SHRM Poll Identifies Top HR Challenges for Next 10 Years

By SHRM Online staff Sep 21, 2010
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As the economy recovers, investments in human capital and getting the best return for those investments will be the top challenge that U.S.-based and multinational businesses will face over the next 10 years, according to the results of a poll conducted by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM).

The SHRM poll, which is titled “Challenges Facing Organizations and HR in the Next Ten Years,” gathered responses from 449 HR professionals on the top challenges that their organization and the HR profession will face during the next decade. Nearly half the respondents (47 percent) said that obtaining human capital and optimizing on human capital investments was the top investment challenge for businesses over the next 10 years. Slightly less than a third (29 percent) of the respondents listed “obtaining financial capital and optimizing capital investments” and 12 percent answered “obtaining intellectual capital and optimizing intellectual capital investments” as the top challenges.

The SHRM poll then asked the respondents to list the most effective tactics for meeting the two top challenges HR will face over the next 10 years. A recent survey of top-level executives by the Economist Intelligence Unit identified the top two challenges as “retaining and rewarding the best people” and “attracting the best people to the organization.”

In the SHRM poll, 72 percent of the respondents were from U.S.-based companies, and 28 percent were from multinational organizations. Results showed that 58 percent of the respondents listed providing flexibility to balance life and work as the top tactic to meet the challenge of attracting, retaining and rewarding the best people. The other top tactics included:

  • Creating an organizational culture where trust, open communications and fairness are emphasized and demonstrated by leaders (47 percent).
  • Having jobs designed to provide employees with meaningful work that has a clear purpose in meeting organizational objectives (40 percent).
  • Demonstrating a commitment to employee development (29 percent).
  • Offering a higher total rewards package (i.e., total compensation and benefits package) than organizations that compete for the same talent (23 percent).
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