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Top HR Priorities for 2021

Pradyumna Pandey

Designation : -   CHRO

Organization : -  Mother Dairy, Delhi


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2020 has been an unprecedented year on all accounts, which tested the human race in a number of ways, particularly economically. The year forced employers all over the world to shun traditional workplace practices and conventions, and allowed virtual employment and "work from home" practices to flourish and become commonplace. However, it was vital to do so as catastrophes such as pandemics do require substantial changes to be made, which is why the global population adapted quickly to minimize physical as well as financial harm.

2020 brought a considerable slump to a majority of businesses globally, and thus the prime focus of said businesses in the coming year will be that of organizational rebuilding and growth. Business leaders and human resource professionals all over the world foresee many changes in the coming year as well, and consequently they have begun planning ahead even before this year comes to an end. According to a survey by Gartner, a global leader in research and advisory, the top five priorities for HR leaders in 2021 will be building critical skills and competencies, organizational design and change management, current and future leadership, employee experience and the future of work. It is time to bridge the gap this year created, and grasp every opportunity available in the coming year, moving forward. Let us discuss further on the priorities identified above, before we scrutinize what else is to be taken into account.

Prioritizing Skill-Building and Learning

Although skill-building has been forever a priority for human resource professionals, a number of things now need to revise. The highest number of HR professionals agreed that re-skilling their employees will be the top priority for them in 2021, as the skills and competencies required by employees have seen a major shift. In order to instil these skills in their employees, organizations need to keep learning experiences as the peak employee-building activities on their agenda, keeping in mind the changing trends.

Prioritizing and Modifying Recruitment

Till now, HRs followed hackneyed recruitment tactics and sought to hire employees that fit their requirements to the letter. This differed greatly from what is now required. Prioritizing skills is the need of the hour, rather than prioritizing profiles. Also, organizations now need to ensure that the wants and needs of employees are being met, rather than only concerning themselves with how the new recruit can help them meet organizational goals. HRs also needs to widen their recruitment radius, and hire from areas other than known talent pools and databases. As mentioned before, the hunt should be for skill, not some preset requisites.

Prioritizing and Adapting To Organizational Redesign

2020 gave organizations a brilliant way to optimize their costs. With most offices shut down due to the pandemic, organizations were able to save operational costs of their offices, which were considerable. Also, they saved money on travel allowances they paid their employees, as travelling during the pandemic was out of the question. A number of organizations realized that they just found an opportunity disguised as a curse, and decided to let their employees work from home, even after the authorities allow them to open their offices. This also saves the employees' time as they don't have to travel to and fro from their office, while also letting them work from the comfort of their homes. What HRs all over the world further needs to do is minimize work friction even less, and scrap any policies and processes which act as hurdles and impede action.

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