This essay would discuss the major Human Resource difficulties, which the businesses in Hong Kong are dealing with. Human Resource (HR) challenges are the difficulties that cause Human Resource department hard to attract, motivate and retain the right employees, who help the company to accomplish their business strategies and goals.
In the beginning, we are going to list out four of the main challenges and provide explanations with the point. Then, we would like to take a deep look at two tasks out of four.
The challenges in Hong Kong
Here are the major challenges that the Human Resource department of Hong Kong organizations are facing: adapting to innovation, cyber security, management changes and also workforce training and development. (humanresourceonline.net) (atlasstaffing.net) (Villanova University)
First, we talk about adapting to innovation since the technology nowadays is changing rapidly. It is important for the organization to keep up to date with the global new trend. As the technology is changing globally, it is a common challenge world-wide.
In order to follow the tendency, organizations need to have the ability to adapt new techniques swiftly. We consider adapting to innovation as a difficulty because there are many staffs not willing to change. Those employees feel comfy with the current system or the way they work originally, some of the workers might be too lazy to do adjustments. Especially for the baby boomers which is employees over 50 years old, they are usually not familiar with technology stuff. Moreover, workers at these ages are going to retire, the motivation for them to adapt new things is lower since they are leaving the business soon. This would be the restraining forces for human resource department to make changes. Therefore, it takes time for employees to learn the new skills and accept the new working process. (Source: atlasstaffing.net)
Second, the another challenge for human resource management is cyber security. Nowadays, the businesses are more advanced in technology and connecting world-wide. It is really common for the employees to communicate with customers through email. Typically, the organization would provide an email account for the staffs and they are required to contact customers by using the company’s email account. However, there would be some workers sending emails by their personal email accounts, which they could have a record of the customer’s contact or some confidential information of the company or customer. If they really do this illegal action in order to get benefits when they leave the corporation, such as leaving the firm with his/her current customers which would be harmful for the company’s profit. As a result, aiming to against this kind of fraud and protect the data privacy for the firms, Hong Kong’s financial regulators is paying more attention on this issue and putting more efforts to against this type of crime. The human resource management should also supervise the employees’ emails randomly, in order to show employees that they are being watched. (Source: humanrecourceonline.net)
Third, we consider management changes as one of the difficulties. As managers are the leaders of teams, managers are crucial to give instruction and guide the team to the right direction. When a corporation develops and expands, the strategies they plan and the organizational structure might be changed. These sorts of changes would affect the administrative process or employees’ work flow, this is the reason why part of the staffs find it difficult to manage these variations. The problem of handling changes would cause the employees less productive and not as engaged as before. Hence, it is believed the changes could boost their effectiveness and good for company’s future in the long-term. In addition, the corporation should also tell the employees their business goals, in order to let employees understanding what is going on and why those changes are needed. When people know the reason behind, they would be more acceptable to the changes. Most of the time, people could pick up a new skill quicker if they are open for it. Therefore, telling the workers organization’s plan could help with the change management. (atlasstaffing.net) (Villanova University)
Last but not least, workforce training and development is one of the problems that human resource management needs to deal with. Training is an activity to improve the skills and knowledge, so as to improve employee’s implementation in the workforce, training is a relatively shorter learning period. Developing means an activity to help personal development of employees for future, development is a long-term activity. Some firms would invest in the training and development of lower-level workers. However, they have some difficulties to find resources doing this. Some of the front line staffs are working so hard in the working hours, they might not have the time and energy to join training course. (atlasstaffing.net)
Two main challenges
After talking about these four challenges, we would like to focus on training and development, and cyber security in this essay. The examples and solutions of these challenges would be discussed in detail.
