2021 – people matters
6th January 2021
Here’s to a Happy and Prosperous Year ahead!
With this in mind, we thought it would benefit our community to share themes and trends from our series of 2020 roundtables, to digest as you look to the new year with a healthy dollop of cautious optimism.
Many businesses will have seen that flexible working really can “work” and that productivity levels remain consistent or in some cases even excel; with the added bonus of time for exercise in place of a morning commute or the luxury of sharing breakfast with family members. Moving forward, firms now need to consider hybrid models, enabling a mix of home and office-based working patterns, providing variety to ensure choice for their diverse workforce. The disparity of those firms going ‘back to the old ways’ versus those embracing flexibility will have a profound impact on success at attracting and retaining talent and the culture that re-forms as a result. Perhaps in line with this, we will see an emergence of new roles such as Remote Working Officer or Director of Organisational Effectiveness.
An increased focus and appreciation of wellbeing and mental health has been a huge positive to emerge from 2020. It’s one of HR’s greatest challenges, ensuring individuals are appropriately and considerately supported, encouraging a culture where employees feel comfortable asking for help, without concern of judgement or stigma.
In August, we ran a webinar on the importance of psychological safety, encouraging us to become scientists of ourselves, identifying repeat habits and patterns which cause cumulative burnout. The session focused on the uncertainty change brings and offered coping tools and strategies. For businesses to nurture & develop high performance teams, psychological safety is key to creating resilience that can weather the challenges ahead.
Management teams across the UK have advanced their DEI commitments in what feels like a seismic shift in attitudes. Of all the areas – Diversity, Equity and Inclusion – it is our belief that Inclusion and the practice of ensuring individuals feel a sense of belonging, that will be critical in the DEI jigsaw of 2021. Every employee deserves to feel secure, encouraged to be their authentic selves in the workplace. We foresee a rise in the appointments of Diversity champions in the months to come.
Innovation in learning & recruitment is continual. With time poor and geographically spread teams, a tech enabled learning and development approach is crucial for engagement. Learning specialists who have utilised this concise and modern methodology across new media such as infographics, webinars, video footage and podcasts have recorded tangible results. Equally in recruitment, the use of video brand campaigns and adverts, as well as AI ensures a wider and more diverse talent pool are targeted. Screening video interviews are also on the rise with a number of new platforms on offer.
Aside from the work-based themes of 2020 we are hopeful that the values evidenced & expressed in abundance – those of kindness, humanity and connectivity will continue. As we step into 2021 with renewed energy, resilience and positivity – we should recognise how far we have come and what this last year has taught us individually and in our professional lives.
Jane Middleton & Harriet Lavender – Trapeze HR
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