The education sector primarily focuses on the students. They want to get a huge number of students and give them the best quality education and facilities to build a reputation and attract even more students. For this, it is very important to have quality staff at work. The quality of output for any organisation depends on the quality of work workforce and quality of the management of the organisation itself. The HR management has to be on their toes to make sure they have the best faculty in the industry.
The HR person wants to make sure that they get a skilled workforce and manage it in an optimum way to achieve the targets. There is the requirement for the staff that is well versed with technology, globalisation, international competition and innovation. It is crucial to stay at par with the development of the world. Many have released the importance of a good HRMS in the education sector to stay ahead in their field. There are many HR challenges in recruiting, managing and motivating the employees in the education sector today. The top 5 such hurdles are discussed below.
Poor working conditions
Working conditions are a very crucial aspect of employee retention and productivity for any organisation. Even though it is not a primary factor as financial benefits but is equally important and cannot be ignored. This is one of the factors which indirectly contribute to productivity. A lack of a healthy work environment gets initially reflected into the motivation and ultimately affects the overall output. If not taken care of immediately it results in the inability to achieve goals and management fails to deliver their promises.
As the dissatisfaction of staff with their working environment affects the quality of education that students receive, in the long term it harms the brand of the institution.
When employees are expected to adjust in poor conditions the performance also gets adjusted to the lower level. Many factors contribute to good or bad working conditions. The employee expects financial compensation and a reward for their contribution but that is not enough. It is also important to give the staff optimum working conditions to keep their morale high.
The lack of a healthy environment, unequal pay, lower salaries, lack of financial security are the prime reasons for dissatisfaction among the employees. A healthy working environment should be given parallel importance as a financial reward. In the education sector, this factor is highly neglected. There is not enough flexibility or facilities for better working conditions. There are many incidents where salaries of education staff are delayed. A good remuneration which fills the gap between the salaries, a reward system, as well as opportunities for promotion, can help to keep the morale high and inspire them for better achievements.
Acquiring the skilled staff
Talent acquisition has become more and more difficult with increased competition. Acquiring top talent has changed with the evolving process, modernization, and newer trends in the education industry. The recruitment process needs to be realigned with the recent developments.
Employees expect shorter working hours and better working conditions. With enabling technology and access to the internet there is tremendous transparency than ever before. It is important to have the right kind of presentation when someone is looking for a job opportunity. They can get the exact idea about organisational culture and the opportunities offered. This brings in the need for better branding and image building.
Many times there isn’t enough budget to sustain the recruitment process until they find the right talent. There is also a 50% rejection rate towards organisations from candidates they find suitable for the position. Sometimes an institution doesn’t utilise all the tools that are available to them for talent search. The recruitment policies can also be restricting and keeping away the right talent. Is one of the HR roles to formulate simple and effective policies.
Sometimes hiring experience can be itself a tedious job. The process should be smooth and should take the perspective of the applicant in mind. If the interview process is too stretched the candidate may drop off in the middle of the process. It is important to represent the right image, communicate all the policies for the betterment of employees and make the process as smooth as possible.
The retention of staff is also a huge HR challenge. The education sector is suffering from many problems out of which most reported ones are longer working hours and low salaries. The increase in employee turnover adds to the overall cost of running an institute. There is a major cost involved in hiring and training the staff. This process can be really expensive when needed to be done frequently. It becomes very important to retain your employees once you acquire the talent. Going along the same cycles contributes to the instability in the education which students are receiving and in turn affects the institution’s image.
The immense competition between private educational institutes makes them fight for the top talent. Those who are in the early stages of their career feel like experimenting for better salaries and opportunities. To take advantage of the reputation an individual has achieved, the institutes offer many facilities and flexibility to their staff. They also offer lucrative salary packages to get a skilled workforce in the organisation. This inspires multiple switches among the staff in very short intervals and results in poor management of the human resource.
Many steps can be taken to improve employee retention as listed below-
- There should be a possibility for growth for advancement in their career.
- Make employees feel a sense of job security at their present position.
- Every employee wants compensation and benefits from the job so it is very important to deliver that irrespective of their job role.
- There must be appropriate working conditions that support productivity.
- Make sure that there are regular appraisals and employee recognition programs to make your employees feel appreciated for their contributions.
- Bring transparency in the management decisions and encourage everyone to give their inputs so they can feel included.
- There should be team-building activities and interactions among the staff members as having a rapport among a colleague is a very good retention factor.
Challenges of Budget
Budget is one of the major hurdles for any organisation and HR person. There can be constraints when it comes to hiring talent. According to a study, 60% to 70% of the total expenditure of universities or colleges is compensation to the employee. This is a very huge chunk of budget as there are other essential expenses to be taken care of which seem smaller in comparison. It is challenging to design a budget and balancing income and expenditure.
Many institutes try to bring down the expenditure by lowering the salaries of their staff. This does not only contribute to the dissatisfaction among the employees but increases difficulties in retention which ultimately results in the more cost in acquisition and training. Management can get a market study to understand the required compensation to retain talent so that there is no extra expense or increased risk in retention. Set proper criteria and programs for well-being and opportunities for your current employees to increase motivation and performance. When the staff is appropriately compensated and satisfied with their organisation it ultimately brings the profit.
Every organisation needs the right leadership to direct it towards heights. There comes a time for every firm when current leadership steps down from their position for retirement. This creates a void that is better to be filled as soon as possible. There should be a right strategy for the development of leadership in the Institute. Leadership development can be a major human capital challenge and is among the topHR hurdles that we face today.
It is the role of HR managers need to provide proper structure, processes, tools, criteria as well as a point of a view for the development and selection of future leaders in the organisation. To promote leadership it is very important to make the employees motivated towards higher achievements. The growth opportunities and criteria should be communicated clearly. There has to be adequate support and flexibility as well as training and development programs. Inspire employees to take initiative and put forth their ideas which promote leadership at every level in the organisation.
The education sector should pay attention to how important HR management is for growth. To make a maximum profit it is important that the employees are satisfied with the working environment and opportunities they get. There should be a sense of security and enough motivation to take initiatives and develop leadership in the organisation. Institutions must grasp that to attract more students they need quality staff and to retain top talent there must be right policies in place for the betterment of employees.
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