Nowadays rapidly-developing business environment presents specific challenges in the field of human resources (HR) management. A lack of empowerment, budget, and expertise are noted among the challenges that impede the application of HR initiatives. In response to the evolving barriers, various HR trends and employer practices emerge to address them. In particular, talent management, outsourcing, diversity, innovative technologies, open communication, and other practices have great potential to help employers in hiring and retaining the best specialists.
Employer Best Practices
The HR profession changes rapidly, while such issues as gamification, big data, and general diversity affect its development. The article by Boudreau (2014) presents the results of a large survey based on data from 11 companies, including Electronic Arts, Walt Disney, Unilever, etc., which reported their attitudes towards nine HR trends. Globalization, sustainability, social media, general diversity, mass customization, open innovation, big data, gamification, and personal technology are noted as the most significant trends. Boudreau (2014) emphasizes that the consideration of barriers to implementing the mentioned trends in practice should be assigned a top priority. Insufficient time allocated to HR, a lack of expertise and budget compose the set of challenges to be addressed. To overcome these barriers, the author recommends finding a balance in mass customization and differentiation since employees should be highly motivated and feel comfortable to show a maximum of productivity.
Support for general diversity as a practice applied by HR leaders seems to be useful as it is based on skills and knowledge development, increased understanding within a company, as well as greater cooperation between management and employees.
Another article published by Strategic HR Review provides four stories, each of which presents essential challenges for HR managers. The author of the mentioned article, Nolan (2014), focuses on technology, value proposition, work-life balance, and business agility. According to the first story, it is considered that technology is critical to accomplish change management, while “27 percent of HR managers said they were adequately equipped to deal with change” (Nolan, 2014, p. 153). In addition to poor equipment, HR managers face low organizational culture and employee engagement while introducing change initiatives. Other stories show that among challenges, there is a lack of flexible schedule, empowerment, mobile learning, etc.
In my point of view, the mentioned challenges are rather relevant to today’s environment since the listed issues are common among employees. To overcome them, Nolan (2014) suggests such strategies as a comprehensive and balanced employee value proposition (EVP) along with an employee-oriented communication. Instead of mere communication of expected change or innovation prospects, it is much more effective to consider employees’ needs and design HR strategies in accordance with them. Empowerment should also be noted as one of the most useful employer practices aimed at building proper interaction based on intercultural differences and the prevention of internal conflicts. Even though the author provides credible information, no employer names are mentioned.
Long-term planning and analytics tend to transform the very role of HR specialists, making them employees’ partners instead of being the center of management. As noted in the article by Miele (2016), contemporary HR managers are expected to become the key facilitators of talent management by striving to develop employees’ knowledge and skills, thus meeting their evolving needs and contributing to the proper identification of a company’s competitive advantage. HR leaders tend to become “data champions” ready to work with big data and formulate accessible policies that would be understandable to employees and meet their expectations (Miele, 2016, p. 37). To overcome barriers, HR managers will need to create teams and look for analytical thinkers able to successfully resolve complicated issues.
To conclude, one should stress that modern HR challenges are associated with the implementation of technology, proper employee motivation, workplace environment, work-life balance, and so on. The three articles that were discussed in this paper provide valuable recommendations on how HR leaders may address these barriers. Proper internal communication, new workplace policies, an appropriate environment, and an employee-centered approach are the most feasible ways to eliminate the mentioned barriers and enhance HR management as a whole.
Boudreau, J. (2014). What is the future of HR? Workforce. Web.
Miele, A. J. (2016). Looking ahead to the future of HR. Canadian HR Reporter. Web.
Nolan, S. (2014). A look at current trends and data. Strategic HR Review, 13(3), 153-155.