It's the time of year when professionals in every industry reflect on the past 12 months before looking forward to the year that lies ahead. We therefore thought it was the perfect time to survey our peers to analyse the 'temperature' of HR and some of the key opportunities and challenges facing the world of Human Resources. Here's what we found...
‘Businesses are not doing enough to encourage employees to reach their full potential’, is a striking viewpoint to emerge from a survey conducted by Cascade HR.
In a poll of 447 UK-wide Human Resources professionals, the research found that 44% believe the workforce does not have enough support to thrive, with a further 23% unsure if organisations are doing enough.
The findings arose alongside another startling statistic which revealed that 72% of participants feel slightly or significantly more over-stretched in their roles, compared to in 2016.
With the survey also unveiling that 32% have found employment legislation harder to navigate, it appears to have been a challenging year for HR, believes Cascade’s CEO Oliver Shaw.
“The pace and magnitude of change within the employment landscape – let alone the wider business environment – has posed immense pressures on the world of Human Resources,” he said.
“And the stand-out finding from the research is that HR professionals don’t feel organisations are now doing enough to help employees reach their full potential. In an economy where talent is difficult to retain and commercial competitive advantage is hard to sustain, this is something that needs addressing – and quickly!”
But the survey has also presented some encouraging conclusions, stresses Oliver.
“A reassuring 61% of HR professionals now feel ‘somewhat prepared’ for GDPR, which has understandably taken up a lot of preparatory time and resource as 2017 has unfolded. In fact, only 15% of HR professionals surveyed feel significantly or slightly underprepared, which seems to contradict national statistics on a business-wide level.
“So, whilst HR directors, managers and executives may have felt overstretched during the past 12 months, it appears they have still been achieving progress. It was pleasing to see that 37% believe they continue to have a strong and respected presence in the boardroom too, as recognition among senior management teams has been an ongoing struggle for many professionals in the past.”
With automation set to be a big theme in 2018, a greater reliance on HR technology could alleviate some of the pressures that HR has recently been feeling, suggests Oliver.
“Only 3% of participants said that HR departmental efficiency and effectiveness is not at all dependent on automation. But 50% believe automation has a partial role to play, and a further 45% believe that role is significant,” he summarises.
“The more that tech can relieve HR of burdensome, admin-intensive tasks that could easily be automated, the greater the time that HR will have to spend on the more value-adding elements of their roles.
“Automation has often been feared, in the past, as set to remove the ‘human’ from human resources. But tech won’t wipe out job roles in 2018 – it will supercharge them!”
All findings from Cascade’s recent research can be found in the full-length report – The 2018 HR landscape: What’s in store?