Six HR-Driven Data Trends for 2021
The year 2020 stands out as a year unlike any other. COVID-19 changed the way we live and work. Many workplace trends have been climbing in popularity in various industries in the last few years, but several have accelerated because of the immediate changes forced on businesses in the face of COVID-19.
Employer Support Services (ESS) have provided human resource management solutions to companies since 1996. From offering payroll solutions to managing employee benefits and onboarding services, we’ve seen it all as experts in HR data trends. Keep your company ahead of the competition with our six HR-driven data trends of 2021.
HR Data Trend #1 – Work from Home is the New Norm
One of the biggest changes to the workplace as a result of COVID-19 is remote work. According to Owl Labs, 30% of people report working remotely full-time, and 18% work remotely one to three times per week. Although remote work was common for several businesses before last year, most organizations and industries did not have remote work capabilities for employees. Companies were also not prepared to become fully remote with less than a week’s notice.
Going into 2021 and beyond, telework will continue and may become a permanent option for U.S. companies. While this might not be the case for every company, especially with the growing availability of a vaccine in the following months, there is a strong possibility that remote work will find a permanent place in how we work. Companies should make a point to prepare for this development long-term.
[Related: Managing a Remote Team]
HR Data Trend #2 – Changes to Onboarding & Maintaining Productivity
As a result of COVID-19 forcing remote work, onboarding has also been forced to move online with the rest of the world. This is an HR data trend that will likely continue into 2021 and beyond. Changes to onboarding include creating quick and efficient processes such as digitizing paperwork and forms and employee training videos. ESS provides onboarding solutions fit for the future.
For managers and HR professionals, it became harder to check up on employees and keep everyone connected. Companies are having to rely on technology to keep everyone connected and maintain efficient employee productivity.
Regular virtual check-ins with employees have become more important to keep employees productive and on track. Companies can also benefit from dedicated HR management software that allows employees to access needed information securely and managers to maintain schedules all online. Contact ESS for more information on technology that can streamline HR processes and increase productivity.
[Related: Onboarding Remote Employees]
HR Data Trend #3 – Focusing on the Employee Experience
Being away from a physical office makes it easy for employees to miss the experience of day-to-day interactions, which results in less engagement with work. Actively disengaged employees cost their organizations $483 to $605 billion per year, according to a study by Gallup. That’s why HR departments and professionals need to focus on recreating or reimagining the employee experience virtually. HR departments will focus on this trend by redesigning the experience since employee satisfaction is crucial to business operations.
For example, conferences and networking opportunities have moved online so employees still experience those types of events over video chat. Companies are also trying to foster a healthy work-life balance with virtual socialization opportunities. In the next year, we’ll continue to see companies plan virtual, structured events to replace in-person events. There is still an opportunity, maybe an even bigger one, for engagement through technology.
HR Data Trend #4 – Looking Beyond Generational Differences
In the past, there has been an intense focus on what separates generations. Millennials and generations X, Y, and Z all have been analyzed and stereotyped, but it’s been scientifically proven that there is little difference. This research has shown what people, no matter what generation they’re born into, want from their working life – purpose, good leadership, and professional growth.
As 2021 continues, HR professionals should take a moment to research and understand the current workforce beyond group differences and gain insight into individual employees’ interests, goals, and values. This type of information can give HR professionals a way to personalize how they manage people and improve retention rates.
HR Data Trend #5 – HR Departments Providing Additional Support
The last year has changed the way businesses operate and put both companies and employees in a difficult position. Employees became more concerned about their health, job security, getting work done with small children in the home, among other stressors that spark while living through a pandemic.
HR departments and professionals had to step up to provide additional support to employees and management. Additional responsibilities included facilitating employees, handling business requirements, answering pandemic-related concerns and questions from employees, and focusing on employees’ mental and emotional health.
HR professionals should expect to continue this trend and provide additional support throughout 2021 to reduce the extra stress companies and people face. Even if a vaccine is available, it will still take time, well into 2021, until everyone is vaccinated.
HR Data Trend #6 – Digitization & Automation
With business offices having to move online, the importance of digitizing processes and automation have been prioritized so that HR departments can eliminate downtime and focus on more pressing matters. Although this has been a trend in the last decade, it ramped up to speed in 2020 when people had to move business operations to their homes.
Digitization and automation make an HR department’s job more efficient. It’s absolutely necessary to eliminate the need to sift through paperwork or risk losing important documents with digitization in 2021.
The HR professionals at Employer Support Service (ESS) are ready to help guide your company into 2021 with these HR data trends. We help assess your workplace and create a plan that makes a noticeable and positive difference in your business. Contact ESS today to get started.