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The way we live and work, COVID-19 has undeniably changed it. The goals of most HR leaders have indeed been changed this year. While we are still living through the pandemic, we need to plan in advance for the post-COVID world. The changes and challenges of 2020 have set up this year to be that of transformation.
In this unprecedented situation, the key task was to preserve business continuity, especially during the initial strict lockdown across the nation. For the HR professionals, the development of essential skills and competencies tops the list, but HR leaders will also emphasize on workforce and job re-design, leadership, planning for the future workplaces and enhancement of employee experience.
Looking at the situation, and basis inputs from our team, clients and partners, we feel 2021 would see the following Trends in HR Industry.
- Skill Improvement- the need for Upskilling & Reskilling
It is essential for employees to remain ahead of the learning curve as digital transformation progresses.HR will be at the forefront here, for staff to keep learning, they will have to curate accurate developmental journeys.New-age technical abilities such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, RPA and edge computing will continue to be emphasized.
The future of work will be driven by the digital skills of workers to access and sustain seamless interaction with the external environment of an enterprise-consumers, partners and government. As virtual learning dominates, HR will start to create immersive learning platforms to remotely make learning and expertise available to employees.
- Focus on Employee Well Being to take center stage
The primary goal of the new normal would be to further create an organizationalculture of inclusion and harmony. As remote work may take place here for long periods of time, even indefinitely in some organizations, the trust building aspect would be more emphasized.As physical effort declines, teamwork may become more necessary.Trust will thus become a key factor for commitment, and workers will have to work to build up the trust factor.
Additionally, since the 9 to 5 line has blurred and the work-life balance is in jeopardy, 2021 will be the year in which mental wellbeing and financial health will become the key stakes of the benefits provided to employees by the employers.
- Virtual Hiring will continue to surge
It comes as no surprise that for many enterprises, virtual and remote recruitment continue to be priorities.
In fact, we expect there will be an increase in virtual hiring relative to last quarter of 2020 levels in 2021. Remote hiring is here to stay, either due to the given circumstances or for the simple element of competitive advantage. Technological interventions and innovationsin methods of recruitment like virtual career fairs, video interviews, to name a few would get more prevalent in 2021.
- People analytics and the need to be agile
HR has become more agile with the use of data over the years to assess employee experience and to make smart choices.There is a need to assist workers in day-to-day functioning as companies continue to work remotely, even with new objectives.
In order to create a resilient and sustainable future, HR leaders will have to respond to these disruptions in an agile manner by using automation to the fullest to balance the organization’s and employees’ needs.
- Emergence of Gig Economy- freelancing and fixed term employment likely to impact full time jobs
The gig economy has been around for a while, but as individuals are increasingly looking to operate on their own terms and conditions, it is likely to see a sharp rise. Fixed term employment option on one hand is commercially viable for the Employers and proportionate statutory benefits give a sense of fulfilment to employees on the other hand. Employers can look at the best way to produce desired results quicker by using a combination of consultants, freelancers, and full-time workers.
- Changing Labour Market Dynamics with new Labour Codes:
With the implementation of four labour codes covering all aspects of the employment covering the formal and informal sectors alike, business sentiments are likely to be boosted as it is likely to make doing business in India easier, will attract more FDIs across industries, provides social security cover to majority of employees working in informal sector as well and might reduce the overall compliance burden from the industries.
2021 is the year for HR
HR is now at the crossroads, and at the forefront, of ensuring business continuity while maintaining the smooth running of activities, as well as being actively involved with their respective management teams in driving business.Today’s position of HR has really become all-encompassing.
Businesses have recognized that their performance depends on their employees’ mutual well-being; thus, the emphasis would continue or increase further on people’s well-being.With its tasks well and truly cut out through functions, 2021 may well be the HR year.