HR’s No. 1 Workplace Concern: Would You Believe ‘Everything?”

We recently asked the following question:

What one thing that concerns you most about the world of work in 2014?

Several hundred of you took the time to write out your deep thoughts. We thought we’d share them with the world.

Here’s basically what you said: EVERYTHING.

What people are feeling right now

Below are some more specific direct quotes, arranged loosely by topic, to help you get a feel for what people are really thinking and feeling out there right now.

For the record, there was one positive comment.

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One person said: “No concerns – things are looking brighter in terms of the economy and the world of work!” Unfortunately, that person seems to be very much alone.

Without further ado, here are YOUR biggest concerns. Tune in tomorrow for how to fix everything.

More and more (and more) regulations

  • Keeping current and compliant on all the constant changes.”
  • Unknowingly violating some employment law. There are so many changes to keep up with it can be quite overwhelming.”
  • Ever increasing legislation/case law, yet less clarity and more ambiguity on what ‘really needs to be done.’”
  • “The continued encroachment of employment laws & regulations, the interlapping impact of both and resultant complexity.
  • Ensuring that I am well educated on new HR regulations.
  • Keeping up with the constant changes.”
  • “Unclear government regulations (NLRB, for example – you don’t know what’s coming next).”
  • Will we keep moving toward every employee being in a protected class?”
  • Training management in employment law.
  • The ease in which lawsuits are brought forward.”
  • Government agency investigations and mindset toward the company.
  • Aggressive nature of state and federal agencies.
  • “I need to look at every employee as a potential plaintiff and prepare accordingly.”
  • Increased reporting requirements and costs to employers.”
  • “Too many complex (and sometimes conflicting) laws.”
  • “The amount of time spent on compliance.
  • “More litigation.”
  • Employees will rule the workplace.”
  • Continual increase to government intrusion into the workplace and management of our businesses.”
  • “BEING ABLE TO KEEP UP WITH ALL THE CHANGES.
  • The fact that managers and supervisors feel that it’s HR’s responsibility to be the only ones understanding and apply[ing] employment law and regulations in the workplace. Drives me nuts!”
  • “Laws are making it difficult to hold employees accountable. They feel entitled to receive a paycheck without having to earn it.”
  • “What other new laws are going to come along in 2014.
  • Compliance. Compliance. Compliance.”

Talent challenges

  • War for talent and keeping employees engaged.”
  • Finding and keeping good employees.
  • Selection and talent management challenges.”
  • Hiring qualified candidates as the economy improves.”
  • Timing hiring and developing talent decisions with an erratic global economy.”
  • Lack of available workforce as a product of an entitlement focused era.
  • Keeping good people motivated, fighting against the sense of entitlement younger employees come with.”
  • Employees feel entitled. They want everything, but don’t want to work for it.”
  • Being short staffed.”
  • “Hiring great talent.
  • Finding the right talent.
  • Lack of qualified candidates.”
  • How to engage employees.”
  • Employee engagement – hiring and retaining loyal workers.
  • “Finding skilled manufacturing employees.”
  • “IT talent.”
  • Staff retention.”
  • “Generational issues and job structure to support growth of employees.”
  • Shrinking talent pool within certain fields.”

Workplace stressssssss

  • People have been doing more with less for so long, they’re going to burn out.”
  • Continued shareholder emphasis on producing greater returns while reducing costs.”
  • “Competitiveness and ultra long hours with not much in the way of salary/comp increases.”
  • Employee morale and more downsizing.”
  • Being able to continue work/life balance.”
  • Potential for violence.”

Technology freak-outs

  • Technology has passed my organization by and we’ll never catch up. 🙁 “
  • The increased utilization and display of electronic gadgets.
  • “Changes in technology affecting the workplace.”
  • Social media. Social media. Social media.”

This was originally published on Manpower Group’s Employment Blawg.

Mark Toth has served as Manpower Group North America's Chief Legal Officer since 2000. He also serves on the company’s Global Leadership Team, Global Legal Lead Team and North American Lead Team. Mark is recognized as an expert on legal issues affecting the U.S. workplace and is frequently quoted in media from The Wall Street Journal to 60 Minutes. He is also a past Chair of the American Staffing Association and is a certified Senior Professional in Human Resources. Contact him at mark.toth@manpowergroup.com.

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