Human Capital Management Blog

Strategies for HCM Professionals

5 HR challenges that the C-suite faces in 2016

C-SuiteThere’s a lot that’s challenging about effectively handling human capital management. Perhaps the toughest part is that you’re constantly struggling to work in two directions at once. Namely, you simultaneously have to “manage down,” meaning work with your employees and get the best out of them, and “manage up” – do what it takes to satisfy your company’s upper-level executives.

The job gets especially difficult when these two goals come into direct competition. Think about it – the executives in your organization want to maximize everyone’s productivity, increase their profits, improve the company’s reputation and ultimately achieve growth. This means asking a lot from your employees, which isn’t always easy.

This conflict is a constant problem in HR, but it’s probably best in the long run if your HR leaders and your top executives can work together, according to HR Morning. Christian Schappel, managing editor of What’s New in Benefits and Compensation, told the news source that generally, executives view their HR offices as a key asset – 42 percent said the department serves a key strategic function. He also cautioned, however, that there are difficulties.

“This has got to make you feel good,” Schappel noted. “Most C-suite execs view HR as a key component of their organizations’ success. What is troubling, however, is that HR and the C-suite do not appear to be on the exact same page when it comes to what the top workforce challenge is for their businesses currently.”

So what are the top challenges for business growth that lie ahead, according to today’s CEOs and CFOs? Schappel’s data reveals that there are five big ones to watch. Here are the major issues:

Maintaining engagement
As always, the No. 1 focus in HR is to keep employees engaged so they can achieve at the highest levels possible. This is a point of emphasis for everyone, from the CEO on down to the lowest-level HR staffer. All should be on the same page.

Developing leaders
Even if your executives are thriving today, they won’t stay in those positions forever – which is why one priority for HR should be to help employees develop so that someday, a couple of them can take over. Look for leadership potential and nurture it.

Keeping pay competitive
The “war for talent” is raging worldwide, and the best resource companies have for keeping employees in their corner is an obvious one – money. HR leaders and financial execs will need to sit down and hammer out a compensation plan that keeps everyone happy.

Retaining high performers
An organization is as strong as its highest-performing talent. Therefore, it’s especially important to identify your best and brightest people and keep them happy. No one wants to lose their strongest employees to a competitor.

Reducing overall turnover
While the best performers matter the most, the reality is that all turnover can be draining in terms of HR’s time and money. Another goal in 2016 will be to keep the whole workforce happy and hold turnover to a minimum.

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