Top 6 Priorities for HR Leaders in 2021

With Covid-19 not yet over, the topmost priorities of the HR leaders have transformed dramatically. From skill development to people analytics, let’s have a look at key areas that HR leaders must prioritize in 2021.

Real-world concerns like the current pandemic, which is arguably the greatest crisis this generation has ever faced really did a number on the world. By no means was the human resource department an exception to this backlash.

But what has always been the case with the HRD — and will be going forward no matter the unpredictability, scale or severity of future crises — it has risen to the occasion (again) to soften the blow dealt to people, employment, and businesses all over the world.

How do they do it, you ask?

Well, they’ve always had it in their locker — the ability to transform and adapt to real-time events and changes. Needless to say, this ability is again being put to good use. Not just to find solutions for the current problem you see, but also to bring to the fore, priorities which will empower both employees and employers in 2021 and beyond.

Let’s take a look at 6 such priorities for HR management and leaders this new year.

Skill-building Based on the Changing Trends

The times have changed unprecedentedly. With technological advancements, the need for better skills are also arising. Today, the skill sets required for any job cannot be as easily chalked out as before. It has much to do with the industry trends and rapid variation in skills needed by the employer, regardless of the industry or sector it belongs to.

It goes without saying that there is a requirement of a dynamic approach in skill development and redeployment of talent. For that reason, all the affected stakeholders, particularly the employer and the employee, should work hand-in-hand to evolve and develop to achieve internal goals.

The degree of trainability should be kept in mind while hiring new talent. Instead of predicting and learning skills beforehand, a new approach to developing skills at the time of need should be practised. Employees should partner with the HR to identify and develop new skills.

Business Acumen Competency

Expertise in business operations and communications is one of the most vital elements of business acumen. It is about aligning HR goals with the internal goals of the organization.

Instead of only managing the resources from a humane perspective, HR managers should also familiarize themselves with organizational structure,talent management, goals, profitability, trends and even legal environments. Decision-making should incorporate learning from the other perspectives to understand its short and long-term consequences.

Employee Engagement and Experience

Employee experience can be improved by providing employment expectations upfront while onboarding. This will help alleviate stress and manage the transition with ease. Employee engagement should be the core focus of employee retention strategies.

Providing appreciation, recognition, and constructive feedback should also be on the list. Ensure skill building by offering learning opportunities. Also do not forget to measure the efficacy of your engagement efforts by planning a feedback mechanism or structure.

Futuristic Work Design

Work designs should focus on today’s needs and should adapt to fast-changing work conditions. every employee should be responsive to the real-time challenges faced by the company. HR leaders should contribute in designing work strategies to ensure resilience and flexibility.

Employers should also focus on measuring the performance of the employees. Since traditional performance evaluation methods might not work well for the future, designing an effective alternative is also of critical importance.

Build Trust in Leadership

Trust-building is vital for every organization irrespective of the size or industry. The most easy way to earn employees’ trust is by aligning actions with words. Trusting the employer motivates the employees and helps them face issues in the workplace more smoothly.

HR teams can introduce engagement activities and exercises to boost communication and trust. Since most employees across the world are still working from home, carrying out engagement and trust-building activities can be arduous than before. However, efficiently managing weekly assessments and communication networks can fill this gap.

People Analytics

The future of HR partially depends on technology and analytics. By analytics, we mean people analytics. Sustainable success is the result of data-driven analytics and people management. With the help of data interpretation techniques and statistics, HR leaders are better positioned to make effective hiring and recruitment decisions.

Better decision-making helps in improving employee retention rates and performance management. Build a fact-based, reliable HR strategy that aligns with talent requirements and real-time events. Quality analytics also helps in transforming the quality of insights as well as empowering employee-employer relationships.

As HR trends change, more generalist roles in the HR industry might cease to exist. More specialist roles focusing on current priorities of the company will grow in demand.

Although HR priorities can vary according to the changing environments and unpredictable real-time events, HR leaders should learn to adapt to the change and be flexible with organizational competencies. Even goals, plans and responsibilities might change, but how you hold on to your employees, your best asset, is what matters the most.

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