Top HR Challenges for Businesses in 2021

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HR isn’t a generic subject. People who have little or no knowledge of human resources management often call out the HR subject as a generalist sort of domain that doesn’t need any special attention.

What they miss out on is the human resources domain and profession deal with human beings, their psychology, their competencies, their knowledge, skills, the work environment, the organizational culture, the productivity of the business, the effectiveness of processes and systems, and so on and so forth.

As a result, it’s much more dynamic and complex than you could ever understand. You can’t just pinpoint a certain aspect and tell the world about a metric of your organizational culture.

Can you?

There’s no wonder why the HR department/domain/profession is treated as a redundant function often in small/medium-sized organizations.

In this article, we will take you through the top three priorities of human resources in 2021 and what challenge gives birth to this priority. 

Let’s begin.

Building critical skills and competencies

According to Gartner, here’s the top priority for HR leaders in 2021.

The challenge that organizations struggle with is hiring the right candidates that have the appropriate skills and competencies.

Unfortunately, it’s often seen that a full-time MBA in HR fails to perform at their HR function since all they’ve mastered is theory. And there’s almost little or no practical application.

If you ask them what are their core competencies, they’ll stare at you with a blank look.

It’s not their fault.

They weren’t trained with the competencies and skills required to perform at an HR job.


They need to go through a few specific certifications so that they can develop their skills, their knowledge, the framework of how their domain works in a given setting, and build competencies. 

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Organizational design and change management

Change is the name of the game.

But since most organizations have stringent policies, practices, structures, and frameworks, it’s quite difficult to match up with the current scenario.

And as a result, it’s almost impossible to go for cost optimization and flexible systems.

COVID-19 has changed a lot of assumptions and beliefs.

Organizations have slowly been realizing the fundamentals of HR functions.

Until an HR steps in and works around the structures and builds new systems and shows the way, it’s almost impossible for an organization to function.

The basic component that we need to realize is – empathy comes before profits. 

If the HR leaders put profits first, maybe in the short run, the profits will exceed the employees’ dissatisfaction.

But if you see it in a year or two, soon the lack of engagement of employees will wear out the profits and the only thing that would be left is the traditional systems, work structures, and processes.

Change is the only way to make your employees realize that you care. And without empathy and restructuring of organizational design, it’s impossible.

Current and future leadership

Step up your game if you want to build future leaders.

How the future leaders will take on the responsibility and tread the path is 100% dependent upon how you show the way since you’re the current leader right now.

You need to show empathy, listen diligently, inspire your employees, and make sure that they don’t fall back during this tough time.

If you don’t show the way, the workforce will lose its momentum and there will be no growth, no progress, and no forward-looking mindset.

Even while doing succession planning, you need to keep in mind that who could step up and lead when you’re not there.

In this present scenario, the matrix organization where collaboration is given priority over anything else, the chance of thriving leadership is ample.

You should know how to give them wings.

An able leader leads from the front, takes responsibility for all the mistakes, and promotes their employees in times of success.

That’s how future leaders are also built. 

When they see you act, they learn to act similarly.

Leadership is very critical at this time of crisis. Open your heart, form a new HR team, and get going.

We need more leadership, more strategic approach toward HR function so that we can bear more HR leaders in the near future.

In the final analysis

It’s important to keep the HR domain at the top of your mind even if you often think it’s a waste of money and effort. 

There are no quick fixes and you’ll soon realize, maybe after a huge loss of profits of whopping employee turnover ratio.

Before you ever face those scenarios, take action. And realize human beings run the organizations, not the other way around.