The past year has been quite challenging for HR teams. Covid 19 has made quick changes that may not have happened during a normal year. People from all professions and markets have changed their ways of doing business due to the pandemic and unfortunately HR teams were also impacted in both positive and negative ways. Though some HR trends were already in action, some trends and decisions got accelerated by these needed drastic changes.
Here are some of the HR trends that are going to reshape work in 2021.
1. Remote Work
One of the major changes that we faced is shifting the workplace from office to work. Though it was not one of the first choices of many organizations, it became essential when the pandemic hit us. It has become very common now and the organizations are shaping their processes according to this big internal change.
While we don’t know when the pandemic will end many companies have now decided to not renew their office leases while others have made employees return into an office with new protocols.
Either way, remote work is here to stay long term and companies need to make adjustments. I wrote a post about HR and Recruiting teams adjusting to working fully remote here.
2. Reinventing the Employee Experience
If you think back to the pre-COVID world, you can see how employees used to be selected and greeted in the new working place. A candidate usually goes through an interview in the office, goes through some screening process, gets selected, and is welcomed by the manager and the team members. Now, think of the same procedure in the post-COVID world.
HR would have to design a procedure where this whole applying to start the working process can be conducted without any real-life interaction. Everything has to be done through online communication. Elements like engagement, collaboration, teamwork, communication, and wellbeing have to be handled carefully because they matter for the optimization of the company. If you make them feel that they are connected to the company even if they are not physically greeted, you will have loyal and motivated employees on your side.
3. HR needs to Answer
Of course, 2020 has brought about a lot of changes in the way businesses and organizations work but it has also made everyone feel more stressed. Talk about the employees who are worried about themselves and their families, feel insecure about their job and future, are concerned about the future of their families, and are dealing with the stress the pandemic has brought upon us.
On the other hand, employers and managers are also uncertain and worried too. They don’t know how to handle their business in this pandemic, they are afraid they might lose their assets, and they don’t know how to lead anymore.
In the midst of all this, HR is the one that has to handle all this and answer the queries of the employee and employer as well. The HR department is the frontline now that has to facilitate the leaders and employees as per their requirements.
4. Adopting Technology
Where you prefer human services everywhere, this is the time where everyone has to turn to digital transformations. It is the era of digital transformation where all of your processes and tasks are handled by computers and you are connecting virtually to other people. Many of the companies have adopted this a long time ago as a sign of being in the modern world, but there were these organizations who were working fine by doing what they used to do years prior.
It will be necessary for HR and the organizations to adapt the latest software and technologies and put them to the correct use. Scheduling jobs, conducting online interviews, evaluating through digital forms, and other services can all be done with the help of digital tools. It is the time when HR has to transform and adapt a digital face. Not only will it make work easier but it also makes it efficient and smart. One thing that changed within my recruiting team was setting up remote video interviewing. I wrote a post about Video Interviewing tools on my personal blog that might helpful to review further when deciding on which video software tool to use appropriately.
5. Emotional Wellbeing Programs
This has been a hard time for most of us; many of us have lost someone close, many had to stay away from home, many lost their jobs, and many had to go through sickness. In these times, every company needs to take care of the emotional needs of their employees. Though it would have not been an issue a year ago, since you know that many of your employees have gone through something bad, you must help them deal with that stress and depression. That’s why the introduction of emotional wellbeing programs is a must for HR departments.
The more relaxed and stress-free your employees are, the better they will work. Not only that but if you show your concern for their mental and emotional wellbeing, they will become more loyal and hardworking to you. In recent months, many companies have taken steps in this regard and it seems like it will be a trend for the upcoming year too.
COVID-19 situation has made things unclear and challenging for most of us. HR leaders and executives have to think about new ways of attracting talent, hiring the right candidate, and getting them to work with motivation. It wouldn’t have been a difficult job in the past but with the challenges COVID has brought upon us, the old ways are no more effective. It is a very challenging time for HR, but with the right knowledge and adaptation, they can make it work and push their companies forward.
Totally agree and about remote work, not only companies didn’t renew their lease on office spece, but a lot of the employees found out about the sweet pleasure of working in your pajamas and not commuting 2 hours to work. A lot of studies show they now prefer home-based offices.
I have already noticed how the workplace trends from 2020 are affecting 2021. I work in the business office of a small, private university. Our office has about 15 employees, so we are already spread out more than six feet apart. We have the ability to work from home and did so last spring and summer. A co-worker is recovering from COVID and the whole time she was out, she was able to continue working from home if she felt up to it. Normally, she would have had to take sick time, and someone would have had to complete her share of the work until she returned. Our office is also in the process of hiring a new employee and interviews are being conducted through Zoom. The technology our workplace adopted back at the start of the pandemic has made everyone’s job easier. You also made a great point that HR is everyone’s main point of contact if there is a concern about sick time, insurance, or hiring. They seem to be taking the brunt of the worry from everyone.
It is interesting to see how quickly everyone has adapted to the “new normal”. I could not imagine if this pandemic hit 10 years ago!