61% of HR staff overwhelmed by the complexity of their organization

HR managers mostly face growing complexity within their organization. Over half of them feel overwhelmed by circumstances. This is what has been revealed by a recent survey conducted by Lumesse among 1,300 HR staff based in America, Europe and Asia.


94% of HR managers have been facing growing levels of complexity in recent years. Given this fact, 61% of them feel overwhelmed and 52% doubt their abilities to manage the complexity. This is a greater challenge for seniors holding the position of HR Vice President, 49% of whom feel quite capable compared to 66% of non-senior profiles and 63% of HR executives.


The main complexity factors mentioned by respondents are: the opacity of the decision-making process, macro-economic factors and legislative frameworks, the ability to collect and analyze data. Then were cited: the emergence of new technologies, shortages of skills, cultural and international differences, and the lack of integration in HR data systems.


Companies not concerned


60% of respondents do not have full confidence in their companies to manage complexity and nearly half of the members of management (45%) share this concern. The phenomenon changes depending on the size of the company. The smaller the workforce, the higher the level of confidence. 57% of HR in large companies (between 5,000 and 9,999 employees) have confidence in their organization’s ability to manage the situation. The level drops to 44% for companies from 1,000 to 4,999 employees. However, very large groups (over 10,000 employees) only garner a timid 25%.


Leaders have only very few believers since only 30% of HR managers consider them capable of coping. Furthermore, only 30% of those surveyed said that their company includes the ability to manage complexity in their policy for recruiting executives and in the development process.


Multiple consequences


62% of HR argue that complexity has a negative impact on the competitiveness of the company on its market. It also has direct consequences on employee motivation and the commitment (61%), company profits (61%), staff productivity (60%) and hinders the ability to increase the organization’s revenues (60%). The effects vary depending on the size of the company. For example, those with 100 to 10,000 employees believe that staff motivation and productivity are the most affected. For those who have more than 20,000 employees, it's profitability.


According to Stephen Cerrone, former senior executive of Human resources at Sara Lee, complexity is an indicator of change that is hard to predict, which can have a positive or negative impact on a company’s operations. Complexity must be accepted by working with it, not against it. He thus suggests that organizations do not limit its management to HR leaders but to integrate it into the whole hierarchy to generate and promote communication and discussion among all employees.

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