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Trends for 2021 new year working on computer

Companies were faced with unprecedented challenges in 2020. From embracing change, increased remote work, and unforeseen shutdowns and layoffs, companies had to quickly adapt and roll out new policies and protocols to keep workers safe and operations in motion.

As a result, 2021 may also see heightened challenges and opportunities. Based on the expert human resources projections for the year ahead, these are our roll-up of the HR challenges that are front and center for the upcoming year.

Remote Working Continues

Just like businesses, employees had to quickly adapt to the changing workplace this last year. As the pandemic continues, many employers are deciding to extend remote work for the foreseeable future, while others are considering a hybrid work-from-home approach.

If your company is continuing remote work into 2021, employees may be looking to you for continued support as they juggle home-life challenges such as assisting children with virtual or hybrid learning, or not having full-time childcare.

Now may be the time to update employee time-off policies to address scenarios for employees who have various school schedules for their children. You may also need to consider employee concerns of special treatment and accommodations for working parents needing time off to non-parent employees and develop a policy that makes all employees feel valued.

Waning Mental Health & Boosting Employee Morale

Ongoing shutdowns in 2020 caused a lot of companies to furlough, lay off, or let go of staff members. For the employees who are retained, it often creates a decrease in morale and increased fears about layoffs and outplacement.

According to the Center for Workplace Mental Health, many people are experiencing anxiety, stress, and physical and mental strain caused by disruptions to their daily lives, fears of job loss, financial hardships, and isolation from co-workers, friends, and family.

Now more than ever it is important for your HR team to support employees to connect online and encourage team communication. It’s also important to keep your eyes open for signs of depression in team members.

Here are a few other tips from the Center for Workplace Mental Health:

  • Show empathy
  • Be available to talk
  • Stay connected virtually & encourage team members to do the same
  • Recognize the impact of isolation and loneliness
  • Ensure employees take advantage of their health plan

Virtual Recruitment

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, technological advancements are happening quickly, and people are adapting to telework and virtual communication. As companies regain their footing and look towards growth, this may mean having to interview and hire employees virtually.

While many companies have used some facet of video interviewing, the pandemic has brought with it a need for a start-to-finish virtual recruiting process. In fact, according to LinkedIn, 81% of talent professionals agree virtual recruiting will continue in the post-COVID workplace and 70% say it will become the new standard.

Although it may take some work upfront, virtual recruiting brings with it a larger candidacy pool and a savings of both time and money.

Is 2021 The Year You Consider HR Consulting?

As businesses downsize or consolidate their organizational structure, it may be the perfect time to look towards human resources consulting support outside of an in-house HR department.

The professional experts at RAI Resources offer bolt-on human resource consulting solutions for all your workforce needs. Our team is experienced across industries such as manufacturing, distribution, engineering, construction, and professional services. Our cost-effective, practical solutions and relevant perspective may be just what you’re looking for to solve your unique HR challenges.

To find out if RAI is the Lehigh Valley consulting firm you’ve been looking for, schedule a free consultation or contact us today at (215) 230-5555!