Future of work, Human Resources

HR’s biggest challenge? Finding time to adapt to the future of work

Lydia Watson

Whether you call it ‘human resources’ or the ‘people team’, it’s a department focused on everything to do with employees – in a far-reaching, multifaceted way that’s unlike any other part of your organisation. 

And the fact that it’s been a hard few years for humanity, means it’s been a particularly challenging time for HR professionals. From handling the painful personnel administration of firing and furlough to planning a future-forward strategy, it’s made a difficult job even trickier.

The challenges of being a HR professional

  • Being strategic: 8/10 HR leads say they play a strategic role, and are involved in top-level conversations, but it’s a continuing battle to A) balance strategy with admin, and B) get backing for HR-related initiatives. 
  • Being understaffed: 56% of SMEs have just one HR staff, which leaves one person in charge of the hiring, training, and ongoing happiness of sometimes 100s of employees – and that’s a lot for one employee to handle.  
  • Being overworked: in some cases a side effect of being unsupported, many HR pros are overworked – with 60% saying their workload has increased, due to increased admin and strategy-related tasks (though 76% C-suite think they’re being given the right level of work…).
  • Being undertooled: although 64% of HR professionals surveyed say they use tech to manage their workflow, not many are utilising it to manage the multitude of tasks they have – and there’s a gap there when it comes to their growing reach.
  • Being stalled: having too much to do, not enough people to do it, lacking the necessary tech, and continually battling to be a strategic function – this all means HR can be stalled in actually driving change, as they have too many things to do day-to-day. For 53%, that’s been the reason they’ve delayed taking action. 

The role of human resources during the pandemic

It’s not surprising that 70% of HR employees say 2020 was up there with the most difficult years of their professional life, with 98% saying it changed the nature of their job. 

That’s to be expected, as it involved navigating a lot of complicated situations: the move to full scale remote working, rounds of redundancies, furloughed employees, health concerns, grief, reluctance to return to the office… the list goes on. 

There’s also the sense that the world of working has changed forever, which means the role of HR is still very much in flux. 

3 HR priorities due to the changing world of work

1. Improving the employee value proposition

After the great resignation, hiring and retention are more important than ever – with pressure on HR to present an attractive array of benefits. Creating an employee value proposition that brings in the best talent means considering the new needs and changing demands of the workforce, from prioritising inclusion and equality to providing wellbeing resources.

2. Ensuring they stay connected to the C-suite

To provide the right EVP, and live up to their strategic destiny, HR professionals need to keep finding ways to connect with the C-suite. That means presenting data that backs up their arguments, and relating changes back to their business benefit – so there’s no good reason not to support their change propositions. 

3. Embracing more technology to stay agile

We’ve learnt from the past few years that an agile approach to business strategy is essential. That means making time to be reactive and future-focused, by automated and tech-enabling the things you don’t need to do manually. From admin functions, to employee surveys, tech will make that possible. 

Faster, simpler surveys at an affordable price… so you can focus on the future!

We built Qlearsite Foundation specifically for small businesses and budget-strapped teams. But beyond that, it’s designed for people who don’t have the time they desperately need – and for us, that’s the hardworking HR professionals who’ve kept organisations strong through the pandemic. 

To be agile, adaptive, and future-focused, you need employee feedback. With faster, simpler surveys, we make that easy:

  • 20+ question sets on hot HR topics
  • 15min survey setup, to get answers fast

Faster, simpler surveys – free for 21 days

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