2020 was a rollercoaster that presented unique challenges to every industry, and the approach to Human Resources has adapted simultaneously. The HR trends predicted for this year are all linked to the changes we witnessed during the pandemic, and while some aspects may be new, others have simply been accelerated due to those drastic shifts. Although we’re still living through this pandemic, a new year brings new beginnings and it’s time to prepare for a post-COVID 2021. In this article, we look at 8 HR trends that we are likely to see more of this year.
One of the major shifts has been the re-prioritization of employees’ personal lives and well-being; from managing concerns, facilitating working arrangements, to setting up health and financial management support. Despite the physical distance,2020 brought people together and highlighted the importance of better care for employees. 2021 will see better support structures for working arrangements, health benefits, realistic productivity standards as well as socially aware decision-making and inclusivity. After all, it’s crucial to remember the human in Human Resources.
Automation and data:
With the upheavals of 2020, smart HR tech stacks became incredibly valuable. The right tools like efficient employee recognition platforms or Human Resource Information System (HRIS) made it easier to stay on top of things. Data and analytics which have gained traction in the past few years will also play a significant role in presenting the necessary evidence for analyzing which tools, platforms, software, and apps work best for the employees and increase productivity.
Flexibility was a necessity for both companies and employees in 2020. This year will see better technology and equipment in remote working locations. As 2021 goes on, we may see a hybrid arrangement with employees splitting time between the office and home. Finding a stable online platform to bring employees together and enhancing collaboration will become a top priority.
Creating an optimal work environment requires some degree of customization. While this certainly applies to at-home workspaces, it is equally true for the actual work. Job design or job crafting allows employees to tweak and enhance the five aspects of their job: tasks, skills, purpose, relations, and wellbeing. Providing employees with this agency will not only help raise job satisfaction levels but also boost the overall success of the organization.
Employee wellness has come to the forefront of HR’s priorities, especially mental health. Benefits such as physical and mental health support initiatives, group activities and retreats, leave days, counselling services could provide employees with much-needed support. Wellness will continue to grow as a key element for empowered teams in 2021 and beyond.
After countless people were laid off last year, many were forced to learn new skills in order to secure jobs. Employees struggled to adapt to the rapid changes in business models since they lacked the professional skills required to keep up. In 2021, we can expect to see companies investing in reskilling their employees by introducing advanced diverse skillsets for professional development and continued education.
Adopting new technologies was one of the fundamental changes we had to make last year. While it took some time to get accustomed to, 2021 will see a boom in integrating new virtual tools and AI to facilitate communication. Educating and assisting employees with these newer technologies will also help in instilling confidence and create a sense of comfort and efficiency in virtual workspaces.
Logistically, HR departments will have to restructure how they work. Recruitment, onboarding activities, performance management, employee complaints and interactions and even firing decisions are all now carried out through screens, so HR will have to go the extra mile to ensure that all these exchanges run smoothly. People management and regular check-ups have also become trickier. In order to foster a sense of community despite physical distance, HR will have to get creative with alternatives to happy hour. A good work-life balance, overall wellbeing, human connection and collaboration are central to employee satisfaction and the optimization of productivity.
While 2020 was certainly a rollercoaster, 2021 brings new opportunities for growth. With connectivity being the top priority, platforms like Hirect which act as a bridge between companies and candidates are the key to evolving with the times. Hirect is a one-stop destination for all employers looking to select from an extensive talent pool from all sectors. With features like the ability to instant chat with ‘talent’, as well as provide feedback makes it much easier to scout for talent and be confident in your choices as an employer. Additionally, the service is completely free and is available as a mobile application, making accessibility and hiring a breeze. You can learn more about Hirect and download the app right here.