Key priorities for Human Resource functions in 2021
With the world stressed under a pandemic, and the global economy in disarray, year 2020 has been nothing short of a nightmare playing in a loop. But as the year is finally coming to an end, organizations are increasingly strategizing ways to stabilize businesses.
However, it is going to be a uphill task to predict and plan for the next financial year, considering we are yet to estimate the exact quantum of challenges the pandemic has posed to the economy.
Amidst these dynamics, Human Resources as a function will shoulder the most critical responsibility as all of its decisions are centered around an organization’s most important asset i.e. its employees. Pay-cuts, abrupt separation announcements, declining team affinity owing to everyone working-from-home and many such actions have resulted in unprecedented job-insecurity. Therefore making every HR specialist realize the significance of employee engagement, wellness, and new ‘performance evaluation techniques’ to maintain the right balance.
Today we share 5 key areas that will be of significance for every HR personnel in the year 2021.
Rethink Organizational Design and Change Management
According to a report from Gartner, assessing ways to make businesses & people more receptive to transformation is the top-most priority for every organization. Businesses are always subject to changing macro-economic factors and only agility can help one steer through such times. Although this is common-knowledge, most business models, transformations and change initiatives hit a wall, with little or no progress. Training workforce to be open to change is going to be one of the biggest investments.
Up-skilling and Reskilling Programs
A business can become sustainable only by fostering an environment of constant learning for its employees, and it was never so clearly understood before the present day. Learning is a continuous process, and stopping it may prove risky for survival in this highly competitive age. Especially considering the rapid adoption of advanced technology for business operations, it has become impossible for people to stay employed without the requisite skill sets. Therefore, in order to stay future-ready, organizations need to sharpen the critical skills and competency of their people through continuous up-skilling and reskilling programs.
Tech Adoption for Higher Efficiency
The need to adapt to the raging digital transformation by adopting new technology has never been as prominent in the HR sector as it is now. Earlier this year, we stood witness to organizations adopting technology enabled tools to ensure smooth functioning of their businesses from remote locations. As challenging as it had been, this should pave way for organizations to permanently switch over to technology-led business models to grow further, as well as, to develop immunity from overdependence on physical mode of operation.
An organization’s overall engagement agenda always includes its employees’ well-being. However, considering the pandemic has been a pretty tough phase for humanity at large, affecting everyone at multiple levels, companies need to revisit their agenda, and bring focus on holistic well-being to achieve the trust of their people. Holistic well-being concerns physical, mental, as well as, financial well-being, and it may be attained through inclusion of better health cover and health assessments, counselling sessions, fitness program enrolments, and financial advisory on tax saving and wealth building. Staying by its people during the challenging times not only fosters trust, it will also raise engagement levels, as well as, enhance productivity. Today, people are more aware than ever. The new generation workforce prefers to work for an organization that cares.
Better Benefits and Compensation
Another important aspect that has been duly impacted by the pandemic is the talent market. A continuous struggle has been observed among different organizations to acquire the best talent in the market. But the catch is, organizations need to focus on expanding their range of benefits and compensations to attract and retain the talent, which will also help businesses to optimize this investment in the long run. Organizations should show their constant support to the workforce by expanding its bouquet of benefits through Introduction of comprehensive Employee Assistance Programs, stock options, along with other work and lifestyle related benefits.
While reeling through the pandemic for the major portion of 2020, organizations have shifted their focus from survival and resilience to recovery and long-term health of the companies. At a time as crucial as this, only the high-touch and high-care work cultures that truly value employees and pay attention to their skilling needs for individual growth and development, as well, can survive, and that should be the top-most priority of the HR function for 2021.