This is What I see Down the Road

Psychics have risen in popularity according to the women’s lifestyle publication Literally, Darling. Whether the pandemic had anything to do with this rise wasn’t covered in their May article, but it may not hurt to have a crystal ball handy for company leaders seeking to decipher their workplace climate in 2021.

Economic, social, and health conditions changed so much over the past year that HR people and company executives will need to adapt in order to move forward successfully. CEOs who sought the advice of their HR heads gained by actively listening to their advice. One of the big surprise benefits and positive outcomes of those who did was remote work. What’s likely to arise from the work from home options that arose are revised and refined new employee evaluation processes. As discussed in earlier articles, many companies expect to allow employees to work remotely in the future to foster a better work/life balance. Companies permitting this will have to ensure that new hires bring the appropriate skill sets and values to succeed.

Similarly, HR will need to reconsider and revise performance appraisals, especially in the absence or lessened frequency of face-to-face meetings and evaluations. The same would apply to productivity in certain industries.

Remote work may not last forever either. Remote learning firm BenchPrep is forecasting that many companies presently permitting work from home will want employees back in the office in a year or two. If so, HR will also need to plan and adjust for their return as well.

Although it may not be top of mind, employee mental health remotely or on-site should be an ongoing HR consideration. Many workers were under greater stress during the pandemic, and the issue now should be on how to maintain good mental health rather than dealing with mental illness after the fact. Doing so would not only signal employer recognition and care for employees but also foster greater employee loyalty.

Keeping employees motivated and energized is easier when engaging with them in person. So, too, is nurturing the corporate culture. As long as staff are working remotely, corporate leaders and HR will need to best determine how to keep their workforce engrossed and involved and how to sustain the brand’s core values.

And whether companies continue to permit staff to work remotely or not, professional development, including online learning, will remain valued and important. Whether it’s enhanced learning or needed certifications, fostering a continuous learning climate will also be vital in maintaining employee satisfaction.

Whether listening to a psychic or believing the surveys, companies that adjust to worker attitudes and priorities will see better outcomes in the new normal.

Qualtrics, an experience management software company, conducted a global survey of nearly 12,000 workers in October and November 2020 and asked how the pandemic changed their work perspective. 69% cited their employer’s ability to listen regularly as having a big impact.

66% said employer engagement was significant, while another 27% said employers taking action based on feedback was important. On the biggest question of whether they would stay at their jobs if their employer recognized these changes, 70% said, “yes.”

Ronn Torossian is the CEO and Founder of 5W Public Relations. 5W PR is a leading digital pr and influencer marketing agency.