2020 changed the priorities of most HR leaders, as they quickly had to navigate everything from remote work culture to higher than normal levels of sickness absence.
The main thing that will dominate 2021 is the aftermath of COVID-19. Many questions will arise, such as how do we re-build employee morale, did we furlough the right people and how to we coax them back to the office when many may still want to work from home. It may be a tough period for HR teams.
Here are the top predicted HR trends for 2021
Remote working and learning
Since the pandemic began, there have been plenty of statistics flying around, with recent statistics, suggesting 82% of remote managers are concerned about employee focus and productivity, but 90% of employees want the option to work from home for at least some of the week across the rest of their careers.
2021 is most likely going to be about finding the middle ground and a remote approach that works for everyone. One of the main issues will be how to communicate, collaborate and learn in a remote working world. Reduced team cohesiveness was another top concern for remote managers, and communication and or collaboration was in the top 3 struggles for remote employees.
Companies that opt for an entirely remote approach will have to consider technology and equipment such as proper desks and chairs for employees as they shape their more permanent home setups. If the week is going to be split between home and the office, there’s the logistical decision around having a fixed office or going for something more flexible.
More mental health support
Over the past few years, employers have offered more benefits to their employees such as expanding parental leave. Due to the pandemic employers have realised the importance of supporting the mental health of their colleagues. Employers will work to de-stigmatize mental health by expanding mental health benefits, creating “collective mental health days” and supporting other initiatives to improve the mental health of their employees.
With more employees working remotely, HR teams face the challenges of instilling the company culture, recruiting the right people, and giving them the tools to be productive. Budgets are changing, workforces are changing and that means decision makers might need more convincing to buy into products, platforms and strategies. Because of all these changes, HR teams are more likely to lean on data to make their decisions, and you can’t argue with facts.
HR roles amongst top vacancies
The pandemic has resulted in many job losses and areas where vacancies are falling or hiring in certain industry has stopped completely. However, according to recent data diversity & inclusion roles, wellbeing roles and remote work directors, all within HR’s function, are likely to be advertised in growing numbers.
Virtual onboarding process
After many companies halted their hiring process last year when the pandemic struck, hiring and on- boarding of employees has slowly started to begin again, however 2021 is likely to bring changes to the process.
With social distancing measures still in place and many offices closed, virtual onboarding will become the norm and HR teams will have to figure out how to onboard employees they haven’t met and who may not have met their colleagues either. It will be important for HR teams to check in regularly with new hires to make sure they feel welcome and part of the team, as well as encouraging team members to reach out to the new hires to get to know them personally.
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