July 15, 2013

Most HR Leaders “Overwhelmed” by Increasing Complexity of their Roles

hand writing Human resources words on chalk boardA research study conducted by Personnel Today has found that 61 percent of Human Resources leaders strongly agree that their roles have become more complex within the past several years and 52 percent said that they lacked the ability to fully cope with the deluge. In addition to increasing complexity, 60 percent of respondents also reported that they did not have full confidence in how their organizations managed complexity. This opinion was especially prevalent with C-level respondents (45 percent).

Just 30 percent of HR professionals thought their leaders were “very able” to manage complexity, while 30 percent also believed that their organizations included complexity management as part of their leadership selection and development process. Other key findings uncovered by the research include:

• 94 percent of global HR pros are dealing with increasing complexity with over half of them unsure of their ability to cope.

• 61 percent reported being overwhelmed by their roles.

• 60 percent lack confidence in how their organizations manage complexity.

• 32 percent of respondents reported having only “average” to “very little” confidence in their leaders.

• The most impactful complexity factors selected by respondents were the increased complexity of decision making, macro-economic factors, compliance issues, and the emergence of new technologies.

• Almost two-thirds of respondents think that complexity is heavily impacting efforts to increase revenue.


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Joshua Bjerke, from Savannah, Georgia, focuses on articles involving the labor force, economy, and HR topics including new technology and workplace news. Joshua has a B.A. in Political Science with a Minor in International Studies and is currently pursuing his M.A. in International Security.