2021 HR Trends

The following article taken from HR Exchange Network, written by Tyrone Smith talks about the several upcoming trends in human resources. It is important to reassess the current state of the field considering that a lot of changes and shifts in perspectives have taken place over the past year.

People-Centric Strategies: Since the pandemic struck and the changes that followed like working with remote teams, disrupted supply chains, etc. There has been a significant change from the technology-centered approaches to HR that seemed to be poised to overtake the industry just a few years ago. Today’s HR teams should emphasize the human element of business and work to balance employee efficiency with employee contentment. A happy workforce is an engaged workforce and an engaged workforce yields more innovative and high-quality results.

Automation: The focus here is not on replacing human talent, but rather improving workforce efficiency by automating more straightforward activities. This leaves employees better able to focus on the specialized work for which they were trained and it’s something that is becoming more commonplace across industries and companies of varying sizes.

Flexible Schedules: Although the circumstances in 2020 led to a sudden shift to digital workplaces but it also indicated a lot of benefits of remote work. HR teams must now focus on creating more permanent remote work options that allow employees the continued flexibility of working out of the office at least part of the time. Many employees have come to appreciate the home-office comfort of the past year and work from home simply isn’t going anywhere.

Employee Wellness: Ensuring employees are healthy and happy is a significant aspect of current and future success. 2021 is reaffirming that strong employees lead to a strong organization. This might translate into flexible schedules as mentioned above or via enhanced wellness benefits designed to boost workforce self-actualization and esteem.

Normalizing New Technology: It is important to take the opportunity to normalize the technology that helped keep teams together and business operations running smoothly. As we emerge from this crisis, these tools have a permanent role to play in how we manage and engage the workforce, even if the organization opts against promoting flexible schedules. The need to have a flexible “backup plan” to carry out work remotely is no longer an option, but a necessity.

The key focus of HR should be to ensure that employees have opportunity to continue with the flexible schedules and also provide access to wellness benefits and technology to make their work easier.

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