The most common HR challenges and how to handle them.

Human resource pros have seen it all, but it’s always a good idea to be reminded of some of the most common challenges HR managers face and how handling these challenges professionally and effectively can keep the company in balance.

According to Natural HR, the following are the most common hurdles:

Tricky employee questions

HR is the liaison between the company and its employees and both parties expect fairness and quick responses to issues.

Be ready with the right information at your fingertips, answering delicate or controversial employee queries is a snap. Make sure you and your staff know where to go for quick, accurate information to relay to the questioner.

Keeping good employees

It hurts an HR manager’s heart and the company’s bottom line when, after months of training, an employee suddenly departs. And you’re left holding the bag, put in the awkward position of explaining what happened and why a good asset just walked out the door.

Improving retention numbers are your job. To do that, you need to explore compensation, incentives and corporate culture. Are wages fair? Are they in line with similar companies? Are incentives up to date? And, is the culture positive? Does it encourage good feelings toward the company?

Employees who feel that the company thinks of and treats them as an asset are more likely to stay. And happy employees make others around them feel more positive.


The first step to increased productivity is making employees aware of their own production numbers, then assess where issues are located. Are specific departments less productive? Can you trace the problem to one manager, group or individual?

Study how tasks are performed and find out who is responsible for completion. Inefficiencies will rise to the top of the list and you can pinpoint the problem.

Then, you need to figure out why that manger, group or employee are less productive. Is it the pay, culture, personal problems or employee conflicts?

Whatever the study reveals, deal with it quickly and effectively.

Health and Safety

If your employees’ eyes glaze over at the prospect of health and safety training and associated manuals, get creative.

Perhaps a cartoon or illustration would speak much better than a long drawn-out explanation. Post entertaining posters or send employees creative videos that engage and inform the viewer. After all, safety won’t happen if no one pays attention to the rules.


Collect demographic data when an employee is hired. Doing so will increase diversity.

Disciplinary Actions

Following procedure will clear the path for disciplinary action. Treat every instance, every employee the same. Follow rules and procedures even if you sympathize with an employee. Record each interaction. No exceptions. Even if an employee doesn’t agree with the disciplinary action, they can’t truthfully charge that they weren’t treated exactly the same as everyone else in the same situation.


Younger job seekers aren’t reading newspaper ads for job opportunities. If you’re still doing so, expand your reach through social networks – LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and industry blogs.

If you’re looking for recent college grads, try university placement services.


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Tamera Shaw is a freelance writer for Insured Solutions based in Louisville, Kentucky. She writes fiction and enjoys amateur photography. She happily shares her life with husband Ron, daughter Cate and sage cat, Sophie, who grudgingly shares her home with the newest member of our family – Nieko, our new kitten.


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