2 Session 2: Challenges of Human Resource Management

Learning Objectives

After completing this session, you will be able to:

  • challenges of HRM

The Legal angle: Virtually every HR decision has legal implications.  Hence one of the biggest challenges of HR Managers is to ensure that whatever they do and every decision they take, particularly when there are discipline issues, falls in line with the legal framework within which they operate.

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Handling a Multicultural and Diverse Workforce: Dealing with people from different age, gender, ethnicity, educational background, location, income, parental status, religious beliefs, marital status and work experience can be a challenging task for HR managers. With this, managing people with different set of ideologies, views, lifestyles and psychology can be very challenging.

Especially in a large organisation that operates in multiple geographies, this is very challenging as it is important to maintain local flavours even while being global.

Managing Change:  Bringing change in organizational processes and procedures, implementing it and then managing it is one of the biggest concerns of HR managers. Business environment is volatile. Technology keeps changing every now and then. Globalization also plays a major role.   The success rate of technology change depends how well HRD can handle the change and manage people issues in the process. Upskilling employees to meet the changing needs of business and creating a mental readiness for upskilling is part of the HR Manager’s challenge.

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Talent Retention:  Globalization has given freedom to working professionals to work anywhere in the world. Now that they have several lucrative opportunities to work, hiring and retaining the best industry talent is difficult. Providing an excellent work environment and offering more remuneration and perks than the competitors can retain and motivate them.

Conflict Management: HR managers should know how to handle employee-employer and employee-employee conflicts in a diplomatic manner. Although it is almost impossible to avoid conflicts among people still handling them tactfully can help HR managers to resolve the issues. They should be able to listen to each party, decide and communicate to them in a convincing manner in order to avoid future conflicts.

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Developing the leaders of tomorrow

Grooming current employees for leadership positions is an ongoing challenge for any organisation’s HR manager.  The leadership pipeline has to be planned and specific efforts directed at grooming the employees identified in the succession is one of the challenges that the HR manager has to address. This becomes more challenging when the bright talent which shows strong leadership potential leaves the organisation because they get better opportunities

Fostering a culture of continuous learning

Training is a big stimulator for keeping employees stimulated, engaged and loyal. But this is only true when training is relevant to their work and is available in formats that enable flexible learning. Training must happen continuously in order for the business to remain competitive, so employees can often become bored or overloaded.  Developing relevant e learning solutions, gamification, microlearning opportunities are the challenges of the HR manager in this area.

Managing Health and Safety

Health and safety standards are probably one of the more obvious human resource challenges. Labour law regulations govern these concerns, but they’re also of great importance to general employee well being. Today, the psychological well-being of employees can deteriorate due to high demands, limited time, and employee burnout. HR professionals need to keep a close eye on escalating workloads and stress levels.  Managing the relationship between line managers and employees in a stressful work environment with pressure on timelines can be very challenging for an HR manager who has to draw the balance between organisational delivery pressures and the need to protect employees from high stress.

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Creating a Quality Employee Experience

High employee turnover is common in fast-paced companies. Even though they might manage to hire the best employees, keeping them around becomes the next obstacle and one of the greatest human resource challenges. Creating an employee experience that’s a notch above the competition is an ongoing challenge. Finding options that fit within the budget available may be difficult.

Culture Building:  Building a culture that is inspiring and welcoming and ensuring that business leaders set the right example are all the responsibility of the HR manager.

Understanding the future landscape: As industries and technologies evolve, new generations enter the workforce, and globalization creates increased competition, it will be the human resource issues that make or break a company.  Staying relevant and continuously identifying and addressing human resource challenges will help companies to retain and successfully manage their people.


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Human Resource Management by Icfai Business School is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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