First, we would like to take a look at challenge of training and development. Usually, training is for employees who are lacking job-required skills, knowledge and attitude; development is for potential managerial staff. Business provides training for employees, in order to satisfy current technical needs, increase specific knowledge and skill in doing a particular job. This might help employees meet their job requirement. Business would also offer development for some of the staffs, the objective of which is to satisfy employees’ self-actualization needs. We mentioned about development is usually for potential managerial staff, therefore people at this level might not be satisfied by just fulfilling their basic needs. According to the Maslow and Hertzberg theory, when people are fulfilled with basic needs, they would ask for motivators such as self-esteem and self-actualization to have real satisfaction of work. (kalyan city life)
As we mentioned before, some of the staffs might be too exhausted to train after work. Moreover, this become an issue that human resource management face due to people are more aware of work-life balance in these years. The willingness for people to go training during non-working hours is not high, they are spending their free time to finish a course of their company. People would rather enjoy their lives off-work than going to trainings in holidays. Moreover, it has two methods of training and development: on-the-job training and off-the-job training. So here comes a solution, those front line staffs could take an on-the-job training, no extra time is needed to finish the training. Additionally, trainee could get immediate feedback on their actual job performance from their supervisors. (community business) (Source: your article library)
For example, some enterprises such as small and medium-sized enterprises, which called SME for short, they might have struggles to find resources to provide training. In these cases, on-the-job training could be a choice for them, it is less costly as it does not require expensive off-site facilities like classroom, computing devices and software most of the time. This way of training is really practical, trainees would have no problem of transfer of learning to the actual working environment. Consequently, this training could benefit both employees and employers. As employees have the skill for work and the value they provide to the company increases. For on-the-job training, the coaching or counselling is commonly the experienced worker or the employee’s supervisor. According to theory X assumption, people inherently dislike to work and need to be closely monitored. People are likely to perform better when they are being supervised. All in all, this solution is effective to help human resource management to tackle the low incentive of employees for training and development. (Source: atlasstaffing.net) (Source: the guardian)
Second, moving to the human resource management’s last major difficulty which is cyber security, which contains technologies, procedures and controls. These elements of cyber security are being used, in order to ensure the safety of systems, networks and also defend the data. As the result, cyber security could help the organization to avoid cyber-attacks usually. Furthermore, the effectiveness of the corporation’s cyber security is really important, an efficient cyber security could lessen the possibilities of the business being cyber-attacks. If the cyber security is effective enough, it should also keep the companies and employees away from the unofficial or illegal exploitation of technologies, networks and systems. (itgovernance.co.uk)
As we mentioned in part (a), the human resource concern about the data privacy problem. With employee turnover, the business should be careful of private commercial data, also the intellectual property. The data and property that the firm owns were stolen, they might be used to threaten the company such as selling it to the competitors. It might also be used to damage the company’s procedures and the image of their corporate. Furthermore, the information could be spread really fast and widely on the internet. Thus, once the private date is disclosed from net, it is not an easy task to stop the information extents. The company would be facing a lot of trouble due to exposing the customers’ personal information. This would cause a damage of the reliability of a business, it takes an extremely long time to recover and be trusted by the majority.
We have some solutions to improve the company’s cyber security. The first strategy that the human resource department could do is to build the employees’ sense of belongs and let them become loyal staffs for the corporation. Making the staffs feel as they are a part of the group could reduce the willingness for a worker to steal company’s data when they leave the company.(humanresourceonline.net)
There are also some technical ways to advance a business’ cyber security.
The first technical method is to develop a top-level data governance strategy that fits regulation requirements. We could take Europe as an example, the firms are necessary to know where the company’s data is stored, aiming to keep the information safe and prevent penalties. For the existing staffs and gears, the human resource department could give some budget for the technology department to collect the right kind of people and captitals, in order to develop an effective data governance approach. It aims to meet the requirement of implementing policies and limitations over the whole firm. (techrepublic.com) (Harvard business review)
The second way to overcome data privacy problem, is to understand which type of data and information is important. Since cataloging the data takes a crucial part for the safety of storage infrastructure. Therefore, human resource department should know different kinds of data their corporation keeps. Classify the usage of the data, who could see it, what level of security is needed. Furthermore, human resource department is required to do so because of for manageable objective. This could reduce the difficulties for HR to classify mistakes that has been made, or the holes in the security system by using this evaluation method and identification. For example, if someone wants to put the capitals focusing on critical statistics analysis. (techrepublic.com) (Harvard business review)
The third method to solve data privacy problem, is to use automatic technology. As the usual firms nowadays, they have more than a thousand cloud applications operating. This is one of the concerns from the perspective of data governance, specifically when people think about the risks. If some of the staffs use applications and devices which are without approvals of the business, these kind of incidents would weaken the protections of technology infrastructure and data when there is a cyberattacks. The situation could be even more worse that after the employees leaving the organization, they could still visit the applications and transfer the data anytime. Human resource department has a responsibility to select the right kind of people for the company’s safety. (Harvard business review)
All in all, this essay discussed the difficulties Human Resource is facing and how to tackle all the challenges that were mentioned. In the process of finishing this essay, we found many ways to solve a problem, some of the methods are technical and some are about people interactions. This paper allows people to have a deeper understanding of how Human Resource works and deepen the interest of this industry.