Emerging Challenges for HR Managers in Pakistan

Pakistan and its businesses are experiencing a steady flow of challenges. The severe economic challenges are an extension of the global inflationary trends. There are also strong regional economic and geopolitical environmental challenges for Pakistani businesses. 

Internally, however, businesses are experiencing challenges in the form of evolving operational systems and management cultures adapting quickly to global stimuli and philosophies. The global role of an HR manager is evolving from a resource protector and screener to that of a planner and change agent. HR directors are the new corporate heroes internationally, and local businesses are beginning to see why. 

HR Managers today are focusing on the following

1.   Employee Training And (Out) Sourcing

Pakistani HR managers now need to be ready to tackle people-centred issues with strong support from their top management. There is a growing focus on issues traditionally considered to be HR territory. Some common issues are employee training and outsourcing. 

Post covid, the availability of skilled and experienced resources is also challenging for Pakistani HR managers. Training and development need to extend beyond basic information and orientation training to cover succession planning and horizontal skill development.

2.   Retention Policy for Existing Resources

Getting competent people within the business’s budget is becoming increasingly challenging as job mobility rises. This has led to forward-thinking businesses working on retention policies for their existing resources. 

3.   Improved Compensation Systems

Pakistani HR managers are also catching on to the trend of having reward systems that support organizational goals and reward employees in both monetary and non-monetary ways. Many businesses are focusing on redesigning compensation systems to support the overall strategic intent of the organization while rewarding employees. 

Many businesses apply reward plans that acknowledge employee contributions and offer them enhancements to make their life better. Others apply continuous improvement strategies like training, development, counselling, etc.

4.   Prioritizing Employee Mental Health

All of us are aware of the multiple findings that reveal mental health is deteriorating. Multiple issues trigger people around us. There are rising rates of depression, anxiety, stress and burnout due to the challenging environment we live in. This is creating problems at work and has prompted employers to take action. This is an emerging and important HR challenge for HR managers.

5.   Winning the Talent War

The HR talent crisis is making it difficult for businesses to hire qualified staff to fill open positions. While this is a global phenomenon, it has also become one of the current issues in local human resource management. HR leaders need to redesign more effective talent evaluation tools to reduce the effects of the shortage. Skills tests, remote interviewing, and working techniques may be part of this task. 

6.   Providing Positive Employee Experiences

Another emerging human resource is to create a psychologically and physically healthy work environment. Pakistani employees are increasingly aware of their rights to get a high level of workplace safety, low average stress levels, mindful and emotionally mature managers, as well as the more normal expectations of a competitive salary and a positive working experience.

7.   Creating a More Productive Workforce

With so many people now comfortable with remote and hybrid work models, many employees are finding it tough to retain their productivity in normal conditions. Employees seem to appear to find it difficult to sustain their previous levels of productivity. 

HR leaders who properly prepare for these HR challenges need to develop productivity amongst their staff. The solution may be as simple as tracking productivity with staff management or monitoring software to assist quality improvement and time management at work. 

8.   Improving Diversity, Equity and Leadership

Businesses in almost every industry will try to become more aware of DEI-related issues to create an inclusionary working environment. Many business entities are under internal and external pressure to adopt more progressive policies. 

9.   Embracing change 

Many companies have the oversight of reacting to external agents of change instead of responding to them proactively. Businesses that are forced to for a do-or-die approach as a means of survival usually don’t do as well as forward-thinking companies that choose to include change as a part of their culture. These companies end up doing well and prosper over the long term.  

10. Technology Integration

Technology is transforming how we work, and HR professionals must keep up. They must know the most recent HR technologies, like recruitment software, employee service portals, and performance management tools. HR managers must also ensure that these technologies are integrated into the overall technology infrastructure of the company and that employees are properly trained to use them.

11. Handling Layoffs and Other Challenges 

Managing layoffs is one of the most difficult tasks for an HR manager, especially during a challenging phase for business. Human resource professionals must remain sensitive to the needs and feelings of affected employees while ensuring that the organization’s interests are protected. 

 This includes communicating clearly with employees about the reasons for the layoffs, offering support services such as career counselling and job placement assistance, and ensuring that the layoffs are carried out fairly and equitably.

During layoffs, there is a risk of losing key talent because employees may be concerned about the organization’s future. During such a phase, HR professionals need to take measures to retain the company’s top performers and keep them engaged. This may include clear communication about the transition process, providing opportunities for training and development, and creating a positive work environment.

Employees may experience low morale and reduced productivity during business transition phases. HR professionals must maintain employee morale through regular communication, addressing employee concerns, and fostering a positive workplace culture.

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