What Are the Key Challenges for HR in Europe?

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The days when the basic function of an HR professional focused purely on core HR matters of recruitment and payroll are long gone.

‘It was a simpler time’, current HR managers might sigh.

But times have indeed changed.

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Today HR professionals are often working for international organisations, with technology instantly connecting them with their colleagues around the world.

But, a one size fits all approach can be too simplistic and it fails to consider the regional subtleties of culture, working practices and legislation.

European HR decision-makers in particular, have to tackle a unique set of challenges that are explored in the research conducted by independent HR analyst Fosway Group in association with HRN the organizers of HR Tech World.

Internally, HR has evolved beyond transactional responsibilities into a strategically important business function that can define and pinpoint what makes an organisation a success or a failure.

Ask any HR leader about key business challenges and it is almost certain they will mention

  • increasing their organisation’s performance and profitability (92%),
  • reducing costs (89%), and
  • improving customer satisfaction (86%).

The good news is that these are measurable goals.

The bigger challenge is defining what practical actions HR can take to positively impact them.

Increasing performance

Business Agility is One of the Most Significant HR Challenges

Business Agility

One of the top challenges identified by European HR professionals is delivering business agility (82%), a measure fundamentally different to performance, profitability and the like.

‘It refers to distinct qualities that allow organisations to respond rapidly to changes in the internal and external environment without losing momentum or vision. Adaptability, flexibility and balance are three qualities essential to long-term business agility’ (HRZone).

It is a complex concept, and one that will vary according to the circumstances of each individual organisation.

But, just because it is challenging to measure, doesn’t mean you can’t assess the readiness of HR and your HR technology to deliver business agility; however, what you don’t want is your architecture and systems to stand in the way of achieving it.

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Any organisation can strive to be more agile, whether large, medium or small, but HR must examine both its operations and its systems against the three key elements of customer satisfaction, organisational energy, and dynamic architecture in order to begin achieving it.

Creating an agile, entrepreneurial, digitally savvy and future facing organization is critical to business survival in the C21st.

What we are seeing is that many organisations are now realizing that the challenge it’s more than just hiring the right talent, it’s also about looking in the mirror and facing up to the reality that a deep cultural and structural change and re-invention is essential.

The desire to deliver increased performance and profitability whilst reducing costs and improving customer satisfaction and increasing business agility certainly puts a lot on the shoulders of HR professionals.

But, by continuing to develop HR into a more strategic business partner, a top priority in the research for 53% of respondents, HR professionals can work to deliver these goals.

One of the keys to success is access to the right data and insights, whilst ensuring HR systems are acting as an enabler, not a barrier.

80% identified a lack of data integration across HR silos as a major challenge for them.

Which is potentially why more than half of the survey participants envisage changing their existing core HR, learning succession and workforce planning solutions within the next 3 years.

This nods to the importance of getting the right HR technology in place, ensuring adoption and interpreting the organisation’s data using analytics to generate valuable business insights.

Looking beyond the technology…

The research also demonstrates that change should not be limited just to HR technology.

As the role of HR constantly evolves, so do the metrics of organisational success. Fosway’s statistics highlight that participants believe HR’s future success is dependent on

  • upskilling HR teams (72%),
  • new or enhanced processes (69%) and re-
  • organisation to create a better business alignment (54%)

key business challenges

All of the above ought to be considered together as a package: if you adopt new ways of working, you need new operating structures to bring them to life and maximize the opportunities they offer.

The new insights you gain by implementing them can bring you closer to dealing with those challenges HR professionals have to successfully tackle both now and in the future.

To Discover More

Be sure to save the date to invest your time and efforts into discovering new operating structure options as well as conversing with others who are facing your same challenges by attending the HR Tech Congress 2016 Paris this fall, 25-26 October 2016 at The Palais des Congrès de Paris.

For group discounts, please contact us directly by clicking here; for more information, click the image below…

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Garrett O'Brien

CEO, Chairman, Publisher, Editor at The HRIS World Research Group

Garrett is the publisher, editor, writer forThe HRIS World Research Group, which includes The HRIS World, The HRIS World Research, The HRIS World Jobs, The HRIS World News, and The HRIS World Videos

With more than 20 years in roles as a client executive sponsor (#thwCES), project manager as well as functional / technical lead, Garrett is sought for his expertise for project insights, thought leadership, and team management globally.

He has been involved in large-scale and complex implementations since 1991 and has recently moved his operations to be with his wife in Brazil.

Garrett has had the pleasure of working with some of the greatest talents in the industry, and constantly shares his experiences and knowledge through content and webinars.

He maintains his fluency in Portuguese, German, French, and English with his various endeavors and contacts..

When not working, you will have to be adventurous to stay up with him as Garrett loves motorcycling, gunnery, boating, sailing, flying, and sports fishing -- and accompanying his wife on her various likes

About The HRIS World Research Group

The HRIS World blog, which is read by more than 50,000 from more than 160 countries monthly, manages to have more than 550,000 pages viewed monthly. 40%+ of the audience are decision-makers in their organization (and about half of that being C-levels!).

As CEO for CGServices USA Inc, he focuses on multi-provider, multi-line implementations consultation for HRIS systems

Council and Education Member of Gerson Lehrman Group Council, helping institutions of the world leaders meet, engage and manage experts across a wide range of sectors and disciplines.

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