Four challenges for the HR Director in 2021: how to overcome them

January 19, 2021

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The disruptive 2020 was a huge administrative challenge for the HR Director. With the expansion of the new coronavirus (COVID-19), the HR department has played a crucial role in managing the new organizational challenges. Now a 2021 begins in which maintaining an efficient HR management is fundamental to tackle the four main challenges faced by the HR Director: new working models, remote working, active participation in the company’s strategy and upskilling. Here’s how to overcome them. The HR director faces 4 main challenges in 2021. 

New work models 

The labor market is moving towards a more flexible work model. Technology has accelerated the digital transformation of companies towards a more virtual, modern and resilient working environment.  

Managing the new business model is the second biggest concern for the 119 senior executives Gartner interviewed for its Emerging Risks report for Q3 2020.  

One way to minimize these concerns is by adopting a hybrid work format with the objective of combining the benefits of remote and face-to-face work. 

The Sloan School of Management at MIT provides four keys to successfully implementing a hybrid model:  

  1. Turn the office into a workplace that fosters cooperation 
  2. Make remote working a way for employees to recharge their batteries 
  3. Leave room for each worker to manage their own time 
  4. Synchronize employees for tasks that require coordination 

Minimizing the risks of remote working, a priority for the HR Director

Remote working is here to stay. 76% of employees say they are happier when they work remotely, according to Buffer’s 2020 annual study.  

There are many studies that claim that remote working can result in increased productivity. However, there are some sectors with more potential for remote working than others. Finance and insurance are the sectors that report the least loss of productivity when working remotely, according to Mckinsey 

Managing talent in remote working is the third biggest concern in Gartner’s third-quarter report. To solve it, a good recommendation is to acquire HR management tools or softwares that ensure seamless communication for effective HR management and proper performance evaluation. 

Active participation in the company’s strategy

Having employees who are motivated is essential for improving productivity. Getting them to actively participate in the company’s strategy is always a challenge for the HR Director, especially at a time when many of the teams are working remotely. 

Remote workers tend to be less motivated than office-based workers, according to researchers Lindsay McGregor and Neel Doshi in an article in the Harvard Business Review. 

According to Forbes, some key ways to encourage active participation by employees are the following: 

  1. Establish a vision for and values of the organization 
  2. Grant them initiative and create work teams 
  3. Establish action plans, hold quarterly meetings 
  4. Monitor the progress of workers and then celebrate their successes 

Team upskilling, a great challenge for the HR department

Team upskilling is a great challenge for the HR department. Technology has accelerated the need to implement a process to equip workers with new skills.  

In that sense, digital upskilling is key to future business success, according to PwC. The consultancy estimates that one out of three jobs will be severely affected or disappear in the next decade due to technological changes. 

The HR Director will be key to leading the way in facing the challenges of the new year in HR management.