Top priorities for HR leaders: Insights from Brightmine

Learn what’s top of mind for HR leaders today.

An HR team having a discussion

HR professionals have been navigating their organizations through unprecedented times over the last couple of years. Here, drawing on Brightmine’s latest HR roles and responsibilities survey, we look at some of the areas currently making HR's priority list.

1. Management skills

Organizations are focusing on supporting managers to drive forward change. For example, one explained that developing the skills of line managers and leaders was a priority in order to support change management and employee well-being.

Another reported that it would focus on manager and supervisor development as "there has been a lot of internal promotion, so managers are missing some people management and leadership skills in this area."

In terms of how they plan to approach this area, several organizations said that they would be reviewing their manager training or putting together training materials. For additional upskilling support, Brightmine’s HR & Compliance Centre training resources provide clear guides for line managers on employment law and leading practice, covering areas including discipline and grievances, employee well-being, and performance.

2. Evaluation of employee performance and productivity

Organizations reported that they would be paying increased attention to monitoring employee productivity and performance. This is likely as a result of the shift in ways of working since the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The emphasis on employee performance is not necessarily a reflection of poor performance. One respondent explained that their organization was working toward the "implementation of a fit-for-purpose process for an evolving business. This is to ensure staff can see their growth areas and remain focused and motivated."

3. Recruitment and redundancy

Around a quarter of respondents indicated that management of staff levels would be an important issue. Some reported that management of redundancies would be their focus, while others said they would be concentrating on recruitment and staff retention.

One organization reported that "sustainability planning" would be a central focus next year, ensuring that any recruitment undertaken was essential.

Retention of staff was also mentioned as a priority, with respondents emphasising the need for employee experience initiatives. For example, one reported that in order to support retention, their organization would be "focusing on creative initiatives, employee benefits, brand awareness, maintaining talent pools, and effective onboarding."

4. Technology and AI

The adoption of new technology and AI is on the horizon for many organizations. Some respondents said they would be adopting new HR information systems (HRIS) in the coming year, while others indicated the use of AI would be one of the areas they would be focusing on.

One respondent explained the reasons for, and benefits of, changing systems: "We are implementing a new HRIS which will allow the people team to measure performance of the organization and the staff. It will also allow further metrics to be analyzed, for example recruitment costs."

5. Employee well-being

Employee well-being was regularly cited as a priority. One respondent said: "We need to make sure our workforce/colleagues know they are cared about and that their health and well-being is an organizational concern."

Another reported that their policies were shaped by employee feedback: "Our employee benefits survey highlighted the need for more well-being benefits. We are introducing a readily accessible/self-service employee assistance program, as well as creating a well-being strategy, training mental health first-aiders, and hosting different events throughout the year."

This piece originally appeared in the Brightmine HR & Compliance Centre.

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