Understanding the Top Challenges Facing Workforce Management

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It’s safe to say that the world of workforce management is experiencing challenges at an unprecedented rate in the history of the industry. The nature of labor and the rise of globalization have changed the way businesses of all size and composition interact with an increasingly diversified and sophisticated workforce. With labor at the root of success or failure in any industry, it falls to those professionals charged with managing the workforce to adapt and overcome. But how do these leaders know which way to turn without a clear-eyed understanding of the challenges and obstacles in this increasingly complex field? Here are some of the top challenges facing workforce managers culled from current articles on the subject published by some of the leading sources.

Forbes Magazine

Forbes suggests the attraction of key talent will continue to be a vexing challenge in 2017 and beyond. Once an effective means of attracting key talent, signing bonuses and incentives are no longer as useful in an environment where volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity keep workers off balance.

Forbes also calls out automation as a disruptor to a widening slice of job sectors and roles. The march of automation—once focused on eliminating human workers from industrial and other unskilled manual jobs—has advanced so far that the technology now supports the mechanization of jobs once thought to be untouchable. Job roles like administrative positions, customer service positions, even transportation roles are now facing the prospect of being automated. As these roles become automated, greater numbers of displaced workers will find gainful employment in the gig economy, which brings us to Forbes’ next challenge—managing the gig workforce.

As we’ve blogged about at length, the rise of the gig economy stems from increased demand for diversity and flexibility in job roles and locations as the standard 9 to 5 becomes less prevalent in the job market. The challenge here lies in converting a workforce management strategy from focusing on the notion of sourcing to fill positions to a focus on determining what tasks need to be completed and how to apply contractors to the tasks at hand.

The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM)

SHRM points to stepped-up competition for talent as a critical challenge, pointing to the ongoing improvement of global labor market conditions as the driver of this dynamic. The need for skilled, educated workers is on the rise and as a result, organizations are finding it more difficult to attract and retain the best workers. Smart organizations are taking the steps necessary to build strong employer brands, making them more attractive to an increasingly mobile talent pool. Applying attractive compensation and benefits strategies are listed as important measures for ameliorating this challenge.

Again, technology is a disruptor, increasing the challenges facing workforce management according to SHRM. In a recent article published by SHRM, “New tools, such as talent networks, crowdsourcing and internal social networks, hold the promise of increased flexibility and productivity. But their use in supporting a virtual workforce will continue to make employee management and team building challenging.” The forward-thinking employer is taking steps to adopt these new tech channels to build effective workforces.

Both the Forbes article and the SHRM piece offer numerous other challenges facing the world of workforce management. Click the links to read more from both of these leading outlets and to get a handle on how to protect your organization from the uncertainty in the industry today. Then, reach out to your nextSource representative for help building programs designed to thrive in these conditions.

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