The human resource department is of utmost importance and value to any organization. The year 2020 magnified the significance of HR professionals as they navigated everything from remote work culture to the management of employee productivity.
Even though HR leaders were hardly prepared to lead through the global pandemic yet they worked on the front lines and helped their organizations maintain corporate sustainability and stability. Ultimately, organizations solely relied on HR to help them cope up and survive through the pandemic era.
The events of the past year illustrated the differences between the efficient and future-oriented people teams and those who are still oriented across the traditional models. As we enter the post-pandemic era, only a futuristic approach built across tangible and strategic tactics can help HR professionals build an efficient workforce and adaptive work environment. Those who don’t adapt to the new changes and possibilities will most likely fall in this ever-changing business era.
As we head into 2021, here’s how HR will evolve to keep up with the new challenges.
• Focus on employees’ well being & mental health
The number of American adults experiencing depression has tripled as one in every four adults reportedly showed the symptoms of depression due to coronavirus outbreak.
A study by JAMA Network (2020)
This year accentuated emotional stress and mental breakdown among the global workforce leading to loneliness, depression, anxiety issues, and spanning stress. And this will persist even beyond the pandemic.
Thus, companies must address the mental health of the employees by offering benefits to ensure they are supporting their employees in such areas. For this:
● HR leaders will be required to prioritize accessibility and reinforce the advantages and resources beyond open enrolment.
● HR departments must invest in manager training to ensure that the managers address and advocate for employee wellness.
● Prioritizing diversity and inclusion in business
As firms brace to prepare for a new year full of hope and possibilities, the biggest asset or resource it can have is its employees. The biggest task for an HR leader will be to deliver a connected employee experience that facilitates employees the room to perform, allows ruminating, and creating a culture that helps employees to feel empowered and confident.
So, in 2021, we can expect the HR staff to pay closer attention to their diversity and inclusion initiatives in contrast to recruiting new employees, retaining the old ones, and creating a safe workplace for people belonging from different backgrounds.
● Adapting to the new normal: Remote working
The enforced shutdown of offices and workplaces worldwide due to the COVID-19 crisis embarked an abrupt shift to remote work culture. But what started as a temporary shift now seems to be more of a permanent solution for organizations. Because after nearly a year of working remotely, employees and organizations are becoming comfortable with the new WFH culture.
82% of business heads plan to allow their employees to work from home occasionally while 47% of them intend to let their employees work remotely permanently.
A survey by Gartner (2020)
So, in 2021, the prime focus of an HR professional will be to consider how and what technological solution can help them achieve an efficient workforce in the long run. Further, HR must consider new HR tactics that can boost employee productivity and engagement in the new work culture.
This year showed us that even the great leaders didn’t have answers to the complex business challenges and draining the global economy. But the lessons & learnings from 2020 can be implemented for the betterment, as HR navigates the future pathway with renewed clarity and innovativeness for a stable business community.