What are the commonly reported workplace challenges? It may be a tricky question as some may find their lack of skills and competence marked down as workplace challenges. Also, different groups of people may have different challenges – men may have a totally different set of challenges than women, mothers may have a different set of problems than singles, techies may have a different set of challenges than accounting or HR folks. So, there may not be any common ground for this. Even though this may be the case, let’s address it and try to figure out what are the most common challenges faced at workplaces in India and how that can be tackled.
What are some of the challenges faced at workplaces in India?
We may be tempted to think that work-life balance and lack of decisions and difficult bosses are the biggest challenges at the workplace. But at the same level are problems such as lack of proper job description, changing priorities of the project team, subjective performance assessment tools, lack of empathy by leaders in dealing with employees’ concerns, etc. Human resource leaders are always alert to observe the changing themes of challenges at the workplace and all seminars and forums of these groups are packed with how to motivate the team, how to improve the communication and team building and how to overcome these challenges without breaking the back of the camel – the T&E budget, the annual increment budget, the L&D budget, etc.Few ideas on how to deal with problems at the workplace Click To Tweet
One of the primary challenges which get a lot of attention is the work-life balance, which points to the overhang of work pressure and schedule which leads to missing out of life events. People spend a lot of hours at work or spend a lot of time worrying about it, that they do not get quality time for their family and work to become life and vice versa. With the introduction of new concepts like work-life integration, work-life harmony, etc which allows flexible arrangements to manage both work and life, and with the gig economy and flexible arrangements, this has been addressed to some extent, though it could still be a major challenge for many.
Another major challenge mentioned by a majority is the lack of decision making at workplace along with a difficult boss. Many a time, lack of decision is attributed to over-complicated processes or ineffective leadership or broken down communication channels. Most of the cases, all three problems are together leading to a major breakdown of decisions at workplace and it becomes a massive challenge to the employees. A diligent review process, open communication channels with an open door policy, lesser bureaucratic processes and risk-based decisions at appropriate levels all lead to improvement of this challenge and people find a lot of time saved which they are able to bring to the productive work activities. The stress built up due to these could lead to major mental health issues in the workplace. Sometimes a small dose of support from experts and mentors within the team would help to alleviate this pain.
As we opened up this article, the challenges faced by different groups vary and some employees find a diversity challenge at workplace. Especially in many of the IT workforce, women employees and women leaders are way less in numbers and they feel the pressure of being the minority in all aspects of work. Some managers have reported that these days a lack of drive and passion and will-to-do and the courage to lead are missing from some of the younger workforces. With tools, methods, and processes changing every day, it is no wonder that people find less connected to their job responsibilities. Some of the tools and skills they have become irrelevant overnight making them redundant and let them lag behind a new crop of new joiners with latest skill sets. Managing this change has become a major challenge to the team leaders and managers these days. Of course, these present difficulties to the team members as well.
A generally accepted practice is to keep the workforce well oiled by continuous training and learning activities, assign stretch goals and objectives by expanding their work areas, regular rotation of responsibilities, a supporting work environment where stress, anxiety, etc are reduced by support systems such as mindfulness and yoga programs, team-building exercises, or by providing expert counselling support to the needy. With all this around, we will always find a way to add to our challenges and in turn, find a way to improve that for better and to move on from there. The cycle of life continues with workplace challenges too.