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7 Things That Keep HR Awake at Night and How to Tackle Them

7 Things That Keep HR Awake at Night and How to Tackle Them

HR teams historically have a lot on their plate, from managing team members to ensuring their organization stays compliant, and often doing it all as a team of one. And adding a global pandemic into the mix the last two years? It feels nearly impossible not to lose sleep over it all. Here are seven things that are keeping HR teams up at night and how to tackle them head-on because, yes, you deserve good sleep too!


1. Handling HR as a Team of One

We recently surveyed our clients and found that 59% of HR teams consisted of only one team member. That means more than half of companies rely on one person to manage everyday HR functions and keep their organization afloat with compliance, which can feel overwhelming. Here are some tips on how to not only survive but thrive as an HR party of one:

  • An HRIS software is an efficient way for HR teams to streamline and automate everyday HR functions. A human resource information system (HRIS) combines many different systems and processes to ensure the ease of HR management. With the right HR software for small businesses, you can effectively centralize, organize, and improve your day-to-day operations.
  • At BerniePortal, we know firsthand what it’s like to have an HR team of one. Check out our popular podcast and YouTube series HR Party of One, hosted by our very own Sarah Brinton, which focuses on the most pressing issues for HR teams and business leaders. Weekly episodes cover emerging HR trends and enduring HR topics, such as employee benefits, recruitment & retention, HR technology, organizational culture, onboarding & offboarding, people management, compliance deadlines, payroll, and more.
  • One way to lighten your stress load is to give your employees the power of self-service. How can you do this? Streamlining functions through HRIS software and providing employees with a detailed culture guide as a resource is a good start. Allowing employees access to their HR needs will minimize the questions in your inbox.  
  • The best way to feel supported in your role is to build rapport with the leadership team at your organization. Working closely with leadership will ensure that, as HR, you are operating with the organization’s best interest in mind. 


2. Managing and Staying Up to Date on COVID-19 Guidelines

HR teams have felt the ongoing pressure to stay on top of COVID-19 guidelines and recommendations from a federal and state level and to factor in employee concerns. Though the supreme court blocked OSHA’s vaccine mandate, many companies are internally deciding what their COVID-19 policy will entail. If your company decides to move forward with a COVID-19 policy in any capacity, here are some helpful reminders to consider:

  • Whenever you implement a company-wide policy, it is wise to ensure you are still following EEOC regulations that prevent potential discrimination in the workplace. It’s fair to assume that you will have employees approaching you regarding exemptions and concerns, and you will want to plan for these. 
  • Be sure to keep up to date on state laws when implementing a COVID-19 policy, as they differ from the federal level. If you have employees in different states, this becomes increasingly more important. In response to COVID-19, many states have opted to implement their own set of laws and guidelines regarding mask-wearing and even vaccine mandate exemptions. 

3. Training and Offering Support to Leaders During Transition

With a lot of change comes a lot of transition. And with a lot of change, leaders can feel a lot of pressure and expectations to lead their teams properly. In what ways can your HR team offer training and support to leaders?

  • It’s fair to assume that leaders have a lot on their plates, and finding time to dedicate to training may be difficult. At BerniePortal, we have found it helpful to intentionally set training days and block them off on your internal calendars. You can schedule training days as often as necessary- once a quarter, a couple of times a year, or even once a month.
  • If you haven’t already, HR should develop a Manager Manual that compiles best practices— including how-to guides, compliance concerns, and communication templates. Make the document available to managers as soon as they’re hired or promoted, and update it regularly as needed. Your Manager Manual makes an excellent reference for corporate training days and individual manager coaching.
  • Since a manager’s job is managing people, training days should include opportunities to learn and practice interpersonal skills. Roleplaying various scenarios gives everyone a chance to sharpen their skills and receive feedback from others.


4. Focusing on Employee Wellness

It’s not a secret that the last two years have been taxing on employees’ wellness in and out of the office. Organizations are turning their focus to this by launching employee wellness programs. A new program can seem like a daunting task, but here are some easy ideas on how your organization can incorporate employee wellness:

  • Group workout classes have become increasingly popular over the last few years, and many have found the concept of working out with others not only encouraging but fun too. Your organization could coordinate group workout classes by picking a nearby studio and gathering a group of employees to go together. Group workout classes will not only encourage wellness but team-building too.
  • Sitting at a desk all day can be mentally and physically taxing on our bodies. One way to combat this is to encourage your employees to take 15-minute “wellness breaks” by getting up from their desks and moving around. That could mean taking a quick walk around the building, picking up a book to read, or just taking 15 minutes to unplug away from the computer.
  • Friendly competitions are always an excellent way to incentivize employees and continue team-building. Including a few prizes can even make the challenges more motivating and rewarding. Here are three fun but straightforward competition ideas:
  1.  Try a monthly workout challenge. Have employees log how many workouts they did for the month and see who leads the board.
  2. Do a hydration challenge and keep track of which employee drinks the most water in a month.
  3. Create a “workout bingo card” where employees have to complete health-related tasks on the card to win prizes.

