It’s no secret that Human Resources is a key component to a company’s success; it serves as the heart of any company. It’s the central point of contact, information, main point of hiring, and all things company culture-related. Juggling these pivotal sources has always been a challenging balance, and it has drastically escalated since the start of the COVID-19 outbreak.
This past year has brought on new challenges and many changes for both businesses and employees. As we near the 1-year milestone since the initial COVID-19 outbreak, it’s time to look at where we stand now, what challenges we are still trying to solve, and what tips we learned that are worth sharing. Throughout this article, our Director of HR and US Operations Robert Atkinson, shares his insight into the trends and challenges that he sees within HR.
Challenge #1: Keeping the team connected
The pandemic has revolutionized the workplace; normalizing remote working and creating more effective ways to do so. While everyone adjusts and learns what works for them and their organization, HR has been scrambling to find new ways to keep employees connected, which hasn’t been an easy task.
What has been working?
- Make the time: Whether you schedule weekly team meetings or an extra 10 minutes after a call to catch up on your life outside of work, it makes a difference. Creating a space where you can still talk about non-work-related items can help reenergize your coworkers from the challenges their new work-from-home setting may create.
- Make it fun: While email is effective and provides clear communication, that’s all it accomplishes; email lacks engagement. Utilizing video chat resources like zoom can help to enhance the experience. Furthermore, using features like custom background images and chat boxes allows your company to include everyone and for employees to share a bit of their personality.
- Continue the traditions: Just because things don’t look the same doesn’t mean you have to drop your traditions completely. Birthdays and monthly lunches can and should be shared still. Small things, such as Birthday or Happy Hour zoom calls, where everyone grabs a drink or their favorite dessert, can provide your team with a sense of comradery and belonging, even though it is not in person.
Challenge #2: Will remote working just be a trend
For as long as we can remember, remote working has been seen as somewhat of a privilege. With the majority forced to work from home, it has created the biggest HR nightmare. Figuring out a new standard set of guidelines, implementing a more digital presence, and creating new ways to stay united.
It’s still unclear if companies will completely embrace remote working. However, moving forward, it appears that companies will be more open to the option of working remotely, allowing for the leniency to choose – providing the freedom and trust that remote workers have, as well as the in-person interactions we all value and dearly miss.
Challenge #3: Talent is a revolving door
Attracting and retaining talent is not a new battle in the HR world, but it is growing in its complexity. With workplace cultures changing, it can be difficult to implement new “perks,” gain insight into the competition, and provide the necessary support while keeping the company moving forward; however, the solution ultimately remains the same – prioritizing your people.
When it comes to retaining talent, the goal is simple. Put your employees first. How? Ask your employees what they need. The answer, unfortunately, is not universal. However, reflecting on the company’s values, in addition to gaining feedback directly from employees, can bring your company closer to where it needs to be to remain competitive.
Challenge #4: Being the calm in the storm
Uncertainty is the enemy of HR. Unexpected changes can cause discomfort and chaos amongst employees, and they often look to HR for answers. A successful HR department is operated with level heads and patience, definitely a challenge when something unexpected (such as a pandemic) comes our way.
As stated in a recent Forbes article “Top Five Human Resources Challenges in 2021”, “A year ago, the complex challenges 2020 threw at HR professionals were unimaginable. However, an economic downturn, social unrest and a global health crisis that caused a sudden shift to remote work and led to a mental health crisis have reshaped the way HR functions. HR leaders must move from response to resilience and strategically plan for the future of work, whatever that may be.”
The important takeaway is to maintain the flexibility and adaptability aspect of HR. Leaving open lines of communication within the organization to help easily identify the needs of the people.
We understand HR challenges are not limited to these four, however, we found these to be some of the most common challenges that HR leaders are currently facing.
We are excited to see your companies grow and want to be a part of the process. That’s why we are launching monthly articles offering tips, tricks, and market insight to help set you up for success with a talent twist.
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