Major HR Challenges

Published: 07th July 2009
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The environment faced by human resource is challenging one; changes are occurring rapidly across a wide range of issues. Clearly HR departments are evolving in our country. From an administrative perspective, the focus is now on a strategic outlook where talent HR professionals look at improving the work environment and plan out human resource needs. Though it is a reflection of what is happening in the western context, the Indian work force and industrial climate is changing. This short article looks at five major challenges that we facing in terms of human resources and human resource management.

The environment faced by human resource is challenging one; changes are occurring rapidly across a wide range of issues. It appears that the most prevalent challenges facing HR management are as follows:

1. Economic and technological change

2. Workforce availability ad quality concerns

3. Demographics and diversity issues

4. Organizational restructuring

1. Economic and technological change:

Several economic changes have occurred that have altered employment and occupational paterns in India. A major shift change is the shift of jobs from manufacturing and agriculture to service industries. The example of computerization of banking industries which forced many to quit they refused to change to technological change. The explosive growth of information technology particularly that linked to the internet, has forced many change throughout organizations of all types.

• Occupational shifts: The increase in the technology jobs is due to the rapid increase in the use of information technology, such as databases, system design and analysis, and desktop publishing. The software development and export which is growing base of Indian software industry has been acting towards occupational change.

• Global Competition: One major factor affecting these shifts is the globalization of economic forces. Globalization has brought more sophistication to process and skills which lacking in Indian workforce.

2. Workforce availability and Quality concerns: India's education system is facing stiff challenge to meet demands of industry players, as jobs requiring advance knowledge and skills are on rise from sectors like Information technology, Animation, Bio-technology. Indian education system falling deaf ears to industry player's requirement, resisting change which made literate considered being unemployable by industry. Various subject of importance in education system are not updated and inducted in the education syllabus. The need of the hour is a dialogue between Industry players and education system to bring their problem on the table, as growing demand for knowledge and skill based labor is fuelling the pressure on the skilled labor market.

3. Demographics

India is still facing threat of migration of workers from backward areas to metropolitan cities which is leading to overcrowded metro city, lack of government equal region development policy has definitely not working. But what human resource has to do with demographics, human resource has to plan development of workers from backward areas which will reduce cost and provide them opportunity, HR has to place plan to management of putting facility in backward areas.

4. Organizational restructuring

Many organizations have restructured in the past few years in order to become more competitive. Also, mergers and acquisitions of firms in the same industries have been made to ensure global competitiveness As part of the organizational changes, many organizations have "right sized" either by (1) eliminating layers of managers, (2) closing facilities, (3) merging with other organizations, or (4) outpacing workers. A common transformation has been to flatten organizations by removing several layers of management and to improve productivity, quality, and service while also reducing costs.

As a result, jobs are redesigned and people affected. One of the challenges that HR management faces with organizational restructuring is dealing with the human consequences of change. The human cost associated with downsizing has been much discussed in the popular press: a survivor's mentality for those who remain, unfulfilled cost savings estimates, loss of loyalty, and many people looking for new jobs.

By Priti Shah

Laurent & Benon Management Consultants Ltd, a public limited company with its corporate office Gurgaon with Pan-India presence. We as an organization strive to offer the right Human Resource Solutions at the right time and enable our clients to enhance the net worth of their human resource capital.

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