 5. Building Company Culture

Company culture often refers to the personality of an organization. That encompasses the physical and social environment where employees work and the organization’s mission, values, ethics, expectations, and goals. When cultivated with care and commitment, an influential culture can improve employee performance, satisfaction, and recruitment. What are some factors that contribute to positive company culture?

  • Mutual trust and respect between employers and employees are guaranteed to lead to a more positive company culture overall. Have the leaders of your organization focus on building a relationship with individual employees, such as setting aside 1:1 time each week to discuss goals and any issues that may arise. 
  • While employees spend a majority of their day working for your organization, it’s important to remember they have lives outside of work too. If your organization has a “down-time” where the workload is historically lighter, encourage your employees to get a head start on their weekend by leaving a little early on a Friday. Promoting a healthy work-life balance is appreciated by employees and frequently leads to higher quality work.
  • It’s essential to tell employees that their work is valuable and show them your appreciation too. Where the budget allows, company outings and events are a great way to thank employees for their hard work and encourage team bonding. 

 6. Recruiting and Retaining Talent

The Great Resignation has wholly shifted how companies recruit new talent, and it’s equally upped employees’ expectations of their future employers. Having empty spots on teams and employee turnover can pressure HR teams to step up their recruiting efforts. Here are a few ways BerniePortal’s Applicant Tracking Feature helps companies streamline their hiring process:

  • BerniePortal has a partnership with Indeed that allows hiring managers to instantly widen their applicant pool by posting openings to their job boards. This integration enables potential employees to apply for open jobs directly through Indeed without creating a BerniePortal account. 
  • Whether an employee applies through Indeed or your company website, all applications filter through BerniePortal. Having all applications in one place allows hiring managers to communicate with all potential candidates in the same centralized hiring hub. To make messaging even more efficient, managers can save templates of repetitive messages they send potential candidates.
  • Because there is always an added pressure on hiring managers to pick the “unicorn” candidate, BerniePortal allows you to collaborate with internal colleagues. Have you ever found a highly qualified candidate but still are unsure if they’re the “right fit”? You can assign their application to another hiring manager to get their opinion—no more second-guessing hard decisions.
  • Once you have locked in your new team member, it’s time to onboard them to your team. Hiring managers can move a candidate from “hired” to onboarding with just a few clicks. This seamless transition to onboarding will leave a lasting impression on your new hires. 

 7. Responding to Employee Feedback

Being HR means you are the one that employees often go to with positive and negative feedback. Feedback, predominantly negative, can be hard to receive, but it’s vital to the growth of an organization. Here are a few ways to encourage open communication and feedback from employees in the new year:

  • A great way to get a pulse on company satisfaction is through eNPS surveys. Typically eNPS surveys use a single central question to elicit a lot of insight about recruitment and retention: “On a scale of 1 to 10 (10 being the most likely), how likely would you be to recommend working at [your organization] to a friend?”. Your team may opt to add a text box after the question to allow employees to elaborate on their answers. Using BerniePortal’s survey tool is an efficient way to send out multiple surveys to employees to gather the appropriate feedback you need to implement change at your organization.
  • If your organization receives insightful feedback, you may find it beneficial to follow up with employees to elaborate further on their answers. BerniePortal makes it easier to initiate 1:1 conversations with your team members through our Performance Management feature. The 1:1 tool is a great way to send agenda items ahead of the meeting for ample preparation and document your discussion after the meeting for accountability. 


Additional Resources

You can stay informed, educated, and up-to-date with important HR topics using BerniePortal’s comprehensive resources:

  • BerniePortal Blog—a one-stop-shop for HR industry news
  • HR Glossary—featuring the most common HR terms, acronyms, and compliance
  • HR Guides—essential pillars, covering an extensive list of comprehensive HR topics
  • BernieU—free online HR courses, approved for SHRM and HRCI recertification credit
  • HR Party of One—our popular YouTube series and podcast, covering emerging HR trends and enduring HR topics

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