7 Challenges Facing the Modern HR Team

JUNE 2018

From our conversations with HR teams up and down the country, the team at Lightbox Reward have put together the seven most significant challenges facing HR professionals in the UK today.  Here are our thoughts and ideas on how to conquer them.

1. Avoiding Cultural Drift

Over time, cultural values can be lost in the day to day pressures of work. Maintain a strong cultural identity and refuse to compromise when faced with the temptation to deviate from your company’s values. Encourage the same strength of character among your employees. Use your company’s intranet or benefits platform to reinforce your values and embed them in the minds of your employees. The same message can be strengthened with your offline communications.

2. Measuring and Maintaining Employee Engagement

It is hard to go a week in HR circles without hearing or reading about employee engagement.  Let’s keep it simple.  Think of how you feel when you are doing your favourite activity or hobby.  Now, imagine yourself approaching work with the same enthusiasm and mental commitment.  This is the holy grail of employee engagement and is worth pursuing.

Experiment with fluid work spaces, standing desks, flexible working or anything else that creates a dynamic work environment and monitor the results closely.  The key lies in tracking results.  A great way to measure progress is pulse surveys as they are unobtrusive and continuous.  Incorporate these into existing technology to give your employees quick questions on a daily basis to record their engagement levels.

3. Encouraging Personal Responsibility

Job satisfaction often comes from a sense of achievement.  The achievement experienced is enhanced when an employee takes greater personal responsibility.  Empowerment is an overused word (and not a popular one!).  It is simply the freedom to make decisions without fear of consequences.  Create a culture of rewarding and recognising successes.  Not punishing but learning from failures.   The result will be a workforce that embraces responsibility, experiences an acute sense of achievement and is more satisfied at work.

4. Managing Benefits

Updating employee benefits with leavers and joiners, the renewal process and managing increasing premiums.  These are all time consuming and frustrating jobs for a modern HR team.  Consider introducing an employee benefit platform to manage all the heavy lifting of the data and a good employee benefit consultant to research the market.  This will allow your HR team to focus on the communication and promotion of benefits to increase awareness and subsequently the value of your employee offering.

Also, if you don’t already, consider offering a flex scheme.  Giving employees choice is the easiest way to engage them with their benefits.  Lightbox Reward offer an easy to install flex platform to record and report on employee’s choices.

5. Managing Data

Keeping employee records up to date and consistent across all systems is a challenge for all HR teams regardless of customer size.  Good news is coming.  As data integration across systems becomes easier it will soon be normal to just update a “parent” system.  Ensure that any new technology has the capability to provide this in the future and this problem will soon be a thing of the past.

6. Reporting

Regulatory reporting is becoming more cumbersome.  Auto enrolment, gender pay gap, equality and diversity, to name a few.  Data quality and the use of technology could make this far less labour intensive in the future.

7. Making an impact at board level

Historically, HR has not had a loud voice at board level.  Although appreciation of people management is improving, to increase the impact and influence of HR at board level consider addressing the following prior to a board meeting;

  • Record how improved employee engagement helps with staff retention and reduces recruitment and training costs.
  • Evidence how a diverse workplace can increase productivity.
  • Demonstrate adherence to cultural values and how this improves consistency of performance and customer satisfaction.
  • Highlight HR time savings and efficiencies as a result of incorporating a benefits platform.