Human resource professionals around the globe can agree on one thing; HR business in 2021 is not going to be as it was in the preceding years, especially 2020. We can already see some of these changes playing out. For instance, navigating the severe impact of the pandemic required HR managers to quickly adopt new measures to harness the productivity of their workforce and keep business going as smoothly as possible.
This article reviews some new and emerging trends in the HR landscape that professionals ought to watch out for and possibly, learn from them as they strategize to make the best out of 2021.
1. Remote Work/Work From Home (WFH) Has Come to Say
We’re starting off with the most obvious of all and perhaps the most significant of all the workplace changes we observed in 2020. As drastic and swift as it was, many organizations were able to make lemonades out of lemon on this note. The worst days of the pandemic are behind us, but much of the world’s workforce now prefer working from home.
It is not as though working from home or remotely was first adopted in 2020, but it was one of the most effective strategies for mitigating the impact of the pandemic on workflow and business in general. Even companies that didn’t have a remote work policy were quick to adjust to the changes. Some even went fully remote.
Today, many business leaders and HR managers have incorporated work from home as a standard model for getting work done. Another exciting dimension of remote work is what we see in the gig economy. Business owners can engage professionals located more than halfway across the globe to execute projects and run day-to-day tasks. Some even prefer this mode of working since it effectively eliminates the need for direct hiring and the many other intricacies that typically go into managing in-house staff members.
2. Redesigning Employee Experience
With the increased adoption of remote work models comes another challenge. Before now, employees could meet face-to-face, share work experiences, chat about home and career, build connections, and gossip over coffee and lunchtime. There were birthday parties in the offices, and much more.
Now, imagine achieving all of that online. While HR might still be able to define workflow and provide everyone with the tools they need to succeed in their roles, it will take reinventing the employee experience to achieve the level of cohesion that would exist in an in-office setting.
Luckily, many virtual solutions are already popping to plug these holes. Redesigning the employee experience is important to assure employees that they are not working in a vacuum. Most likely, the level of productivity within the organization will likely go up if HR can bring on activities that promote team building and casual interactions. The same goes for onboarding employees who get to meet their team online, work online, and interact with co-workers online.
3. Critical Thinking, Soft Skills, and Digital Skills are More Important Today
Companies no longer hire based on just education and computer skills. With the world rapidly shifting from traditional in-office style of work to remote work and even freelancing, a lot has changed. Critical thinking is a major skill that will give candidates a super edge over their counterparts in the selection process.
HR teams also understand the relevance of these skills, so many of them prefer to stick with candidates that exhibit significant emotional intelligence and other important skills like digital marketing, data analytics, and software management over those with sterling academic records. This is not to say that a sound academic background is no longer important, but a mix of that with some in-demand skills will help HR assemble the workforce of the future.
Being technology savvy is no longer an option to be considered or a special field of endeavor to be left for the tech-minded employees only. It has rather become a necessity for employees looking to fit into today’s global workplace. Moreover, it’s a skill that HR teams now look out for when hiring and onboarding new employees.
4. Think Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI)
DEI is a trend you want to take seriously. There’s been growing interest in how diversity, equity, and inclusion will influence the workplace structure in 2021 and beyond. Workforce diversity is not just a trending topic, but it presents an opportunity for organizations to achieve more by building a diverse workforce. DEI is one factor that influences innovations, profitability, and team morale.
Observations so far indicate that organizations with more diverse leadership teams report higher innovation revenue than those with low diversity. Gender diversity, for instance, correlates positively with innovation and growth. Equal opportunity practices allow all cadres to speak up and contribute their quota, all of which facilitates the company's growth. This, in essence, redefines what HR means today. Companies that have been able to eliminate race and ethnicity bias stand a chance to benefit more from their workforce and save costs than companies that are rife with racism, inequality, and lack of inclusion.
5. Making Data-driven HR Decision
It is hard to separate HR from analytics today. HR executives now see the importance of relying on data to boost their people analytics strategy, read the workplace, assess workforce demands, identify and address skill gaps, and achieve much more. It is no longer business as usual. Analytics is even beneficial when it comes to assessing new hires and making hiring decisions.
Without one-on-one physical engagement, HR can improve the employee experience and conduct seamless hiring for new intakes. Many companies have already deployed AI-powered HR chatbots, screening tools, performance review software, and recruitment automation tools that dynamically switch up employee experience, making it more engaging.
From these trends, we can ascertain that the evolution in HR functions focuses a lot on improving employee experience and workflow in general. This is not a surprise because these are metrics that ultimately lead to better employee engagement and improved productivity. Expectedly, smart HR executives will, no doubt, take these seriously.
Need more insight on how to improve and tune up your HR processes to accommodate current work changes? Contact us at The Mission HR. We'll be delighted to discuss your growth. As leading growth strategists, sales, and digital marketing experts, we are here to take through every step to creating smart HR goals.
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