Top Priorities for Human Resources in 2021


HR leaders are now looking forward after facing one of the most challenging years in 2020, between transitioning to remote work overnight and supporting employees through the COVID-19 pandemic.

As we wrap up Q1 for 2021, HR has a new set of priorities to tackle

Current and Future Workforce

Talent war has been an ongoing for companies, as they actively come up with out-of-the-box, creative way to attract talent and now for Talent Development team, they are being asked to help fill the internal skill gap and help identify current and future workforce.

HR leaders will have to prioritize building adequate bench strength and induce higher elements of job rotation at the workplace and ensure that functional teams build the strength to sustain sudden changes to team structures, health risks, and logistical disruptions. They will have to provide greater multi-tasking, learning by doing, and start to identify current and future leaders to help your organization exceed the gap.

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Organizational Design and Change Management

Growing business continues to be important and it’s accelerating challenge for leadership. With the pressure for growth, organization design and change should front and center. Employees are experiencing a more autonomy in remote environments. Involve your employees in change planning – many companies make the mistake of incorporating employees too late into the process, only to find that solutions don’t match the problem or that solutions are obsolete because things have yet again changed.  Those closest to the work are best positioned to craft new processes; additionally, leaders can build in buy in and ownership through the iteration process.

Support organization priorities through change management. Communication and transparency help in these efforts. Often, leaders are hesitant to communicate as they don’t have all answers, however, that doesn’t mean employees aren’t already taking about it. Make it ok to discuss change, to air frustration productively, and to ask questions.  Be prepared to support employees with additional services without stigma, such as in the mental and financial wellbeing space.

Building skills and competencies

In a period of rapid change, companies are making bold predictions and focusing on building critical skills and competencies is a high priority. Most organizations find that less than half of the skills they train are applied or are obsolete after a few months. Learning departments are often scrambling on budget allocation for best return of investment.

Some dynamic strategies to consider is setting up a skills network to understand how skills needs are changing and what adjacent skills are available.

Empower your employees to make informed skills decisions dynamically, i.e. finding opportunities to learn from each other rather than relying on traditional training.

Delivering continuous learning and development opportunities through the right learning platform will help you stay organized and offer training to more employees at once, no matter where they’re working from. As remote work continues, online learning will become more prevalent than ever before. Adopting a step-by-step approach that involves identifying the skills you need, defining training goals, and measuring the impact of learning on performance will help.

So it seems that, as we enter 2021, we’ll all still be getting to grips with the state of transformation we find ourselves in and it will take all our resilience and agility to manage a smooth transition for our people. After the year we’ve just had, however, we’re all much better prepared to expect the unexpected.

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Shuba Shenoy

Shuba brings 18 years in human resources with an emphasis on streamlining hire to retire solutions. At Perficient, she runs our HCM Cloud practice, where she works closely with customers to help facilitate the prioritization of business initiatives and executes technology transformation for long-term business value.

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