| 2 July, 2020 | 4 Min Read

7 human resource challenges to watch out for in the next half of 2020

Many challenging forces are in effect lately, from the work-form-home trend, and workplace equality to technology transformation. Stay with us to find out 7  challenges the HR team should prepare for in the remaining half of 2020.

Think about the changes that have occurred in the last 10 years in the employment arena. Millennials were still in school in 2009 and the term "gig" typically meant a concert rather than an economy. Flexible work was not generally encouraged while theoretically possible, and nine to five jobs were still the norm – provided people were fortunate enough to have a job.

The technology revolution has changed everything, especially as the current pandemic has taken hold of our lives. The shift has begun in numerous aspects involving work and behavior. How does the world of business and employment adapt to this new reality? And what role should the human resource (HR) department play? Here are some HR challenges to watch out for in 2020.

Adopting new processes

Practically speaking, there is a great focus on improving processes, along with re-designing old processes and introducing new tools. These solutions may look modern and state-of-the-art on the surface, but if you look beneath the hood the real changes are minimal. Real solutions centered on employees are scarce.

Applicants, employees, and managers may not see the clear benefits of HR-initiatives. Although we've been talking about consumer-based for years, it often happens outside the workplaces.

It may be time for HR teams to go back to the drawing board, and attempt to form closer connections to different groups of clients. We should ask ourselves; What are the burning needs and concerns and how can we contribute today?

Still struggling with toxic company culture

With stories of workplace discrimination and toxic workplaces occupying the news cycles in recent years, the focus for 2020 will be on addressing unhealthy corporate cultures.

Companies could move their emphasis on assessing their values and encouraging healthy employee experiences, from enforcing policies on workplace conduct to honoring the need for a balanced work-life routine for their people. With employees advocating for their right to safe workplaces, the value of communication transparency and having confidence in one's people is inevitable.

Managing remote work burnout

Most people are working harder than ever and are seeing an unbalance between work and life. Having a clear distinction between these domains should be a must instead of just an aspiration.

With remote work becomes the future of work, most employers are striving to set healthy boundaries for their employees in 2020. Companies should do the work of reinforcing policies around working hours and implementing more frequent one-on-one check-ins with management to prevent the negative repercussions of burning out at work.

Company diversity is still an issue

Diversity and inclusion are other issues that have come to the forefront for employers today. Today, diversity extends beyond race, sex, ethnicity, age, national origin and religion, and includes different career experiences, gender identity, educational status, marital status, economic factors, and physical features. Several organizations have revealed that managing diversity is extremely challenging.

It is HR 's responsibility to pave the way and integrate diversity within the organization with the objective of creating an inclusive and equal working environment, with the buy-in of key stakeholders and top management that can see the value that diversity can bring. Efforts for change must begin at the top. Diversity must be linked to corporate objectives and aligned with business strategies.

Quick response amidst COVID-19 fears

Many HR teams may not be built to be agile; instead, they are mostly designed to be functional pillars that support service delivery. HR teams in these trying times have to create response teams instantly and quickly empower local business partners to act locally and with global coordination. Having an HR contingency in place is essential in order to respond to crises.

HR teams need to concentrate first on people and second on economics, establish rapid response teams that traverse organizational boundaries, allocate authority to remote HR professionals, and swiftly coordinate the action to be taken (among other things).

Embracing technology while focusing on people

To embrace technology does not necessarily mean to remove humans from the equation. In fact, in 2020 and beyond, HR managers may have more time to work on individuals, thus improving both recruitment and retention. Today, technology brings an intelligence level to HR that really thrusts HR into the compelling role of consultancy.

Furthermore, future HR professionals may become coaches who can help direct everyone's individual careers at the office. With fierce competition for great talents, successful HR managers have to appeal to top workers in order for them to come and work for them.

Work-life balance and flexibility amid the pandemic

Even though only 5.3 percent of workers worked from home in 2018, remote work during the pandemic has quickly become a standard model. The scope of the disruption is one of the biggest challenges for HR that companies face during the time of the COVID-19 pandemic.

With educational institutions and non-essential businesses closed or moving online, staff will need flexibility and understanding as they attempt to re-establish a balance between work and life. By expanding paid time off policies or facilitating remote work, companies can support employees who are quarantined or self-isolated. COVID-19 has already mobilized many big organizations to expand benefits packages for employees.

With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic during this era of technology advancements, there has been a shift in work and in behavior. In order to survive, businesses and employers need to adapt to this new norm. Knowing some human resource challenges to watch out for this year can help with improving people management, with business, and with employment.

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