What is Keeping HR Professionals Up at Night?

Human Resources leaders have a lot on their minds in general, and the global virus only amplifies their worries. While we wait to understand the longer-term ramifications of COVID-19, we continue to be tasked with running successful businesses staffed by skilled and engaged personnel. According to a recent Gartner survey that looked at the top five priorities for HR leaders in 2020, the top concern of HR professionals was building critical skills and competencies in the organization. Why are HR professionals worried, and what can help relieve their fears?

The future of work is changing—are you prepared?

Everyone can agree that the future of work in America is full of changes. Trends like the gig economy, remote workforce, workforce aging, artificial intelligence, and changing demographics are already impacting the skills and competencies workers need today and will certainly continue to do so into the future. Competition for talent remains high, especially in certain critical segments like technology and financial services, and perhaps surprisingly, manufacturing. By 2030, the global talent shortage could reach 85.2 million people—costing companies trillions of dollars in lost economic opportunity.

The dramatic skill shifts and resulting skill gaps cannot be solved by recruiting alone, training and retraining will both play pivotal roles in ensuring organizations have the right employees in the right roles.

Ignore employee development at your peril

A 2018 Work Institute report predicted that one in four workers would leave their jobs that year—and predicted the attrition rate would increase to one in three by 2020. Nearly one-third of that turnover was attributed to unsupportive management and a lack of development opportunities. The most obvious response to increasing employee retention, then, is creating more effective training and development programs.

The skills gap is real

The shortage of critical skills and competencies is the most commonly cited issue affecting HR leaders—cited by 86% of HR technology leaders in the Gartner survey. Addressing these skills gaps is the top priority for growing the business.

HR leaders revealed that they lack the skills they need to drive future performance, that they struggle to develop critical talent segments, and that their current learning culture does not support effective new skills development. On a more macro level, 19% of current skills will be irrelevant in three years. Employers that do nothing about these glaring and growing skill gaps risk irrelevance themselves.

All roads lead to workforce training

Creating a workforce prepared to meet the demands of the future is a complex undertaking, involving multiple moving parts, especially now, as more training will need to evolve from the classroom to on-demand to address the increase in more employees working remotely. However, it is clear that employee training and development is a crucial component of any solution. Employee development programs provide a two-pronged approach to solving the critical skills shortage. In addition to providing the training necessary to meet the skillsets required for the future, employee development programs have been shown to improve employee retention rates—preserving your vital in-house talent.

Drive digital business transformation

Another one of the top five priorities for HR leaders in 2020 in the recent Gartner survey is driving digital business transformation. Driving digital transformation was among the top two priorities cited by 35% – 43% of almost every type of HR subfunction leader. The challenge is that 43% of HR leaders stated their organizations do not have a clear, consistent strategy for digital transformation. The solution – become a digital business expert. Actively engaging in digital strategy discussions on how to make HR more agile. Enable your HR teams to participate in meaningful discussions about digital business transformation. Explore HR solutions that align with your changing needs and address the challenges mentioned above so HR can sleep better every night.

To learn more check out our on-demand webinar recording: Driving Better Recruiting Outcomes – Now