It is clear that 2020 has been a year that has changed everything for many. Especially in the Human Resources and Recruiting sector. We, at least, have noticed it a lot: telecommuting, remote meetings, very isolated face-to-face team meetings?
So it seemed appropriate to reflect on what the year 2021 has in store for us in terms of Human Resources. Especially now that we are out of the pandemic and back to the “new normal”. Let’s review the Top trends for HR in 2021.
The advent of remote work
Although remote work was already a palpable fact, especially in the tech sector where developers from different parts of the world often collaborate on the same project, it seems that it is here to stay.
Many companies have seen in the teleworking model an ideal and functional model to continue producing at the maximum and, above all, to save costs (for example, the always heavy cost of having to pay for an office). Thus, countries such as France or the Netherlands have already standardized that their workers work part of the week from home.
Which brings us to the next point.
HR needs to be rethought
There is no doubt that the change brought about by the pandemic has been drastic. Telework has a particular impact on human resources. Whether in the management of workers’ performance, in the management of their happiness or even in the always feared layoffs, many things need to be rethought.
It is clear that it is more difficult to monitor employees when they work from home, and to measure their performance. But little by little, tools are being implemented that allow better collaborative work (Slack, Zoom, Monday and so many others) and at the same time the criteria by which a company operates are changing.
For example, instead of the classic clocking in and completing assigned hours, we are moving to a model based on objectives and deliveries where it is easier to follow the performance of a worker. In terms of employee happiness and well-being, regular surveys, one-on-one meetings with superiors and other tools have been implemented to measure employee satisfaction without being in front of them.
Thus, events such as virtual happy hours, icebreakers and others have begun to consolidate to make the remote worker’s life more enjoyable. And this brings us to the next point
The employee experience has changed radically
Let’s make an assumption: imagine you are hired by a new company that only works remotely. How will you integrate into the team if there is no physical presence or contact? Will it be as easy as before? It all depends on the HR department and how they have prepared your “remote” welcome.
It is therefore necessary to rethink the employee experience from the outset and to underpin all the differences that remote work implies. It will no longer be possible to welcome them in the office with a welcome and gifts, but they will have to be integrated into virtual environments. It will also be necessary to have off-topic environments in which to chat and have a good time, where you can make friends with colleagues.
In essence, the mastery of computerized socialization tools and the creation of specific activities will be key for an HR department that wants to keep up with the times.
New skills to be learned by HR specialists
All of this means that workers in the human resources sector need to be updated . Especially in several aspects that were already being targeted in pre-pandemic times, but were not fully developed:
Knowledge and data management: with the reduction of “physical presence”, it becomes more necessary for HR leaders to have more mastery of data management. That is, the ability to understand, read and communicate data as a key element of their work with workers.
Digital integration: Technology, as we say, becomes essential in this new stage, and the mastery of applications, as well as their adaptation to them, will be essential for an HR department to function perfectly in times of remote work.
Business perspective: Another key element of an HR department, inherited from pre-pandemic times, is to understand very well what a company’s business consists of. Because if the objectives and goals of a company are well understood, HR will be able to adapt much better to its needs. . And this kind of adaptation becomes even more necessary when we are talking about a remote work environment.
Digitalization, but also automation
It is clear, then, that the HR department must adapt to the digital environment and its tools. But it doesn’t end there. There is another important challenge ahead of us: the automation of processes.
There are many tasks in HR that are repetitive and redundant, and the time has come to use advanced technological solutions to tackle them. To do away with unnecessary paperwork and to avoid time-consuming processes.
Both, digitization and automation, will help to better manage employees in post-pandemic times.
Giving employees more personal space
When remote work arrives, so do much more diverse habits. Every employee will arrange their space differently and this will lead them to work differently. No more uniformity in the office. Both spatially and temporally. If you work at home, you will manage your time very differently.
This is where the element of job crafting comes into play.
By this we mean a technique that allows employees to improve their work in 5 different ways:
- Purpose in the company
- Relationships with other employees
The HR specialist must be able to touch on these five points for each of their employees, and optimize them in a personalized context: employee by employee. This is a personal and handcrafted work for which data and its correct analysis will be very useful.
As we can see, this is likely to be one of the years with the most changes in the HR sector. Force majeure factors such as the pandemic have accelerated processes that were underway but slow. Now we have them here.
And as a summary, we can say that the key will be to maintain a personalized and close management, incorporating data analysis, automation and all the digital resources to make remote work a pleasant job.