If the past two years taught us anything, it’s that HR needs to prepare for the unexpected. While that may sound like a daunting task, there are a bevy of resources out there to help — one of which is Wisconsin’s annual SHRM conference. Appropriately themed “Cracking the HR Code,” this year’s conference offered valuable insight into the future of HR and provided timely takeaways to help organizations navigate and succeed in today’s workplace. Here’s what we learned.
1. A long-term remote work strategy is critical.
You knew this one was coming, right? Shifting to a remote work model was one of the most prominent HR challenges throughout the pandemic. With that reactive pivot still fresh in their minds, many HR leaders are asking themselves, “What’s a viable long-term remote work strategy for our business?” — and rightfully so. By nearly all projections, organizations should expect remote work to be a reality of the post-pandemic workforce. Based on learnings from any recent remote-work experience, HR managers should create a long-term, well-defined remote work strategy that outlines necessary tools and technologies, plans for monitoring employee performance, processes and more.
2. Create a company culture focused on personal growth.
If you show your employees you’re invested in them, they’re more likely to be invested in you. From the time you hire new employees, demonstrate you’re focused on their personal growth. Provide them with training opportunities and resources, establish a mentorship program, and promote internally. These efforts will make it evident that you’re committed to your employees’ career trajectory, which we all know is an important requirement in getting employees to stick around.
3. Nurturing employee wellbeing is a nonnegotiable.
Now more than ever, employers understand the importance of a healthy workforce. The physical and mental health of your employees directly impacts their productivity and in turn, your organization’s success. Not only that, but following the uncertainty of the pandemic, employees have higher expectations when it comes to workplace wellness programs. From virtual counseling services to flexible work arrangements, find ways to support your employees’ mental and physical health and wellness.
4. Boost immunity to workplace negativity.
Unsurprisingly, the pandemic contributed to an increased level of stress and anxiety in the workplace. Such emotions can impact productivity, or even worse, lead to burnout. To promote resilience in the workplace, implement recognition programs and reward employees for their contributions. Not only will this boost morale, but it will keep employees engaged. You can’t control the dialogue; employees will think what they think (and you can’t control that), but you can control how well you communicate and lead the conversation with employees.
5. It’s time to revisit your recruitment strategy.
The pandemic had a profound impact on recruiting, so chances are, you’ve already reassessed your recruitment strategies. While technology that helps you attract talent, engage applicants, and simplify onboarding can help you streamline the recruitment process, it’s also important to set yourself apart in this highly competitive labor market. For this reason, employer branding is more important than ever. Identify what’s important to your ideal employees, and make sure your brand is compelling to them. Be authentic and consistent in your marketing efforts. Also foster a positive company culture, as this is the key to nurturing a workforce of employees who are strong brand ambassadors for your business.
6. Be intentional with your DE&I efforts.
Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I) efforts have been a hot topic among HR professionals for years. However, they’ve become increasingly important in the past year, as social justice issues have taken center stage. While it’s easy to say your organization values diversity, is that just talk, or are you walking the walk? To promote diversity and inclusion in the workplace, you need to integrate it into your company’s culture. How? Encourage feedback from your employees on these topics, offer ongoing learning and development opportunities, and adjust your talent acquisition strategy to ensure you’re attracting diverse talent.
7. You need to future-proof your workforce.
While no one can predict the future, one thing’s for sure: Disruptors will continue to impact the modern workforce. From emerging technologies to shifting labor market trends — or even an unforeseen crisis such as a pandemic — businesses need to keep up with the rapid pace of change. One of the most effective ways of doing that is to invest in your existing employees by reskilling and upskilling. By training your employees to build different skill sets (reskilling), and to build a higher level of competency in a set of skills (upskilling), you’re helping to ensure their future success. At the same time, you’re giving your company a competitive edge.
8. Invest in leadership development.
Throughout the pandemic, many organizations recognized the need for more effective leadership. As a result, businesses are investing in leadership development training as they try to build more sustainable, resilient operations. And as they work to identify and develop future leaders within the organization, they’re taking intentional measures to give these employees diverse talent opportunities to support their growth. To get started, identify the employees at your organization with the greatest leadership potential, and then hash out a plan (with their involvement) to help them understand the steps they need to take to realize their full potential.
9. A solid succession plan is critical to your success.
Previously, many organizations might not have classified succession planning as “urgent,” but the pandemic served as a wake-up call. A clear succession plan is key to business continuity, and should not be confined to the CEO. Instead, it should identify replacements for all roles that impact short and long-term business goals. To make succession planning easier, take advantage of tools like our Talent Management product, which uses defined metrics and system intelligence to identify the best-fit employees to fill positions when promotions, resignations and reorganizations occur.
10. Strong connections with your employees is essential.
Last but not least, businesses need to have strong connections with their employees. Perhaps many businesses learned it the hard way, but these past years have shown us that this is more important in today’s workplace environments than ever before.
That’s where B2E Solutions comes in. Our Human Capital Management (HCM) technology helps employers connect with their employees at each stage of the employee lifecycle. See how you can stay connected with your employees using our Payroll, Time & Labor, Human Resources, and Talent Management products.