According to a recent survey of 447 HR professionals commissioned by Cascade HR, employee engagement looks set to cause some significant headaches as we enter the New Year with 44% of participants singling this out as the greatest challenge they expect to face in 2018. Given how vital employee engagement has proven to be to a given company’s success, this certainly stands out as an alarming statistic.

Following closely behind in the table of greatest HR challenges are staff retention (as mentioned by 36% of respondents), absence management (33%), recruitment (also 33%), and succession planning (26%).

Cascade’s CEO, Mr Oliver Shaw, said of the findings, “There can be no disputing that 2017 has been a very fast-paced and challenging year for the entire business community, not just HR teams. And with matters such as Brexit far from conclusive, the changing landscape will undoubtedly keep everyone on their toes. But, let’s face it – there is never a time when organisations do not encounter external pressures of some sort. It’s how companies and their workforces deal with it, which is important.”

Furthermore, Mr Shaw believes that while the above figures may seem discouraging, HR teams should now concentrate on the areas where they feel progress has been achieved over the past year rather than dwelling on any negative aspects.

Mr Shaw asserts, “In a different question within the study, we asked HR professionals which areas they believe their teams have excelled in, throughout 2017. And, interestingly, similar topics reared their heads again. Recruitment, learning and development, and absence management were among the top five. So, whilst these issues have been cited as challenging, they also highlight the concerted efforts that HR professionals have made to succeed in these respects. Wellbeing was also up there, which is encouraging given the ever-pressing employee wellness agenda. And employee legislation was praised as HR’s fifth biggest feat, despite 32% of HR professionals claiming they are finding the law harder to navigate. It just goes to show that, when it comes to difficulties within this landscape, HR does not sit still. So, whilst 2018 may present on-going challenges, I think teams are equipped to tackle them.”

Sam Bonson

Sam is an aspiring novelist with a passion for fantasy and crime thrillers. He is currently working as a content writer, journalist & editor as he continues to expand his horizons.
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