Keeping in mind the current global economy, it has to be said that times are somewhat uncertain. Never has this statement been so pertinent back in 2016 that stood witness to political events such as Brexit and election of Donald Trump to the US Presidency.
This along with a slow-moving global economy presents several leadership challenges for multinational firms operating across the globe. The acronym VUCA that stands for volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity is a management term that perfectly describes the conditions that many multinationals are currently operating under.
So what are the main leadership challenges that HR directors of global firms are facing?
According to Professor Paul Sparrow, emeritus professor of International Human Resource Management at Lancaster University Management School, UK, “It’s about continuing to build a global mindset and leadership ever more deeply into the organization and creating much better linkage between their international mobility and global talent management functions.”
However, Sparrow cautioned much in advance that the recent economic uncertainty and upheaval in world politics and the continued business risks imply that global HR directors will be facing some difficult leadership challenges within the coming few years. In Sparrow’s words, while the functions of HR directors may not be still globally integrated, so they shall continue to globalize more and more of general people management processes.
He further states that sourcing and shoring strategies of many multinationals and their ability to regulate their global supply chain would become somewhat challenging. And transparency is all set to become the order of the day.
Some of the major leadership challenges that HR directors will have to deal with shortly are explained in the paragraphs:
Acquiring Top Talent
Acquiring top talent will continue to be of the top leadership challenges that HR directors will have to deal with in the forthcoming years. While this is not new, but what is new are how some organizations are beginning to tackle these challenges. The old ways that of signing bonuses and incentives have started to make a lesser impact in a VUCA world. With an increase of the Millennials and Gen Z within the workforce and changing professional patterns, attracting and retaining top talent is increasingly becoming truly a challenge for HR directors.
Organizations and their HR leaders will have to be on their toes all the time and focus on developing a new idea and implementing new HR strategies to attract and retain talent.
Automation of Job
While much has been talked about and discussed regarding the impact of automation on employment shortly; the foraying in of automation, robotics process automation, artificial intelligence and machine learning has been creating a lot of ripples within the recruitment industry.
• How will the workforce be like in the next two decades?
• Will robots replace humans in the workplace?
• What percentage of global employment will be at risk owing to automation?
These kind of questions have been bothering experts across the globe repeatedly. Needless to say that, these would pose as substantial leadership challenges for HR directors of the present as well as future. According to an Oxford University Study, administrative tasks topped the list of jobs at risk of automation. Companies are genuinely facing a unique challenge currently, so opines HR leaders.
However, this is not where it ends. Employers and HR leaders need to step back and take a broader view of the environment that organizations are operating in. Right now, there’s more attention than ever in terms of “reputation” and of course the idea of “employer branding”. Corporate social responsibility has taken a front seat and what are they doing in order to support their employees. How do they deal with the headcount? Definitely one of the tough leadership challenges that needs to be addressed consciously.
We know the workforce is changing and becoming more spread out across various countries. This is fluctuating how corporates manage employee performance. This has reasonably left many HR and business leaders speculating how they can embrace these types of accomplishments and be successful in the process.
In the end, it’s about educating everyone – staff and manager on a new way of working and adopting a new set of manners and opportunities for how managers and employees operate on a daily basis where employees come into to work each day motivated to do their best.