It is no secret that pandemic reshaped business models, priorities, and plans. In the end, organizations were challenged to adapt to a changing world. As a result, HR was at the forefront of efforts to address various external and internal transformative trends. These included employee wellbeing, new workforce models, and social justice.
Here are 8 HR trends every HR leader must know to navigate into the future of work
1. The employee experience is being reinvented
HR leaders have to rethink and reinvent the employee experience right from hiring the employee to their exit. After that, it will be about managing the employee experience and promoting work-life balance while working from home.
Giving feedback and mentoring employees will be part of the new, improved employee experience.
The new employee experience strategies for evolving workplace trends in 2021 can be improved by work-life balance initiatives, flexible remote work policies, employee wellbeing, collaboration, learning and skill development, and more.
2. Personalization becomes mandatory
This year's shift in work habits has led to employees creating the best work environment possible. So make sure, as an Hr leader, you help them in the process by allowing some personalization.
For example, Some may need to check in with colleagues every day for a Zoom, while others might prefer it once a week.
More importantly, when it comes down to the actual work that employees do, it is natural that they will want to make some small adjustments. This is where a concept such as job crafting comes in.
Job crafting is a method that allows employees to improve their job in tasks, skills, and purpose.
3. Data becomes the new currency
Although people analytics is steadily gaining ground in many organizations, their impact on companies is often lacking. As a result, employers have had to rely on data to assess how productive their employees are and to give direction. For organizations that want to master analytics, we have three suggestions.
- Track the Data that matters. HR tracks a lot, but there are often gaps in areas that provide the greatest value. You will get more returns by tracking the value-adding data associated with key problem areas in your organization.
- Designing new systems: We must have systems in place to support the areas driving our business. This could be either a software-based solution, or it can be done through surveys. These should be managed and monitored by a strategic HR survey management team.
- Data literacy. For HR professionals to be true sparring partners, they must make data-driven and evidence-based decisions. This requires the ability to read, understand, create, and communicate data to influence decision-making.
4. Purpose drives the workforce
While working remotely is the new normal, employers worry about losing productivity and commitment. However, according to PwC, 79% of business leaders believe that purpose is the key to success. As a result, remote employees will be increasingly motivated by the purpose-driven organization.
This means that all decisions, behaviours, and conversations across all levels should be integrated with the purpose.The core principles of leadership have to be driven by how they can impact the lives of others. Therefore, leaders need to focus on learning, listening, empathy building, and actively work towards creating a service mindset in its employees.
Value-based recruitment is another option. Assess whether candidate values match organizational values.These values should be integrated into company meetings and events. The role of the HR professional in this evolving workplace is to integrate these practices and reinforce them.
5. Virtual team building is the need of the hour
Remote work is here to stay, so it is important to make your employees feel belonging. Virtual team bonding sessions are also known to have promising benefits of increasing employee engagement.
It is important that leaders prioritize virtual team engagement sessions just as much as work for better collaboration and increased productivity in the remote workplace.
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6. Mental health gets the attention it needs
Global companies are aiding their employees' mental health in various ways - access to licensed counsellors, a recognition program, a daily newsletter with resources, monthly challenges to promote mental health, and more.
This unprecedented time is not unusual for stress and burnout with isolation and the fear of uncertainty. Organizations and leaders must react quickly to acknowledge the mental health issues of their employees.
7. Cloud-based HR Systems
Digital transformation will only become more important as companies attempt to adapt to new challenges and leverage data to improve practices, deliver value, align, and enhance their business processes with cloud-based HR systems.
Digital integration is a way to increase HR efficiency, drive business impact, and deliver HR strategy through technology. However, we have found that this is the most significant gap in HR skills, and it has become more urgent in this new, remote reality.
This will help remain connected and updated with employees, access employee data in real-time, and track schedules. This will also help in promoting seamless communication and collaboration in the virtual workplace.
8. Hybrid workplace is the future of work
While the coronavirus will not cause permanent damage to the physical office space, its place and its footprint will be irreparable. In a PwC Remote Work Survey, 73 per cent of employees indicated they want to work remotely at least two days a week, even once COVID-19 is no longer a concern. The survey also revealed that 55 per cent of executives are open to expanding remote work in 2021.
The hybrid office, which combines corporate headquarters with satellite and home offices, is emerging. This allows employees to choose where to work according to their needs: focused work, online collaborations, team brainstorming, or in-person employee meetings.
According to the report, the current challenge is to "learn to facilitate connections" and collaboration in a hybrid world. For example, many employees work remotely but meet regularly for in-person collaboration.
This new work landscape taught us many lessons of renewed commitment to areas such as the employee experience and virtual work, mental healthcare, and DEI. The ability of organizations to execute and succeed will greatly depend on their team design, evolution, and skill development.
In the face of evolving work trends and uncertainty of the future, the companies' decisions on the challenging issues of today will determine their tomorrow.
What do you think will be the most important HR trends in 2021? Did we miss any? If you found this insightful, Do share it with the HR network.