HR’s Top Challenges for 2017

The first APPNZ HR download for 2017 discussed what challenges HR people were facing. Here’s the list of what came out of those attending or those who posted in the MeetUp group:

  • Moving buildings. Even when the move isn’t too far, this can cause a lot of discomfort with employees. We discussed there were things that HR could do to help with this, including organising site visits, creating video’s of how to get to the new building, reviewing the nearby cafés and finding stories of positives of the move.
  • For a while it seems that everyone forgot about employee value propositions but this seems to have become a priority again as companies are once again finding it harder to find good people. With younger employees being quite discerning with their choice of employer, making sure you have a clearly defined employment brand and EVP is a hot topic for 2017.
  • HR being able to do professional development in non-HR topics. We talked about that it’s not that HR people don’t want to expand their professional development into non-HR areas (like financial acumen or strategic planning) but the challenge is getting the business to sign off on this non-technical training. If HR are going to be business partners then their professional development will need to include other business topics.
  • Moving traditional HR practises to being more agile. We discussed that many organisations are starting to think about changing traditional HR or work practises, but that selling the benefits of these can be difficult as there aren’t a huge amount of examples to use. Becoming more agile can create uncertainty and take people out of their comfort zones, and so creates a challenge for HR themselves in being more agile, but also to sell it to their business when it will cause issues to start with.
  • Mediators & ERA appointments don’t come from an HR background. Another challenge that came up is that new Mediators or ERA appointments often come from an employment law or commercial law background – but not from an HR background. The challenge here is for HR to see becoming a mediator as a career path, and for appointments to start to happen for mediators who have been in HR and are more comfortable working to resolve issues, rather than taking a legalistic view.
  • Building resilience for change. With all the challenges discussed above, many HR people are coping with a lot of change in their businesses. Having methods to build resilience for change can be difficult when you’re in the thick of it.
  • Creating a new culture when companies are merging. This issues was raised in the Meet Up group online but was discussed at the Download. With more and more announcements of company mergers or acquisitions, HR is going to be need to upskill in change management and using different and new ways to bring two cultures together to build a new one.
  • Outsourcing some HR or payroll processes. Again this was raised in the Meet Up group online and perhaps is an issue to be discussed at a further Download!

While it was easy to discuss the challenges HR may face in 2017, the hard part is finding solutions. If you have any thoughts on methods or techniques you’ve used for any of the above, please do post them in the comments.

APPNZ is running it’s next People Download on Monday 13 February in Auckland for L&D People. This is about building a new Learning Community. For more details click here.


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