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HR challenges include succession, retention

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Today’s most critical human capital challenges are employee engagement, developing the next generation of leaders and compensation that improves retention, according to HR professionals responding to a new survey by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM).

C-Suite executives taking part in a parallel survey echoed HR’s view. They said retaining high performers and maintaining competitive compensation were their greatest challenges.

Among the surveys’ findings:

  • Thirty-eight percent of HR respondents said the top current challenge is “maintaining high levels of employee engagement.” It was followed by “developing the next generation of organizational leaders” (31%), “maintaining competitive compensation offerings” (29%) and “retaining our highest performing employees” (26%).
  • Looking 10 years out, results reflected the impact of an aging workforce. The top response by HR professionals was “developing the next generation of organizational leaders” (39%), followed closely by “managing the loss of key workers and their skill sets due to retirement” (35%).  

“At most organizations, both HR and non-HR C-Suite executives view HR as having a strategic role and are currently planning to make changes to their HR function to make it even more strategic and measurement-driven in the years to come,” said Jen Schramm, SHRM’s manager of workforce trends.

The Great Recession may have galvanized common cause between HR and senior leadership, the report states: “Many business leaders both inside and outside of the HR profession understand the pressure HR has faced to do more with less in the aftermath of the recession, but they do not see this as a permanent problem.”

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