Human Resources Trends for 2021

Human Resources Trends for 2021

This year has been a challenge for most businesses, and especially for HR managers as companies transition to a work-from-home workforce. We’ve discussed the trends in marketing next year; here are some trends that experts predict we’ll see in 2021 for human resource professionals:

  • According to one source, 47% of survey respondents name employee retention as a top challenge. Given that as much as 85% of the average U.S. workforce in not engaged, and that companies with higher employee engagement scores enjoy higher employee retention (57% higher), tactics that increase employee engagement are key. One important component of every employee engagement strategy: effectively designed incentive, reward & recognition programs.


  • HR professionals plan to increase focus on Employee Wellness in 2021. Benefits of properly designed wellness programs to the employer also include higher employee engagement, as well as lower insurance costs, fewer work comp claims, lower absenteeism and more. Mental Health America confirms that 66% of employees say that workplace issues negatively affect their sleep. Including stress management strategies is increasingly important in wellness programs.


  • Technological advances have allowed companies to collect vast amounts of data. Human Resource professionals are now finding new ways to analyze that data and put it to use. Using metrics to understand why employees leave informs the design of more effective engagement and retention programs.


  • Artificial Intelligence and other process automation is helping HR professionals to improve the hiring process, identify and track applicants and streamline employee onboarding and training.


  • Experts predict that HR will play a bigger role in corporate strategy going forward. As HR teams become more data driven, they are in position to provide valuable insights to business leaders and contribute more meaningfully to business growth.


  • Increased focus on workplace culture, inclusion and diversity. Business change is often reactive to social change and can take a role in advancing social change. Prospective employees are asking more questions about the value systems of the companies they’re considering joining. Culture is a major consideration when deciding whether to join a company. An effective incentive, reward and recognition program is one way in which company leaders can communicate their values. Properly structured programs focus employee behaviors on those factors that are most important to the organization and demonstrate a culture of recognition and appreciation.


  • So many considerations are involved in adjusting to a work-from-home workforce, including ways to engage these remote workers. While there are many efficiencies realized by a virtual workforce, there are challenges as well. Finding new ways to reward and recognize excellence in a virtual environment is one of them.


  • Stakeholder Capitalism: Companies are understanding the role that employees (and all human capital) play in their organizations – sometimes aided by organizations such as the Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC). Our President, Brian Galonek, provides some additional thoughts in this article from the Rewards & Recognition Network.


One thing has been made very clear in 2020: Human Resources remains a critical department in every organization. Experts predict that HR professionals and teams will play an even larger role in the future success of any business. To discuss how incentive, reward and recognition programs can support your employee engagement, improved culture and other HR-driven strategies, contact us today!




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