EngagementEmployee EngagementThe biggest challenge for HR professionals in 2019

The biggest challenge for HR professionals in 2019

An annual study by Casade has revealed what the biggest challenges for HR professionals are most likely to look like in the following year.

An annual report by Cascade has showcased the biggest challenges for HR professionals looking towards 2019.

Through this study initiated every year, it revealed that employee engagement was the biggest option that many HR professionals saw as a significant challenge in 2019, with 40% agreeing to this. Recruitment and retention were second and third with 37% and 36% while absence management and wellbeing received 29% and 22%.

Although this report has also revealed some positives in the HR industry, as research revealed that although staff retention is still an ongoing issue going into 2019, 35% of HR teams believe they’ve excelled in that area, with successes also experienced in both well-being and l&d at 32%, and diversity at 30%. Thinking about GDPR specifically, 66% of respondents admitted the legislative overhaul has been problematic, yet manageable.

Although Brexit has been a hugely discussed topic in recent months, it came to light that this was not a huge challenge to overcome in 2019. Although 52% of HR professionals admitted that they are a little worried about the ambiguity and impact of leaving the EU, only 19% went as far as to say they are extremely concerned.

Cascade’s CEO Oliver Shaw commented on this research saying, “It’s been an interesting year for UK businesses, with Brexit, compliance and employment tribunals dominating the headlines.”

He then went on further to discuss what should be focused on in 2019 for HR professionals, saying “But I believe some of the most pivotal developments have surrounded the future of work debate. This year, the HR landscape has seen employees push back on the traditional 9-5 more than ever before. Flexible working has really stepped up a notch, and organisations that bury their head in the sand when it comes to what colleagues want from employment will be those that struggle the most with recruitment and retention in 2019.”

When looking into the future of automation in HR, the vast majority of participants in the survey reacted positively to these advancements, with 49% agreeing to the statement “Automation has a partial role to play in our HR department becoming more effective and efficient” while 46% agreed to the statement “Automation is imperative if our HR department is to become more effective and efficient”

Oliver ended by saying “It is important that HR professionals can cut through the AI hype and understand how to benefit from things like automation, predictive analytics and workforce planning, without losing the ‘human’ from ‘Human Resources’. Their existing HR software will invariably hold the answer.”

It is apparent that employee engagement is a crucial part of organisation development and effectiveness in a business. And although many companies have focused on this in recent times, it seems to be a constant aspect of HR to constantly improve, As employee engagement topped the list of topics most likely to keep HR professionals challenged, after coming first in the polls during Cascade’s 2017 as well.

Cascade’s study consisted of 423 UK HR directors, managers and executives, asked participants to look back on the past year before sharing their predictions for what lies ahead. The findings were then analysed and collated in this report, to pose ‘food for thought’ for forward-thinking HR professionals who want to thrive in 2019.

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