2019 in review: The 5 biggest people / HR issues of last year and how to start your 2020 ahead of the game

What stressed you out in 2019? Chances are, it stressed a lot of other business owners out as well, so you are definitely NOT alone. Here are the top 5 things that challenged Employers in 2019.

1. Changes in technology

Technology, artificial intelligence, and a virtual workforce are not concepts that are slowing down anytime soon and are rapidly growing in their popularity.

Although new tools, platforms and systems are helping to streamline businesses and make life simpler, there is also a steep learning curve that comes with the evolution.

Navigating this effectively and placing trust in particular SAAS (Software As A Service) companies to provide easy to use solutions has been a challenge.

Rolling this out across departments and large organisations, including training staff in the use of such systems, is something that will continue to be a challenge.

2. Unique customer AND employee experiences

With the evolution in technology, a fast-paced world and immediate gratification at every corner when it comes to customer accessibility to a business, there is growing pressure on business owners in 2019 to not only offer a tailored, and unique customer experience, but also an employee experience.

This means expectations are higher than ever for business owners to provide a positive customer and employee experience

This includes almost instant customer enquiry answers – across not only email or phone, but personal Facebook messages, Instagram and LinkedIn messages, a working environment that prioritises employee wellbeing and workplace satisfaction, and intelligent leadership that understands maximising potential within all personality types + team members.

3. Mental health

The mental wellbeing of staff members was one of the biggest issues and problems Bespoke HR’s clients were faced within 2019, and was the most common workplace issue that kept business owners and managers awake at night.

This included not only staff being unwell, but business owners communicating they were left feeling out of their depth in knowing how to approach the issue with tact, sensitivity, knowledge and compassion.

Prioritising mentally healthy workplaces was a huge challenge for business owners, who were often left feeling helpless in dealing with issues, as well as navigating the tricky, sensitive and tough issue of staff members faining time off with a mental illness claim, with a lack of supporting evidence or appropriate medical certificates or willingness to follow up or receive support.

4. “Death by Public Scrutiny”

With the evolution of social media platforms, business owners are increasingly worried about public perception, both as a business and an employer.

Seek, LinkedIn, Google and other career online platforms now offer reviews which can destroy a business’ reputation without a fair response.

5. Unnecessary + Unfair Work Ombudsman Claims

“You can’t do that.”

A common complaint Bespoke HR clients have come to us with is employees threatening to contact Fairwork if something doesn’t go their way.

Although an employer has fairground and hasn’t done anything legally, ethically or contractually wrong, the stress of an investigation can be paramount.

Instead of staff & business owners working together as a team, there is an increase in “us vs them” mentality, with new research by Forbes (2019) claiming that over 58% of employees don’t trust their employers.

Equipping yourself with the right information and knowledge around how to diligently tackle such claims, will leave you less stressed or concerned around wondering whether you’re the right or wrong thing.

It is likely these things will continue to be a challenge in 2020, however, there are ways you can ensure they won’t cause disruption or chaos in your business – in fact, all of these points above can also be an opportunity for growth and innovation.

If you need some support in navigating your workforce and growth in the future, the 90 Day Culture Accelerator has an entire module dedicated to innovation and utilising technology in your business.


To find out more click here.