5 Plans HR Should Do to Thrive in 2021: Survey

January 6, 20211:00 pm1378 views
5 Plans HR Should Do to Thrive in 2021: Survey
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2020 might have urged many organisations to go on a survival mode. Now that the New Year is here, 2021 will be the year where companies shift from surviving to thriving mode. 

There are many lessons business leaders can take while navigating their teams during the pandemic, from handling sudden change to remote work to maintaining employee engagement to allocating tight finance in order to survive. Due to the pandemic also, business leaders learned how to re-architect work and make employee well-being central instead of secondary necessity. 

The 2021 Deloitte Global Human Capital reported that companies are learning to live with uncertainty, despite hopes for a return to pre-COVID-19 normal. The survey asked leaders about how the pandemic has changed their approach to preparedness. And the most popular answer was “focus on multiple scenarios”, with nearly half (47 percent) of survey respondents expressed this sentiment for their 2021 plan, compared with only 23 percent saying they chose the approach pre-COVID. 

Further, Deloitte identified five human capital trends in its survey of 3,600 executives in 96 countries, including designing work for well-being, unleashing worker potential, building superteams, setting new directions for work and the workforce, and re-architect work. Many of these trends emerged from business and personal demands imposed by the pandemic. In the New Year as lockdowns ease and more people will get vaccinated, this is the time for business leaders to experience the next level of surviving: thriving. 

See also: 3 Focuses for Better Virtual Work & Collaboration 

Here are 5 ways to thrive according to Deloitte: 

#1 Design work for wellbeing  

2021 Deloitte report found that organisations that integrate well-being into design of work at the individual, team, and organisational level will build a sustainable future where workers can feel and perform at their best. 

The example of this would be a wellbeing program from Daimler AG which is called “Mail on Holiday”. In its program, Daimler offers an optional email functionality that employees can use when they are out of the office. The service automatically deletes incoming messages while people are away. The system sends auto replies that suggest alternative people to contact or to remind the sender to get back in touch when the worker returns. 

On the wellbeing program during uncertain time and remote work like today, it is imperative to make shifts on all three levels, including individuals, teams, and organisations. Leaders should incorporate this change into cultural, rational, operational, physical, and virtual environments. 

#2 Unleash employees potential  

At this stage, Deloitte suggested to move away from the traditional approach to skills development and job descriptions. The new best practice is to give staff more freedom to choose how they can best take on critical business problems. 

#3 Build superteams with AI  

Deloitte described this as a new kind of team combination of people and technology that uses strengths of both to pursue outcomes at a speed and scale not otherwise possible. The barrier of adopting this is usually the tendency to view AI as a tool rather than a team member. The report recommended taking a broader view of technology’s transformative potential to elevate the impact it can have on work. Besides, thinking of having AI as a co-worker instead of a machine will help create a sense of work safety and elevate the misconception AI has. 

#4 Set new directions for work and employees  

The key here is to understand the workforce’s capabilities and preferences. The report recommended asking the following questions to get an idea of what a workforce is capable of accomplishing: 

  • How often are jobs changing and to what degree? 
  • How ready is the company workforce to perform the work of the future? 
  • Are employees and leaders able to quickly and effectively adapt to constant change?
  • What new trends, challenges, and scenarios are leaders being prepared for? 
  • How many employees provide direct or indirect services to the organisation?
  • How healthy is the internal talent market? 
  • How much capability can the organisation access across the broader ecosystem? 
  • Which of the workers are at risk of leaving and why?
  • How does the organisation treat its employees, contractors, and service providers of every type? 
  • Are workers from diverse communities in a position to wield influence in the company? 
  • How is the culture, workforce, and leadership being portrayed externally? 
  • What signals are the company seeing that point to outliers in employee behaviours and norms? 
#5 Re-architect work  

The 2021 challenge for HR leaders at this stage is to figure out how to take advantage of the new workforce status to define the next phase. While the goal is to expand HR’s focus beyond operational tasks to re-architect work as a whole, to make better shift, Deloitte gave these tactics: 

  • Shift the focus from outputs to outcomes 
  • Consider re-architecting as an ongoing capability
  • Expand the idea of capabilities to include humans and AI
  • Approach workforce development by focusing on human abilities such as analysis and synthesis, problem-solving, and social intelligence

A new perspective where leaders and employees embrace the ability to achieve new and better outcomes in a world that is itself being constantly reimagined should be created. 

Read also: 4 Trends in HR Technology that Will Shine in 2021