Driving Change Forward

Without wanting to cast a shadow over the year before it has even started, HR is facing some significant challenges in the year ahead. The search for skills continues to dominate the people agenda with shortages now occurring in many sectors, which are likely to increase as the workplace undergoes another round of digitisation, pushing further the need for tech skills. There is certainly potential for companies to gain efficiencies, but realising this requires investment in the people who can drive change forward.

The skills shortage comes at a time when economic forecasts continue to stoke salaries and businesses are eyeing the reduction of costs to survive. With talent being the greatest expense of any company, HR is also on the frontline to control operating costs and ensure productivity at least holds steady, but preferably rises. So where does this leave the profession?

In this issue, we look at the skills crisis currently putting strain across EMEA and the consequent actions of HR to address the gaps in their organisations. We also look at how referrals can bring new and appropriate talent swiftly into the workplace. HR leaders also discuss how managing the multigenerational workplace can be facilitated.

In each of these cases, HR is clearly understanding the situation and using both data and innovation to respond. Moreover, the answers they are coming up with are not simply stop-gap, hasty measures: They work towards building a more effective and sustainable organisation. The talent brought in through referrals compares well with that from other sources, the multigenerational workforce creates its own new ways of working, and so on.

With these kinds of approaches—a combination of an open mind, a willingness to try new ideas, backed with the discipline to measure impact—HR will continue to deliver success whatever the year brings.

Simon Kent

Tags: EMEA January February 2024

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