The CHRO of a global manufacturing organization recently told me that many work changes that happened in 2020 were things his company “backed into.” They were tactical reactions to external factors and were not initiated as part of a future focused strategy. He then said it is time to turn around, face forward, and start thinking about how to build on these changes to create a new world of work. I have subsequently used this observation about “facing forward” as a starting point for conversations and roundtable discussions involving more than 100 senior HR leaders.
The following are seven ways HR leaders are building off changes experienced in 2020 to create a better 2021.
Recognizing that some change is good, but not all change. To say 2020 was a year of change is an understatement. Companies radically altered work practices to protect employee wellbeing and respond to widespread economic and societal unrest. As a result, companies learned that employees have an amazing capacity for change when they understand its purpose, have technology to adapt, and feel supported, connected, and cared for during the transition. Companies also discovered that many previous work practices were based on outdated traditions and false assumptions.