A new survey has revealed the challenges HR practitioners feel they are already facing in 2010.
While nearly half of HR professionals expect to start hiring again this year, they are also bracing themselves for an increased turnover of disaffected staff.
As a result, more than two thirds see employee engagement as the top challenge for 2010, followed by succession planning (58 per cent) and talent management in order to retain high performers (42 per cent).
These are the findings of a survey undertaken by King’s College London HRM Learning Board and law firm Speechly Bircham among 356 UK HR professionals in November last year.
The study called ‘The State of HR: From Recession to Recovery?’ indicated that workplace stress would only accelerate over the year ahead, with more than a third of respondents saying that the situation would result in higher levels of staff leaving the company.
While 29 per cent pointed out that the number of grievances related to bullying, harassment and poor staff-manager relations had risen during 2009, some 23 per cent expected the figure to grow again during 2010, although the main focus this time would be on pay and conditions, workload, career development and stress.
Richard Martin, an employment partner at Speechly Bircham, said that the underlying message was that the year ahead was going to bring even more challenges for HR departments than the one just gone.
“Engagement, talent management and succession planning may be their top three priorities, but the biggest proportion of their time may instead need to be spent dealing with the consequences of a lack of engagement: grievances and a big increase in staff turnover”, he added.
Despite the recession and widespread cutbacks in staff, however, a surprising 22 per cent of HR managers also expressed concern over shortages of staff with key skills in professional, managerial and technical fields.
While 44 per cent said they expected some increase in the size of their workforces, some 85 per cent were uncertain as to what size this labour pool should be, while 72 per unclear about what skills would be required.
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