. HR leaders can leverage communication and collaboration platforms to facilitate employee feedback, recognition, and idea-sharing. Employee engagement platforms provide pulse surveys, sentiment analysis, and sentiment tracking tools, enabling HR teams to assess employee satisfaction, identify engagement drivers, and proactively address any concerns. By automating engagement initiatives, HR professionals can cultivate a more engaged and productive workforce. We recently used TenSpace in a well-known hospitality company which increased the level of trust with new hotels acquired. Get in touch to find out how we did this.
Learning and Development Implementing learning management systems (LMS) and e-learning platforms can transform traditional training programmes into scalable and personalised learning experiences. These technologies enable HR teams to deliver online training modules, track learning progress, and assess the effectiveness of learning initiatives through analytics. By automating the learning process, HR leaders can offer a wider range of development opportunities, promote self-paced learning, and empower employees to take ownership of their professional growth. At People Efficient, we used Synthesia to create learning videos very quickly to ensure the safety of employees in a new environment.
Data-Driven Decision Making Emerging HR technologies provide powerful analytics capabilities that enable HR leaders to make data-driven decisions. HR teams can leverage people analytics tools to analyse workforce data, identify trends, and gain insights into talent acquisition, retention, performance, and employee engagement. These insights facilitate evidence-based decision-making, support workforce planning, and enable proactive talent management strategies. By leveraging data, HR leaders can align HR initiatives with business objectives and drive company success.
Foster an Agile Mindset
Encourage an Agile mindset within the HR team by promoting adaptability, innovation, and continuous learning. HR leaders should empower their teams to experiment with new approaches, embrace change, and respond swiftly to evolving business needs.
Agile HR practices enable HR professionals to navigate uncertainty and drive organisational resilience. People Efficient’s Agile in HR™ framework, consultancy and courses, support HR and People Leaders to adapt their ways of working:
To read more – we’ve created a FREE guide that focuses on how to embrace these challenges and use your skills to prepare for the future of work.
Here’s what you can expect in the guide:
- Free HR Data Metrics (with formulas!)
- Understanding and harnessing HR data metrics is essential for making informed decisions. From talent acquisition effectiveness to employee engagement scores, these metrics will empower you to make strategic decisions based on data, leading to enhanced performance and productivity.
- Transforming your Teams with Agile HR
- With the rapid pace of change, agility is key to success in the future of work. By embracing Agile HR, you’ll be better prepared to navigate the uncertainties and complexities of the future of work.
- Strategic HR Initiatives
- Strategic HR initiatives are the cornerstone of organisational success, but they can often seem daunting. In this eBook, I break down complex strategic HR initiatives into simple terms, empowering you to drive meaningful change within your organisation.
Download it for free here.
We know that HR leaders and teams are feeling the strain and are having to adapt rapidly to cope with the ever-increasing changes that companies are facing. That’s why People Efficient was created – to reimagine how HR gets done.
We are experts in organisational development, change evolution, employee experience and of course, Agile HR through our popular Agile in HR™ courses and frameworks.