From the Great Resignation to recessionary concerns, the last few years have been filled with disruptions that significantly altered the way we work. While these curveballs have resulted in increased challenges for all members of the workforce, HR professionals in particular have undergone significant transformations and expanded their scope to encompass key functions like overseeing employee compensation and benefits.
Evolving employee demands, shifting legislation and an uncertain economy make the world of benefits and compensation difficult to navigate. In this article, we dive deeper into the specific issues complicating HR professionals’ ability to do their jobs efficiently and effectively.
What Are the Top HR Challenges?
Difficulty Attracting & Retaining Employees
As talent shortages persist across industries, many employers are grappling with adapting to the “new normal” to address this issue effectively. HR departments are dealing with an inadequate number of candidates or insufficient resources to meet the high demand for candidates. On top of that, more employees today are confidently exploring opportunities at other companies, exacerbating the importance of offering comprehensive and competitive benefits packages and compensation.
With that being said, even if organizations offer comprehensive benefits, the success of these offerings hinges on how employees perceive their benefits. Some employees may leave a company for “better” benefits, only to find out they already had access to the offerings they were hoping for. HR professionals can get ahead of this issue by addressing potential benefits education gaps to ensure current employees know about available offerings and how they bring value to their unique lifestyles.
Traditional HR departments already handle recruitment, workplace safety, compliance, payroll and employee engagement. Now, many employers are piling on additional time-consuming tasks to HR professionals’ plates, such as managing benefits strategies and budgets, spearheading benefits administration, boosting employee education and enhancing benefits enrollment. These added responsibilities involve more manual tasks, spreadsheets and paperwork.
To help free up HR employees’ time to focus on more strategic tasks and critical day-to-day work, employers could consider investing in technology, tools or partners that streamline benefits administration. Software platforms, applications or websites can automate otherwise manual processes, saving time and increasing accuracy.
Evolving Health Care Regulations
As HR teams take on more benefits responsibilities, they may also be tasked with staying up to date on benefits regulations and legislative in order to maintain compliance. The influx of rules and regulations, particularly concerning health care, puts employers at higher risk of lawsuits, fines and penalties, making compliance a critical concern.
It is essential to ensure that your teams have access to the crucial information they need to stay up to date on all things benefits compliance. At CBIZ, for example, our clients receive regular compliance updates notifying them of pertinent updates and changes that may impact their benefits plans.
Inflationary Pressures & Economic Uncertainty
Amid high inflation and a potential recession, businesses and employees alike are trying to figure out how to do more with less. Undoubtedly, that includes HR professionals as well. In fact, a 2023 survey by financial wellness benefits provider BrightPlan found that 77% of HR executives report experiencing financial stress, and many are also experiencing unmanageable levels of debt.
HR leaders face the difficult task of supporting employees amid tough economic conditions while simultaneously dealing with the same challenges themselves. These individuals are often responsible for sharing and communicating about financial wellness benefits to employees, but they may forget that the content and resources also apply to them.
Now is the Time to Recognize & Support HR Professionals
Now more than ever, it’s important to recognize the significant challenges facing HR departments and give grace, support and appreciation so they can continue to thrive. By fostering collaboration with various departments, staying informed on regulatory changes and employee benefit preferences and embracing technology-driven solutions, HR professionals can continue to drive their organizations toward success.