Difficult Questions That Effective HR Functions Are STILL Trying To Answer

By | November 12, 2009

A lot has changed recently in organisations, whether they are public, private or voluntary sector. HR teams have often found themselves dealing with issues they hadn’t expected, yet some of the key questions that faced HR people have hardly changed at all. We posed these questions 18 months ago, how many have you found a satisfactory answer to?

  1. How do we retain the trust of our people when we are constantly re-organising, restructuring and removing people from the payroll? How do we ‘value our people’ whilst in a permanent state of change?
  2. Skills shortages are getting worse, meaningful price increases are out of the question, and the cost to serve our customers is rising faster than revenue growth. How do we increase productivity, without adding further to our costs?
  3. The legislative framework for employment best practice is increasing in scope all the time. What are the most effective ways of maintaining flexibility in our payroll (often one of our biggest expense lines) allowing us to grow, shrink and change shape as required?
  4. People are becoming more complex in their motivational needs and wants. Whether that’s generational or life stage driven, as an organisation we have to offer attractive, innovative employment practices and benefits, how do we do it affordably?
  5. What are our policies on diversity, equality, grievance, discrimination (in all forms), how to we effect ‘trade-off’ compliance with agility?
  6. The role of HR needs to become one of catalytic agent of change as well as (instead of?) a writer of policies, procedures and people related administration. How do we effectively make that transition?
  7. How do we put leadership at the centre of our organisation’s development agenda?
  8. What is the most effective way in engaging employees in taking part in difficult change processes where a possible outcome of which might put their own job at risk?
  9. How do we build an effective integrated ROI model for our people development, compliance and people administration expenditures?
  10. How do we resolve the paradoxes and seeming contradictions in much of the inter-related nature of the previous 9 questions?

Whilst we don’t claim to have a set of neat, simple answers to these questions, we are working in various ways on helping client organisations to answer them, and where that is impossible, to at least work up a meaningful response.

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