I am seeking your guidance. I am studying for a BA in human resource management and will be completing my degree program within the next six months. I must submit a final research paper.
I need to find a topic and put a plan together fast, but I am struggling. Will you assist me in finding the perfect topic that will make me successful?
I appreciate the question. I am a little at sea as to how to answer it, though. My areas of expertise are coaching in organizations (helping leaders use coaching skills, scaling coaching, and moving an organization toward a coaching culture) and the neuroscience of leadership. I am not an expert in HR, although I do work with many human resource, organizational development, and learning and development professionals.
That being said, I urge you to choose a topic that is of great interest to you. Ask yourself: What has captured my imagination in my studies?
I suggest you speak to a couple of HR professionals to understand what the frustrations are in their jobs. What problems do they face that you might research? I Googled “top challenges HR managers face” and all kinds of interesting things came up. Here is a link to a report by Deloitte on trends in workforce management that may spark an idea for you.
I can tell you that in my work coaching leaders, the challenges that seem to come up most often these days are:
- Attracting the best talent
- Interviewing to assess the best culture and job fit
- Retaining the best employees
- Helping people get clear and stay clear about their goals and objectives
- Optimizing a team and getting people to work well together to accomplish results
- Helping people manage the sheer volume of change
- Helping people manage the stress of political mayhem, climate challenges, and the pandemic
- Encouraging people to take care of themselves while still getting the job done
- Managing conflict—both for themselves and among their team members
I hope this gets you started. I hope one of these areas will strike a chord with you.
Madeleine Homan Blanchard is a master certified coach, author, speaker, and cofounder of Blanchard Coaching Services. Madeleine’s Advice for the Well Intentioned Manager is a regular Saturday feature for a very select group: well intentioned managers. Leadership is hard—and the more you care, the harder it gets. Join us here each week for insight, resources, and conversation.
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