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What Keeps the HR Department up at Night?
Ken Blanchard Companies’ annual survey reveals key concerns
By Suzanne Evans

Developing potential leaders, enhancing managerial and supervisory skills, selecting and retaining key talent and dealing with competitive pressures top the list of worries faced by HR and training executives according to the 2005 Business Issues Survey conducted by The Ken Blanchard Companies®.

Respondents were asked to define their organisations top management, employee development and business challenges from a list provided. The results showed clearly that flourishing in today’s business climate is anything but easy and that people issues take centre stage.

For the third year running, developing potential leaders was listed as a priority, with 58% of respondents claiming this to be their top management challenge. Selecting and retaining key talent was also a key issue for 53% of respondents.

61% said their major employee development concerns centered on developing managerial and supervisory skills. Other key challenges included customer relations, interpersonal communication and team building skills.

When it comes to business challenges, competitive pressure tops the rankings. 63% of respondents listing this as a major challenge - a full 24 points above any other business issue. Organisations cite overseas competition, reduced demand for existing products, market share erosion, pricing pressure from offshore competitors and concerns about meeting customer criteria in view of dwindling budgets and resources. A shortage of skilled labour is the next most pressing concern, with respondents citing skill shortages and lack of trained talent at all levels.

In an open-ended comments section, nearly 10% of respondents cited the economy, funding, and budgets as major struggles, saying that purse strings are tight and that upper management is less willing to invest in anything that isn’t seen as critical. As a result, organisations are emphasizing cost containment as well as the need to meet financial goals.

The Ken Blanchard Companies 2005 Business Issues Survey is the third such annual poll. Responses were collated from over 500 international HR, training and other business leaders.

Download Survey Results (pdf 60 kb)

For further information please contact The Ken Blanchard Companies on +44 (0) 208 540 5404.


Suzanne Evans is a broadcaster, journalist and founder of Public Relations and Media Consultancy Suzanne Evans Communications. Since 2000, the consultancy has handled media relations in the UK and Europe for The Ken Blanchard Companies, an international learning and development organisation founded by the co-author of the best selling business book, The One Minute Manager®. Suzanne also delivers voice and presentation and media interview training. Call +44 (0) 208 687 0713 or email suzanne@suzanne-evans.co.uk.




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