7 Common HR Issues (+Tips for Solving Them)

HR managers face a lot of challenges, but by adopting these strategies, leaders can build a welcoming culture focused on success, leaving these HR issues behind.

5 min read

HR manager solving common HR issues with their team by recognizing an employee

Human Resources (HR) departments are responsible for all kinds of tasks. As an HR professional, you wear many hats, from driving higher levels of employee engagement to hiring and onboarding new employees. 

It’s anything but an easy job. The challenges of an HR manager are many, and building and executing strategies to overcome them is a significant undertaking. The key to your success - and by extension, your organization’s success - lies in understanding the best approach to take to every unique challenge and strategic decision, including the common HR issues that every company faces.  

Let’s outline some of the most common HR challenges and explore actionable tips and tricks you can adopt to improve the effectiveness of your organization’s HR strategy. 

1. Recruiting Top Talent

Attracting qualified, experienced employees with the skills to take your business forward has always been a key challenge for HR managers. A recent survey from Gartner revealed that 46% of HR professionals listed recruiting as their top priority in 2023. However, the study also found that 36% of HR leaders felt they didn’t have the resources to recruit top talent – underlining the significance of this challenge. 

Fortunately, there are ways to optimize recruitment marketing strategies on a limited budget. 

Increasing a company’s online visibility and promoting company culture are two key actionable ways HR departments can address recruitment challenges. Leverage your company’s existing website and build a robust career section that advertises new opportunities and tells the story of your business’s employee culture. 

Promoting jobs on social media is a great way to spread awareness on a smaller budget. While paid promotions can be compelling, organic social media posts that are shared can significantly impact recruitment efforts, solving one of the bigger HR issues for your team. 

Pro Tip:

Ask current employees to share open positions with their network on LinkedIn and other social media platforms. Activating their personal networks expands the number of potential candidates who will discover open positions in your business and gives your team additional insight when it comes time to make hiring decisions.

2. Onboarding New Employees

The employee onboarding process looks vastly different at every organization. When new employees from different departments are being onboarded simultaneously, it can be difficult for HR to set the pace of the initial training and find a way to provide a great onboarding experience for every new employee. 

A recent Gallup study found that 88% of employees felt they received poor onboarding. Another study revealed that 69% of employees are more likely to stay with a company for over three years if they had a positive onboarding experience. 

So, how do you tackle the HR issues of creating a great employee onboarding experience?  Top strategies include setting expectations for the first day, preparing a new hire welcome kit, introducing company culture, involving an employee’s entire team, and planning check-ins to monitor progress. 

3. Providing Professional Development Opportunities

Many ambitious employees have a yearning to continuously develop their skills further in order to advance their careers. As HR professionals, it’s imperative that you provide these professional development opportunities. If you don’t, your best, most ambitious employees will start to look for them elsewhere creating even more HR issues for your team. 

The data backs this up. Forbes Advisor found that 22% of workers say not having advancement and growth opportunities would be a reason to quit. That’s a significant HR challenge, but thankfully, it’s one with a clear solution. 

Providing professional development opportunities, whether that’s through mentorship, formal training, or other educational programs, is a non-monetary benefit that allows workers to become better equipped to fill complex roles and improves job satisfaction. Extra ways to promote professional development include providing clear career paths and allowing workers to attend industry conferences.

4. Engaging Hybrid and Remote Workforces

Since COVID-19, remote work has become a common practice across industries. Twenty percent of workers reported they would quit their jobs if they couldn’t work from home, and it’s becoming increasingly clear that we’re never going back to the way things were. 

These HR issues apply whether your workforce is remote or hybrid. Regardless of the composition of your workforce, it’s important to have strategies to engage your employees, wherever they are. 

To promote employee engagement for both in-office and remote workers, consider some of the following:

  • Celebrating Work Anniversaries: Sending handwritten notes or a work anniversary gift can make employees feel valued and reduce turnover.
  • Gifts for Life Events: Celebrating employees’ birthdays and other key life events with an employee appreciation gift can significantly boost employee morale. 
  • Employee Awards: Acknowledging top workers, regardless of whether they are in the office or not, goes a long way in keeping employees satisfied. 

5. Supporting Employee Mental and Physical Health

If your employees don’t have the time and resources to care for their physical and mental health, they can’t fulfill their job requirements. HR departments play an important role in supporting their employees to make healthier choices.

Here are several wellness benefits your organization can consider offering to address common HR issues related to employee mental and physical health:

  • Company-wide wellness days
  • Wellness breaks for stretching and physical activity between meetings
  • Comprehensive mental and physical health insurance
  • Healthy snacks freely available in the office
  • Creative workspaces
  • Yoga classes

Ultimately, creating space and opportunities for employees to relieve stress and care for themselves improves overall productivity, cuts down on unplanned absences, and lays the foundation for a happier, healthier workplace. 

6. Increasing Diversity

Research from the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) has found that over three-quarters of employees value a diverse workplace, making this one of the a key HR issues to solve. 

In addition to making employees feel safe in the workplace, increased levels of diversity lead to more creative thinking, lower turnover rates, and a better company reputation.

The same BCG study found that 96%-98% of large companies with over 1,000 employees have diversity programs. If your organization lacks this type of initiative, consider starting one. Diversity programs can be centered around gender, race, neurodiversity, and other shared experiences or interests, and play a vital role in establishing policies that help your organization become a more welcoming employer. 

7. Reducing Employee Turnover

Per the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average tenure of an employee is just over four years. This statistic varies significantly by age group, with workers aged 55 to 64 averaging almost 10 years and workers aged 25 to 34 averaging only three years.

Dealing with this level of turnover isn’t just one of the bigger HR issues, it’s also a costly endeavor. Replacing an hourly employee can cost as much as $1,500, while replacing a salaried employee in a key position can cost as much as 100% of that employee’s salary. These costs are felt in various ways: lost productivity, missed revenue opportunities, and recruitment, onboarding, and training costs for new employees. All of these costs make it more critical than ever for HR professionals to focus on employee retention. 

By adopting the strategies outlined above, HR departments can work towards improving employee retention rates. Focusing on the first year of an employee's work experience can make a huge difference, making them feel right at home in their new role. By focusing on this critical first year, and even more immediately, the first 90 days, HR departments can determine which factors are most important to new workers. 

Ready to Tackle Your HR Issues and Move to the Next Level?

Taking a considered, strategic approach to identifying and managing common HR issues is key to your business’s success. No business can be successful without the full support and participation of its employees. It’s vital that you, as an HR team, make every effort possible to create a great environment for your employees. 

The suggestions above are a great starting points, but if you want to take things to the next level, consider sending routine employee corporate gifts. Acknowledging their hard work and dedication can go a long way in boosting morale and fostering a positive company culture. It helps make your employees feel part of something larger than themselves: a successful team.  

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