Every human resources department faces the challenge of aligning strategy and action to create an organization known as an “employer of choice.” An employer of choice is where people most want to work because the company has a combination of leadership that values employees’ talent, a positive work environment and competitive compensation and benefits. These are organizations where it’s difficult to get a job because hiring standards are high and employees are satisfied, which means low turnover. Even when the ultimate goal isn’t as lofty as becoming an employer of choice or being named in “Fortune” magazine’s Top 100 employers, HR faces a number of challenges nonetheless.
Retaining employees is a challenge all employers face, and retaining good employees is something human resources struggles with in every organization. The best employees usually are the most difficult to retain. Without a strategic plan that ensures employee satisfaction, great compensation and benefits, and work assignments that continually challenge employees’ skills and aptitude, high-performing workers will use your organization as a mere stepping stone on their career path.
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Compensation and Benefits
The company’s human resources and finance leaders determine how to budget for employee compensation and benefits. The strategic decision human resources makes determines where an organization stands in terms of applicants’ and employees’ perception. Some employers pay competitive wages and offer standard benefits, others offer high wages and minimal benefits, and still others can afford to offer extremely competitive wages and provide outstanding benefits packages. The challenge HR faces is gaining executive-level support for the value of the organization’s human capital.
The meaning of workplace diversity has grown far beyond the simplest definitions of race, color, sex, national origin and religion in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, one of the first federal laws governing equal opportunity in the workplace. Diversity now includes differences attributed to work style, generation, communication and language. The challenge for human resources is learning how to provide leadership and feedback to all of the organization’s employees through understanding what motivates individual employees in a diverse workplace.
Recruitment and selection, performance management and sustaining a workforce that enables an organization to maintain its competitive edge are components in what HR practitioners refer to as talent management. Labor conditions, unemployment, training and development are factors that human resources examines whenever vacancies exist or when turnover presents an opportunity to restructure the company’s workforce. Challenges within talent management are likely to develop when there are labor shortages or when current employee performance doesn’t meet expectations; these are factors that potentially threaten the organization’s productivity and profitability.
The decision whether to outsource human resources functions or develop in-house expertise is a challenge HR practitioners and leaders consistently encounter. With the number of outsourcing firms that provide HR transnational services at lower costs than the salaries of in-house HR specialists, the decision can be one that has a tremendous impact on the workforce and the quality of services to employees. Regardless of whether an organization moves services to an outsourcing firm, it must still maintain in-house expertise to manage the quality of services the firm renders.