Unbeknownst to most outsiders, the numerous challenges facing HR departments today account for a great deal of their daily, expended operations hours. Exactly how much time goes dedicated to this cause is unknown, but in most cases, it is considerable. What exactly are some of these challenges faced by HR departments today? Here are five.
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Diversity standards are rules set forth by several government agencies with regard to the inclusion of all people into the workplace. These standards are most concerned with the inclusion into the workplace of people of diversity, or racial minorities, members of the LGBT community, and those that may otherwise be declined based on religious or ethnic basis. The goal is that everyone is provided equal employment opportunity.
While such policies are surely good and beneficial to us all as a whole, they do impart regulations that must be heeded at all times. Even when an HR department has the best intentions in this area, they can face a daunting challenge in assuring that their workforce is proportionately aligned with the diversity standards set forth. This is certainly an area of considerable challenge.
Morale Vs. Job Duty Expansion
These are progressive times. Businesses must be able to change and adapt quickly in accordance to the world around them. This often translates to growing and changing job duties placed on the individual worker. This, in turn, translates to another challenge faced by today’s HR department – balancing morale among ever-expanding job duty protocols.
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Employees are always asked for more. This “more” eventually expands into a different, increasingly demanding need for more “more”. Capitalism and competition are responsible, but HR departments become stuck in the middle.
Juggling Workforce Size
As we just touched on, today’s successful business must be able to adapt to all types of change in real time. Part of juggling these constant changes is the juggle of workforce size within the company. Stocking an oversized workforce can unnecessarily shrink profits and raise liability on a daily basis. Having too few employees inversely puts more load on those in attendance and incites a drop in overall potentials. It is the business, duty, and challenge of today’s HR department to find a way to strike balance along a turbulent, roller-coaster ride that is business.
Laws and More Laws
Have we mentioned laws yet? There are seemingly countless laws governing today’s workforce. Equal employment opportunity, as discussed above, is one of these. In addition, there are laws on discriminatory practice, beginnings and endings to employment, conflict resolution in employee relations, proper notifications, privacy, and more. The list of regulatory agencies overseeing any given HR department is long, spanning local, state, and federal levels of law. Some common and very powerful names here include OSHA, NAACP, BBB, and UC.
The Bottom Line
Money is the inevitable bottom line in all matters of business. Although not typically thought of as a prevalent concern to HR, money and the financial picture are actually of great concern. HR personnel are not expected to be accountants, but they are expected to heed the impact of money in all departmental dealings.
This can be its own challenge due to the often contradictory goals of the office. Keeping workforce morale and productivity up for example, is a direct contradiction to the financial agenda of keeping costs low in all ways possible. This balancing act is yet another great challenge faced by human resources.
HR work can provide a very rewarding career path. However, as can be seen in these five examples, the challenges faced by human resources are certainly no less than that of any other department at the office. For more detailed information on the rewards and challenges facing HR departments today, the National Human Resources Association provides a wealth of official knowledge and resources on this area of work.