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What HR Managers Can Expect in 2021

Human Resources boardroom with table and chairs Expect Optimism Along with Continued Work Challenges

HR can expect continued challenges as 2021 quickly approaches but with a renewed sense of optimism. There is a light at the end of the tunnel for COVID-19 and plenty of reason for cautious optimism heading into 2021.

Many HR managers have had to adapt quickly to remote work, and 2021 will include many more complications. As we return to some form of normal, the process is expected to be long and complicated. Gathering and travel restrictions will complicate in-office culture, and some businesses will need to consider leaving the concept of an office behind altogether.

HR will be relied upon heavily in the new year, with more tasks but with the same resources.

Expect a Continued Commitment to Health and Hygiene

The transition back to "normal" will include businesses continuing to take COVID-19 restrictions and policies very seriously while promoting continued commitment to hygiene. Depending on the nature of work, HR managers may be a part of the vaccination efforts and implementing them into existing policies.

The continued return to normal will likely see further fluctuations in absenteeism, sick leave, and refusals to unsafe work. New restrictions continue to evolve daily. HR will need to know the latest policies and regulations while working with senior leadership to implement them as quickly as possible.

Crowded Human Resources conference at a convention center Events and Culture Could Make a Comeback in 2021

Many HR-related activities came to a screeching halt in March of 2020. Company events, trade shows, continued learning initiatives, and team building occasions were all cancelled as a result of COVID-19. HR managers should expect these events to return on some sort of level in 2021. The outcome will be a sudden surge in workload as HR continues to address COVID related matters while being asked to take on once-forgotten responsibilities.

HR will likely see more corporate culture requests from leadership while juggling responsibilities related to the pandemic. As workforces begin to settle into a rhythm, HR should also expect an increase in demands from employees related to social justice and diversity. As political movements gain traction and injustice is called out more frequently, your company might be expected to express their commitment in one form or another.

Mental Health Challenges Are the Next Silent Wave

Employers and HR will also need to ramp up their commitment to mental health in 2021. After sweeping lockdowns and widespread isolation, mental health challenges are expected across the world. A growing but silent crisis, COVID-19 will have long-term impacts on our health and wellness, both mentally and physically.

How an employer responds to the upcoming mental health crisis of 2021 will be reflected in their employer brand and ultimately help with recruitment. Offering social services, including therapy and counselling, could boost a workforce's dedication paying dividends in the form of a healthy and productive team.

Home office with a notepad and laptop on a wooden desk A New Virtual Normal

Truthfully, a full return to normality will occur once travel and tourism bounce back. But with so many economies reliant on both corporate and leisure travel, there remains a sense of economic uncertainty. HR managers are likely to face further restructuring, with some roles being eliminated due to the nature of remote work. Economic uncertainty will continue throughout 2021, and workforces will need to become more specialized to make the transition possible.

There is potential for many workforces heading online indefinitely, with some businesses opting not to renew office leases in 2021. Virtual environments could prove to be the future for many professionals.

Navigate Complicated HR Challenges with ISB Global Services

ISB can help any company, regardless of its size, navigate the challenges presented by COVID-19 and remote work. This includes remotely validating a candidate’s identity to performing a full background screening and a criminal record check.

ISB can help HR managers effectively screen candidates and ensure the quality of their remote workforces. Contact us directly to learn more about our suite of HR-related solutions and help your business take the next step into remote recruiting.
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