Ian J. Cook, MA, MBA
In March 2009, BC HRMA conducted its second annual survey of HR trends. The survey gathers information relating to the challenges and issues facing HR functions in BC as well as projections regarding changes in staffing, HR budgets and the focus of resources over the next 12 months. In addition, this year the survey collected data on HR involvement in strategy and areas which HR should be discussing but is not.
The survey found that 2009 is a very different year to 2008. The projections for 2009 are:
- Staffing levels in organizations to decrease (39%)
- HR budgets to remain flat or decrease (77%)
- 41% of organizations to see their revenue reduced
- 31% of organizations to see their revenue grow
In 2008 these figures were very different with the majority of organizations projecting increases in revenue and increases in staffing levels.
It is clear from the data that the economic impacts are being felt differently by each organization and there is no clear pattern to suggest that any geography, size or sector is doing better or worse from the shift in economic conditions.
It was also clear that organizations are paying attention to a much wider range of issues and challenges than last year and that their responses to these challenges are equally varied. In reviewing the data, the range of areas receiving an increase in resource was very broad as was the range of issues considered important. This suggests that many organizations are experimenting with new approaches or programs in order to respond effectively to the changes they are experiencing. This will be a year when comparing your actions to other organizations may not be so relevant. However, going forward we recommend close monitoring to determine which of the various approaches being tried is leading to organizational success.
The one constant within the data is a focus on organizational change and the development of employee and leadership skills. The need to re-structure and develop employee capability was a priority area for all sectors in several different questions. Achieving this investment-related goal will be extremely challenging for HR functions across BC as they will be required to do so with a reduced or restricted budget.
Read the full report: HR Trends in BC – 2009.
Reprinted with permission from BC Human Resources Management Association
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