There’s no such thing as a perfect workplace, and every company faces its issues. Workforce challenges exist, but overcoming them can lead to positive results. Communication and gossip always top the charts of employee complaints, but sometimes the problems are deeper than individual office politics and are built into the company structure and culture.

Here are some workforce challenges that can occur in nearly every industry, and ways to overcome them.

Clear Understanding of Roles

Many of the most common workforce challenges take place at the management level or above. One of the typical failures of leaders in these positions is failing to identify key responsibilities. In short, this means that the staff has a murky understanding of who is responsible for what. It’s incumbent on managers to clearly communicate expectations, and the chain of command if they are delegating.

Keeping Leaders Accountable for Staff Performance

Far too many leaders view employee issues as a matter for Human Resources. In adopting this attitude, they feel that they are lightening the burden of dealing with small issues. But in fact, they are abdicating their responsibilities to run their teams. Additionally, some of the main causes of employee disengagement are when they see their peers underperforming and managers doing nothing about it.  A culture of accountability will make or break your success.

Empowering Managers

Many workforce challenges arise from managers not being empowered to make decisions for their departments. Upper management must make it clear to managers that they have their trust and support, and they will back up their decisions. The tradeoff is that managers must make smart, thoughtful decisions. 

Align Talent Goals and Business Goals

Managers must recognize the long-term strategy and goals of their company and hire and promote people who share that vision and have proven their ability to help make it a reality.  Goals should cascade down to all levels, to ensure that every team and team member understand their own goals, and how they tie in to helping the company achieve its goals and performance results.

Strengthening Up-and-Comers

A surprising number of businesses fail to mentor and grow employees with potential. This is a short-sighted mistake. Why not promote from within, rather than train someone to take a management position with a competitor?  It’s important to identify high potential employees early on and create a development plan for them to prepare them for growth opportunities.  It’s a win-win to help keep the best of the best on your team!