Challenges in People Management

Challenges may arise in people management due to changes in human resources functions, laws, demographics or other matters.
Challenges may arise in people management due to changes in human resources functions, laws, demographics or other matters. (Image: Jupiterimages/Creatas/Getty Images)

Managing people is not a role that just anybody can do. Some people are either not capable of or interested in relating to negative attitudes that may arise in the workplace, or ensuring that communication channels are adequate for wrokplace performance improvement. On a larger scale, challenges in people management form according to changes in human resources functions, business structure or strategy, social trends, labor laws and demographics.

Human Resources Functions

Human resources functions are challenging in people management because functions change as human resources managers are pressured to develop and enforce strategies for employees in efforts to support organizational objectives. The success of a company depends on its employees. Human resources managers are challenged with attracting, retaining and motivating people; and with providing satisfactory benefits and compensation. Additional challenges in people management include dealing with factors such as talent shortages, which can affect outsourcing strategies; the mobility rate of people; and personal characteristics such as poor mindset, poor attitudes and behavior, and immaturity.

Business Strategies

Managing performance is a challenging business strategy, because managers must know how to support exemplary or highly performing employees in efforts to retain them, while at the same time must be able to provide consistent feedback to employees who perform poorly below expectations. Prioritizing time to provide feedback to both types of employees becomes a challenge in people management. Additional challenges in managing people involve identifying and managing change, being successful at resolving issues or conflict management, judging or evaluating employees fairly, recognizing or praising staff, negotiating internal and external employment conditions, and continuously setting strategic directions.

Labor Laws

Laws are challenging for people managers, because labor laws provide influences and limitations that affect outcomes for employees and managers in the workplace. Labor laws affect workplace practices or tools such as job design, recruitment, selection, supervision, performance appraisals, discipline, benefits and compensation, safety and health, research and evaluation, and organizational structuring or restructuring. In addition, these factors impact results such as employee satisfaction, motivation, turnover and absenteeism, the number of possible grievances and workplace strikes, workplace injuries and violence, and productivity rates.


Demographics is the study, measure or compilation of factors such as income, age and gender. Age is a challenging factor in people management, because according to the World Economic Forum, aging populations put a strain on strategic foresight in business, corporate governance, the health care system and pensions. These factors pose an extended challenge for health care providers, individuals and financial institutions in society. In addition, governments are challenged with managing immigration and increased mobility of people.

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