There’s no doubt that Covid19 left numerous companies scrambling for survival.
Yet if you ask any CEO, they might tell you that their HR department took the hardest blow. HR leaders are now left to deal with the remnants of the challenges that emerged as a result of this pandemic.
HR challenges already existed, long before Covid19. But they’ve only amplified in magnitude over the past year. There are various critical issues that are leaving many HR leaders and professionals up at night. From layoffs, mental health, budget cuts, economic downturn – the challenges of this dark period are marching on to 2021.
So what other challenges should HR leaders expect to see in 2021?
Let’s go over them together!
Planning and redefining the ‘’new normal’’
Slowly but surely, we’re entering the post-pandemic world. Companies are trying to figure out what the ‘’new normal” is for them. Will they return the office? Will they keep working from home? Will they try to blend the two together? HR leaders are trying to find the common ground between what’s feasible and what the employees really want.
Enhancing skill sets and relationships when working remotely
Indisputably, upskilling and grooming the workforce still remains crucially important. HR leaders this year will face the challenge of connecting and building stronger relationships between employees, mentoring and sharing, and encouraging connections between team members and new employees. This year, HR leaders should shift a huge portion of their attention to enhancing remote peer learning and mentoring, to create a pivotal improvement in the company’s success.
Making the workplace more diverse
Remember the Black Lives Matter movement? It’s a no-brainer that diversity builds a better workplace. Therefore, HR leaders worldwide are fine-tuning, enhancing and upgrading their HR policies and practices to be more inclusive. 60% of employees deem that they can thrive better in a working environment that is more inclusive. Which means, HR leaders this year will face the challenge of not only hiring diverse talent, but the challenge of creating an environment that welcomes new employees warmly and successfully.
Supporting good time management
The internet loves to hype up the benefits of working remotely, but the truth is, it’s not an easy thing to slip into. Teams can fall into the trap of losing control and mismanaging their time. Without the physical boundaries of the office, HR leaders will find themselves planning and implementing strategies that are tailored to the employees’ needs. Where they will have to help them manage their time and tasks effortlessly, even when they work from home.
Creating a deep emphasis on mental health support
Did you know that the Mental Health Foundation, found that 54 percent of HR leaders believe that mental health issues such as anxiety, burnout, and isolation, will become more prevalent in the workforce the longer remote work continues? As a result, HR leaders will face the challenge of becoming martyrs to the cause. The will have to tactfully teach managers how to offer ample support, services, resources, and health plans for the employees. This way, they’ll notice their workforce becoming more resilient, even when remote work persists on.
Fine-tuning operational inefficiencies
With the rise of Covid19, companies worldwide had to break down silos and eliminate slow-moving hierarchies to speed up decision-making and innovation in the workplace. This will leave HR leaders with the challenge of hardwiring operational efficiencies to fit new business models. Meaning, adopting and implementing new structural changes, flattening hierarchal structures, implementing new AI tools that support video interviewing, and helping employees ride the new wave of accelerated change.
Carrying out objective and fair layoffs
Over the past year, we saw unemployment incredibly seesaw in a span of a few months. Downsizing the workforce became every organization’s default response to survive the heavy blow induced by the pandemic. Therefore, this will leave HR leaders with the fierce challenge of planning, implementing and executing layoffs that don’t cripple employee morale and motivation.
Boosting the onboarding experience
We all know that the onboarding experience significantly changed in 2020. But in 2021, it stills needs a little fine-tuning. When working remotely, it can still be challenging for new employees to meet and connect with their teammates virtually. Which leaves HR leaders with the challenge of creating an onboarding process that opens the door to successful virtual shadowing, happy hours, team-check ins, and team meetings.
Making remote work, work
It’s quite clear that even in 2021, remote work is still here to stay. Despite the efforts taken by organizations to ease their remote work experience with technology – challenges are still lingering in the air. This year, HR leaders will find themselves moving fast, reshaping HR functions, strategically planning for the future, and continuously updating their remote work policies to adhere to the needs of the employees.
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