Top 4 Challenges to Employee Management that HR should Immediately Act On

As discussed in our previous article, employee management has three main relationships that form the foundation for well-managed, successful organizations. The 3 relationships are; the employee’s relationship with their direct managers, the employee’s relationship with the organization, and the employee’s relationship with the systems they use on a daily basis.

If you let me indulge my nerd for a moment, the basis of these relationships can be based on Herzberg’s two factor motivation hygiene theory.

Motivators include: challenging work; recognition for one's achievement; responsibility; opportunity to do something meaningful; involvement in decision making; and a sense of importance to an organization. These give rise to positive job satisfaction arising from intrinsic conditions of the job itself, such as recognition, achievement, or personal growth [2].

Hygiene factors (status, job security, salary, fringe benefits, work conditions, good pay, paid insurance, vacations, etc.) do not on their own lead to positive satisfaction or higher motivation, but rather dissatisfaction can result from their absence. The term "hygiene" is used in the sense that these are maintenance factors. These are extrinsic to the work itself, and include aspects such as company policies, supervisory practices, or wages/salary [2].

Motivation elements can be gained from managers, peers and facilitated by organizational culture. Hygiene factors are facilitated by HR and the employee management systems in place. Working conditions are crucial to an employee’s satisfaction and engagement with the organization.

Keeping the pillars of effective employee management and Herzberg’s two factor theory in mind, the rapid change in our workplaces in the past decade has resulted in employee management challenges. Here are the top 4 challenges business leaders should address to continue to effectively manage employees.

Lack of Flexibility

Cloud technology, globalization, mobile first systems, and online application offerings have changed employee’s expectations about how they work. Not only is it unnecessary for employees to be chained to a desk, it has become a job perk to be able to work from anywhere and anytime. In a global survey 43% of employees chose flex work over a pay hike. Business leaders can choose policies to support flexible work access and schedules. In some instances telecommuting can even reduces costs. By providing employees with user-friendly tools to complete their tasks, job satisfaction can increase.

Lack of Transparency

People value work more and give their 100% when they are involved in the decision making process. Security measures can be put in place to give employees access to the required data to make informed decisions. Employees can feel empowered with the information to do their job while checks and balances are put in place to control the authority structures and access points of employees.

Lack of Efficiency

Employees need to feel that they are doing meaningful work. If employees are required to follow long, manual, and repetitive processes that involve double entry or cumbersome verification processes, they will feel less connected to the work and productivity and efficiency will suffer.

Lack of or Ineffective Feedback Channels

Annual performance reviews are dreaded by managers and employees alike since they lack timeliness to deliver guidance to drive improvements. Providing channels to connect employees and managers formally or informally, provide employees with a source of feedback to apply to the work they are doing now and gives them an outlet to present their concerns as they arise.

So how do you start tackling the employee management challenges in your organization?

A great tool to start with is the Harvard Business Review article How Great Managers Manage People. The article defines what managers who improve employee engagement do better than others. Great managers focus on four areas: selection, expectation setting, motivation, and development [1]. Organizations that follow best practices put forward a dedicated effort in hiring, setting goals, providing learning opportunities and motivating people to reach their potential. Challenges will always exist but being focused on employee-centric policies that deepen employee engagement levels is a good start.

We will continue our employee management series discussion with further exploring the difference between employee management software and HR software next week. So keep reading!

At StarGarden we are continuously working on developing the tools and systems that let you effectively manage your employees and reach the full potential of your business. If you want to find out about the StarGarden’s systematic solution for better employee management then download our white paper now !

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marnie_pic_blogAbout the Author:

Marnie Larson is the CEO of StarGarden Corporation and oversees its operations in Canada, US and New Zealand. She has over 20 years’ experience in the software industry and specializes in HCM, Business process automation and Workflow technology.

Follow Marnie on Twitter: @mblarson