Biggest HR challenges for 2021


2021 is set to be a challenging year for business across all sectors. For HR, workplace trends for the new year, combined with the current social climate, mean that planning is crucial to overcome key challenges over the next few months. Here we discuss some of the biggest HR challenges for 2021, and how employers can prepare for these.

Maintaining worker productivity

With the global rise in remote working, many employers have been anxious about a fall in worker productivity. While polls last year showed little difference, and even positive change in productivity when remote working, employers must support their employees in the coming months to maintain this. 

By holding regular check-ins with your employees, ideally one-to-one video meetings, you gain more visibility over their workloads – even when working from home. This helps maintain a sense of involvement within your workforce, promoting productivity, and protecting morale.

75% HR professionals concerned for employee wellbeing in 2021

In a recent survey carried out by recruitment experts at 360 resourcing, 75% of HR professionals showed concern for employee wellbeing in 2021. After almost one year of remote working for many companies, it is no surprise that employers are concerned for its prolonged effect on the wellbeing of their workers.

Just like any issue facing HR, strong policy is key to promoting employee wellbeing. By publishing clear wellbeing policy that is up to date with the current climate, you can support your employees when they need it most. 

The ‘return to work’ post-COVID

While remote working has certainly been a challenge, many people have adapted to the change in circumstance over the past 12 months. While this is certainly positive in the current environment, it may present an all-new challenge when attempting to bring employees back into the workplace. 

It is important to recognise the separation that has taken place between work and the workplace. Many employees may find the return to the office overwhelming, after becoming acclimatised to the personal space, and home comforts that come with remote working. It is crucial, therefore, that any return to the workplace is phased – with employees’ wellbeing in mind.

If your team have found remote working to be a positive change in their career, it may be worth discussing how this could continue in some form post-COVID. This flexibility could become a big part of your EVP in the coming months and years, making it essential to evaluate your company’s policy. 

In summary

2021 is set to be challenging a year for business, with the current economic situation, social changes, and the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. Issues due to impact HR include:

  • Maintaining worker productivity
  • Protecting employee wellbeing
  • The post-COVID return to the office

In order to best prepare for the months ahead, it is crucial that businesses optimise their HR policy to cope with the anticipated challenges. By reviewing your processes for supporting employees’ wellbeing, holding regular catch-ups with your team, and being mindful of your workers’ needs when returning to work, you can take on 2021 with a confident HR strategy.