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The top 5 challenges facing human resources managers in 2022

kirjoittaja  heinäkuu 5, 2022 | 4 min lukuaika

The COVID-19 pandemic and ongoing aftermath has presented a shift in the way that top-level HR leaders are approaching the challenges they now face, the likes of which have not been seen before. There will be a sharp focus on people and performance and enabling talent to shine. Human Resource managers will face increasing pressure to find solutions and act quickly to bring about initiatives to close skills gaps. And to predict the new skills that will be needed in the next few years.

According to the World Economic Forum, 50% of all employees will need reskilling by 2025. This is not just due to the pandemic fueling the increase in the use of technology, but also the rise in automation – which is transforming job roles.

With this in mind, let’s take a look at the top 5 challenges facing human resource managers over the next few years:

Remote and hybrid working vs collaboration

Working from home has its benefits and challenges for all of us. There’s no doubt that for most people, the shift to remote or hybrid working has brought about a much better work-life balance, but the challenges around effective collaboration and relationship nurturing can be difficult to manage.

A study by the Office of National Statistics (ONS) tells us that 85% of adults that were working from home in 2020, at the height of lockdown restrictions, wanted to use a hybrid approach to home/office working in the future. Flexibility and work-life balance have long been HR trends, but as ‘The Great Resignation’ (first coined in April 2021) has shown us, people have been leaving their jobs in droves, with many citing the reason as being asked to return to full-time office working.

Cost savings on office space, higher levels of people satisfaction, reduced absence and increased productivity are some of the benefits. But these need to be balanced with the HR challenges.

So, what is the solution for human resource leaders facing these challenges? For some organizations, it is going to mean a significant culture shift, but for other more progressive businesses that are already embracing this change, there will be more practical changes to implement. Technology and the use of enabling platforms and software will play a part in this along with creating a healthy and empathetic environment to support employee wellness.

The need to be more agile

Training and education in the workplace need to keep up with the new demands of the labor markets that are currently being bombarded with disruption and change. HR has historically been seen as reliant on strict controls and standards – so perhaps not a likely candidate for an agile business model. But if human resources leaders are going to move to a more human-centric approach, they’re going to have to find ways to become more agile.

For HR leaders, this means driving initiatives and practices that promote innovation, efficiency, adaptability, collaboration and implementing change quickly. Agile HR practices will mean organizations can attract and retain the best talent in the labor market.

In practice, this means HR managers facing these real challenges need to leave traditional HR structures and hierarchies behind and embrace a more integrated, transparent, and flexible working model. This will mean focusing less on job roles and more on skills and what each person can bring to each project.

HR Managers can also consider a more agile approach to compensation, continuous feedback, frontline decision-making and leadership coaching and training skills.

AI and automation

Introducing AI and automation in HR and throughout your organization will be a journey with short, medium, and long-term benefits from automating time-consuming, tedious tasks to the augmentation of human capabilities. AI is now everywhere. We may not see it, but it is part of virtually every major industry. However, people are nervous about automation – will robots eventually steal their jobs? It is the role of HR to (in communication and practice) showcase how AI and automation will help an organization’s people to perform better and deliver greater value.

By using automated systems in areas such as recruitment and onboarding, communications and reporting, and digital learning platforms, organizations will see improved recruitment and retention, enhanced employee satisfaction and engagement, reduced turnover, more effective training and development, and higher productivity. But the real challenge facing human resource managers is the resistance to change and the obstacles of implementation.   

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI)

As more organizations aim to build diversity, equity, and inclusion into their workplaces, it is becoming clear that people are at the core of innovation, and inclusive groups produce greater results. But do organizations really understand the concept of DEI and what each term means? To simplify, diversity is not so much about what makes people different but more about understanding, accepting, and valuing those differences. Equity is about establishing a level playing field with fair access, opportunity, and development for all your different people. Inclusion is about a sense of belonging, how valued and accepted your people feel within your organization.

HR leaders are now faced with the challenge of not only pushing through successful DEI initiatives, but they also need to ensure transparency and that any obstacles or inequities are identified and dealt with at speed.

According to McKinsey ‘Understanding organizational barriers to a more inclusive workplace’ report, almost half of survey respondents said they did not feel very included at their organizations. The challenge of HR managers is now helping business leaders to create a working environment built on a culture of trust, respect, and appreciation that allows meaningful work, fosters a sense of belonging, offers access to development and opportunities, and demonstrates equitable reward and recognition.


Deloitte’s Global Human Capital Trends report says: “As organizations become more digital, they face a growing imperative to redesign themselves to move faster, adapt more quickly, facilitate rapid learning, and embrace the dynamic career demands of their people.”

HR digital transformation is a hot topic. Technology has the potential to transform HR from operational and process-driven to automated and data-driven, evolving talent analytics into human capital intelligence.

The challenges around digital transformation can be overcome with the right plan. Establish your goal, get everyone on board, prioritize ideas, test and evaluate performance and throughout, allow your people to collaborate as their shared energy will lead to new strategic roadmaps. Creating a new digital ecosystem within your organization, including, for example, ERP, HCM, and financial functions, will lead to the advantages of HR digital transformation  that businesses are currently harnessing.

How can Unit4 help you?

Unit4 creates HCM technology specifically designed for the unique needs of people-centric organizations. Helping you to manage and develop your people, attract world-class talent, and ensure and proactively encourage engagement, learning, and development.

Together with our next-generation ERP  and FP&A tools, our software can do everything from suggesting avenues for development to proactively identifying flight risks, allowing you to help your people get the most out of what you can offer them so they can, in turn, contribute effectively to your organization’s goals.

To discover more, you can check out our dedicated HCM product pages here. Or click here to book a demo and see what our solution can do for your organization yourself.

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