Even Successful Companies Struggle With These Common HR Challenges

July 24, 2017

Human resources holds a unique role as one of the most integral players in whether a business thrives or tanks – largely because it is the one department that revolves the most around the people of an organization. In fact, since the success or failure of an organization is so closely tied to the people within it, HR must be consistent and methodical in constructing and implementing policies that benefit and protect the company from a people perspective.

This isn’t always easy.

Even with proper planning and attention to detail, there are still issues that can really throw a wrench into any HR plan or initiative. These issues appear across all organizations no matter how big, small, well-run or otherwise. Take Uber as a prime example – a giant multi-billion dollar tech company that has gotten itself in serious heat due to bad HR practices that permeated its culture

If you want to avoid becoming the next Uber HR failure (or anything close to it!) here are five HR growth challenges to be aware of, which cause even successful companies to struggle, along with some tips on how to minimize the impact of these common challenges on your business.


Recruiting and Hiring A Players

Filling a position is only a small part of hiring qualified, honest, productive employees. How can you make certain the candidate you choose is the right one? No matter the size of company or how long they have been in business, accessing active and passive job seekers, deciding on the best ones, and then wooing them to work for you (and not your competitors) are obstacles all businesses face.

What to do: Set up a robust recruiting process that uses a variety of channels so you can get as many applicant options as possible. Implement an application and interviewing procedure that gains real insights into the applicant’s behaviors and drives, while also giving a positive candidate experience. And finally, since hiring is a two-way agreement, do your best to present the best candidates a great job offer that fully explains the compensation package, benefits, AND the company culture they’ll be joining.

We talk more about the importance of a healthy candidate experience in one of our comprehensive resource guides – The Hidden Costs of A Poor Candidate Journey [Download For Free Here]


Increasing Employee Retention

Top talent is always in demand. Once you hire and train a high performer, there is always the concern they will find greener pastures and leave. Figuring out how to keep productive employees is key to maintaining a stable, profitable organization that focuses on long-term growth.

What to do: A few ways to create employee retention, other than frequent hefty raises, are through fringe benefits, training opportunities, and positive work environments. HR needs to devote time to cultivate these types of offerings to their seasoned employees to shore up engagement and solidify loyalty.


Resolving Workplace Conflicts

If you have more than two people working for you, chances are good there will eventually be a personality clash, disagreement on a project, or other issue. Hoping they will work themselves out does little to rectify the situation, and such conflict can cause serious workplace issues including lost productivity, decreased engagement, and turnover.

What to do: HR needs to educate managers on how to thoughtfully manage employee conflict. There needs to be steps that are clear and well-laid out in problem resolution. In addition, budget periodic team building exercises where each employee has a chance to work together in an environment independent of their normal work responsibilities.

Company culture plays a part in deterring serious workplace conflicts. Everyone in the company needs to be aware that bullying and other aggressive behaviors will not be tolerated and will be dealt with harshly.


Managing Lay-Offs and Terminations

HR can be viewed negatively during times of lay-offs, downsizing, or just plain letting people go. Employees may begin looking at the entire department in mistrust, as an “us versus them” mentality. Being divided this way only damages the company’s ability to reach goals and keep morale high.

What to do: Be prepared to let employees go as gently as possible. Conduct the discussion in private, and give them a chance to participate in an exit interview. Even if the termination was contentious, avoid speaking negatively about the former employee. After all, chances are good that he or she still has current employees as friends.


Securing the C-Suite Buy-In

Sometimes HR has difficulty getting the C-Suite’s attention and approval, especially on ideas that are not traditional in terms of compensation or management. This can cause the company to stagnate and suffer from employees that aren’t engaged or committed, and processes that are outdated or no longer relevant.

What to do: Request consistent meetings with the C-Suite and come prepared with your agenda. Explain your ideas clearly and offer up specific examples of new ideas you wish to implement. Showing how the costs line up to create valuable return on investment (ROI) is more likely to sway their decision.


HR faces a variety of challenges every day, in every company. Being aware of the biggest issues and taking proactive steps to minimize their effect on the company is instrumental in keeping high performers happy and engaged, solid relationships intact, and helpful, valuable processes running smoothly.



Linda Le Phan
Senior Content Marketing Manager at kununu.

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