HR trends for 2021!

The year 2020 was an overwhelming year due to the epidemic crisis linked to covid-19. The latter forced the human resources department to completely change its strategy and rethink their vision of the future. Also, the latter has accelerated the digital transformation as much as possible. However, how can human resources drive change in such an uncertain environment? What trends should they focus on for the coming year in order to raise their heads and move forward? Will they survive in a post covid world? Here’s what to watch out for!

Covid-19 crisis requires, the year 2020 has been rich in challenges! The HR department has found itself in a unique position with this pandemic which continues to impact personal and professional lives. New measures have been implemented. Some trends have emerged, others have become obsolete. At a time when expectations and behavior change and tend towards more transparency, companies must take advantage of this crisis to shape the future. What is certain is that in such an uncertain environment, it is essential to embrace change!

To see it a little more clearly, here are the main HR trends that you must follow in 2021 to move forward in a healthy way:

Trend number 1 : the impact of new technologies and the virtual world

It is undeniable that this health crisis has changed the situation when it comes to new technologies. These are viewed positively and are a source of opportunities. A boost has been given to the digitization of work with more robots and artificial intelligence. Companies have digitized their internal processes faster and the future of work has arrived without us realizing it. The pandemic has obviously not stopped innovation, it has even amplified it!

Note it: new technologies are inseparable from the future of organizations!

However, how quickly to act? To meet the challenges, companies must constantly innovate, invent and redefine!

In addition, we have moved from physical offices to virtual offices and it is not about to stop! The use of collaborative platform integrating artificial intelligence helps employees in their daily missions. This automates certain tasks and consequently boosts their motivation and efficiency.

Also, teleworking made it necessary to migrate to the cloud. Its passage has become a vital emergency and an essential choice for all companies because those which do not manage to appropriate the new methods of collaboration will disappear in the long term. However, be careful, there are brakes when moving to the cloud, including the cost of migration.

Finally, in the distant future, companies that will not take advantage of new technologies will not remain competitive with others and, moreover, some of them are clearly not ready to embark on this digital revolution.

Trend number 2: structured teleworking

If in the past, French companies had difficulty authorizing it, today teleworking has become more democratic! Indeed, in 2020, it was put in place as a matter of urgency. In 2021, companies have taken the time to organize it and are even thinking of adopting it sustainably. It is not without consequences because it disrupts the functioning of the company.

However, companies have understood it: to be effective, teleworking must be formalized, planned and supervised! It must become an acceptable and viable organizational model. A recent study has even shown that a certain number of telecommuting days per week would increase the performance and well-being of employees. It also helps to establish a relationship of trust with them.

Warning: isolation must be taken into account as well as the possible breakdown of teams!

Finally, including it definitively in a detailed company policy would be a significant plus!

Trend number 3 : taking well-being at work into account

In these times troubled by covid-19, the notion of well-being at work takes on its full meaning and the key to a company’s success inevitably lies in the care given to its employees. This year, even more than any other, reflection is needed to preserve or even improve their well-being and the HR function must focus on the subject. How? ‘Or’ What ? By deploying, for example, a collaborative platform to simplify remote communication and collaboration.

It is also important to recognize the efforts made and to value their investment. Employees must feel supported. Do not hesitate to take an interest in their results. Some companies have opted, for example, to establish a moment of relaxation and even encourage their employees to take breaks regularly.

Also, it is worth assessing their morale and discussing what is going and what is not.

Finally, transparency and trust must be the watchwords! To this end, it should be remembered that well-being and the quality of life at work are real levers of motivation and productivity.

Trend number 4 : the exercise of leadership from a distance.

The year 2020 was not without consequences for management and this period of crisis is an opportunity for managers and employees to reinvent themselves. The methods and the role of the manager are shaken up and the latter must appear even more than usual as a “facilitator” but above all more human! However, how do you create leadership from a distance in times of crisis? What employer / employee confidence to adopt?

The objective is twofold: both to avoid traps so as not to weaken one’s leadership and to determine best practices so that managers manage to develop their leadership.

One of the first things to do is to adopt a management based on trust and to create new daily rituals of remote communication to maintain the social bond. It is also imperative to bet on other ways of motivating and finding pleasure in the work than the existing ones.

If we have 3 tips for managers, it would be:

  • Share your uncertainties;
  • Empower your teams
  • Show flexibility;

In addition, this pandemic is putting values such as benevolence, listening and solidarity back on the front of the stage. At this time, the main objective is to find a balance between the well-being of the employee and the economic development of the company in the long term. Reconciling distance and proximity is the real challenge for managers! However, be careful: some managers will want to control everything and this is not the right attitude to adopt. Don’t let the crisis hold your leadership!

Trend number 5 : skills upgrading for tomorrow

For 2021, it is absolutely necessary to capitalize on the skills base of employees. Indeed, the current observation is that the pandemic is causing some fears on the part of employees, particularly concerning the content of their work. It is imperative for companies to review, for example, their online training offer, in the absence of face-to-face training to continue training their teams.

Also, they must set up support programs for employees so that they improve their skills in their current position. Skills development and “upskilling” are becoming predominant subjects.

In addition, it would be interesting to set up, for example, the annual 360 ° interview and also a mapping of soft skills. Companies must anticipate the future and above all not focus on immediate needs! It is also the moment to linger on the possible reconversion or the mobility of the employees. Innovation takes on its full meaning here!

Note: some companies have set up platforms to identify missing skills needs in order to improve!

Moreover, we must admit that we cannot have the answers to all the questions. The HR function must imagine innovative and inspiring training systems to learn again and again. We expect her to be creative and redouble her efforts to stay the course!

Finally, there is reason to talk about the transformation of the HR function, which is not a new subject anyway. But in 2021, it takes an unprecedented turn! The latter has had to reinvent itself in a very short time. HR communication appeared to be a major element of this function. Many challenges must be met, including that of rethinking the working group and everyone must contribute! Generally speaking, the health crisis has unexpected effects.

Ultimately, if the health crisis has profoundly disrupted the world of work, it is also a source of new developments. The new HR trends are here to stay and promise to materialize in 2021! The HR function is changing at high speed and remains the guardian of all these trends. So what are you waiting for? Implement them now!