Top Issues HR are Facing Right Now

Matthew Reymes-Cole

Matthew Reymes Cole

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02 Jun 2021

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This is quite a turbulent time for employers across the country. Continued uncertainty and business insecurity may cause both management and their staff to make decisions that they would not usually face.

So what are the main issues facing employers and—more importantly—how should you tackle them?

Top HR issues in 2021

Recruiting new candidates

As we head out of the pandemic, trends suggest that more people than ever are considering career changes. At the very least, people are looking for changes to their role. There are a number of reasons for this. However, this doesn’t have to be a problem, in fact, it’s something you can take advantage of.

This can be done in two ways:

1. Observe what candidates are looking for and address the trends in the job market

2. Take a look at your company culture and make changes that will attract new applicants

An example of this might be an introduction of flexible working, for example…

Retaining staff and flexible working

Following lockdown, there are many reasons why employee might consider leaving their current role. With freedoms being restored, they may look at their career and decide they want to do something different.

Alternatively, this decision may come as a result of the actions of their employer in the last 12 months. This should be of more concern to you. Staff who were furloughed may worry that their jobs are not as secure as they would like. Others may take issue with the way the company handled the pandemic. A significant part of this continues to be flexible working.

During the pandemic, many staff may have worked from home and wish to continue doing so. Some may prefer a hybrid approach, with part-time remote work. Therefore, companies that are determined to get everyone back in on a full-time basis may see a lot of push back. This could lead to staff choosing to look elsewhere for employment.

Implementing homeworking on a full-time basis could be tricky for companies. Some will struggle to go down a hybrid working model. If homeworking isn’t an option, consider other options to retain staff.

Alternatives include:

  • honouring bonuses
  • pay rises
  • increased opportunities for training and development

There are plenty of ways to encourage those looking to leave to stay put. If they can expand professionally in their current position, there’s a good chance they’ll be tempted to stay.

Managing employee conflict

As we head into the next few months, a degree of uncertainty still remains surrounding the pandemic. Staff may respond to this in different ways.

It’s vital that you are always mindful of the mental health of your staff. Conflict between them could only serve to make their situations even more stressful and upsetting.

Remind staff of what amounts to acceptable conduct at work. Follow the appropriate steps if accusations are brought forward. Conducting a disciplinary procedure correctly is vital, so make sure you get it right here.

Annual leave

have a new traffic light system allowing people to travel overseas from 17th May. Coronavirus restrictions continue to relax. This combination means there are likely to be an influx of annual leave requests over the next few weeks/months.

Obviously, not everyone should be permitted to take leave at the same time. You need to carefully consider how they manage this situation. One such option is a ‘first come, first served” rule. This method doesn’t offer any employee favourable treatment.

The company’s approach on staff potentially needing to isolate on their return to the UK may also be an issue. The key is to communicate openly with employees. There is no clear guidance on how companies should manage this. This means you are free to do what you feel you need to. This could include a further period of annual/unpaid leave or homeworking.

Whatever you decide, make sure you remain in contact with the employee(s) and take their concerns into account.

Expert support with HR

Whatever HR issue you’re struggling with, Croner can help. We are HR and employment law experts, available 24/7, 265 days a year.

Get support from our expert team today by calling 01455 858 132.

About the Author

Matthew Reymes-Cole

Matt joined Croner in 2007 as an employment law consultant and has advised clients of all sizes on all aspects of employment law. He has worked within management positions since 2017 and currently overseas a team within the litigation department, whilst continuing to support a number of clients directly.

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