Three Major HR Challenges Facing Employers in 2021

A good question to ask as 2020 comes to a close is what the top three HR challenges are facing employers in 2021. Although there are a bevy of difficulties for employers in 2021, Strategic Contracting Services (SCS) believes it’s essential not to take on too much too fast, thus overwhelming executives and managers. Instead, small to mid-sized business owners can avoid being overwhelmed by breaking down the big picture challenges into manageable issues and questions.

2020 has been the hardest year for business in the United States since the great depression. Across the board, companies and people, employers and employees have been hit hard. Thus, even after COVID-19 is in the rearview mirror and the majority of people are vaccinated, which might be several months down the line given the staggering numbers, SCS knows it won’t be back to business as usual. Such an extreme universal experience cannot easily be shed.

Here are Three Major HR Challenges Facing Employers in 2021

Since the three major HR challenges outlined below are looming questions, they will be revisited. Please consider this article as an introduction to what will be an ongoing inquiry in 2021. The sands are shifting, and SCS will keep pace with the changes.

1) Accepting the Permanence of the Hybrid Work Environment

The hybrid work environment where remote employees become an integral part of a company’s workforce is here to stay. Very few companies are going to return completely to how they operated before the pandemic. Previous processes and practices are going to be affected by what has happened over the past year. Thus, hybrid arrangements where once office-bound employees continue to work remotely will be common.

Such shifts are not only because of the lingering discomfort caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. As Mark W. Johnson and Josh Suskewicz point out in a recent issue of the Harvard Business Review, “Even if remote work turns out to be less productive on some metrics than others, reducing carbon-based emissions or the improving work-life balance could make up for it.” Indeed, the shift ultimately could lead to happier employees who learn to be more productive at home.

In such a significant shift, the value of HR leaders is the ability to analyze this shift by using experiential insight and data analysis. As an Employer of Record (EOR), Strategic Contracting Services will embrace this role with client companies.

2) Promoting Wellness and Optimism in an Uncertain Workforce

There is no question that when the offices open and the workforces return, there will be fear and anxiety. Despite the vaccine’s success, an uncertain workforce is a natural result of such an extended crisis. Thus, promoting wellness and optimism in such an uncertain workforce is essential. The only way to foster such wellness is to listen to the concerns of employees.

Toni Townes-Whitley, the President of U.S. Regulated Industries Microsoft, a $14 billion business, explains how her company culture places the issue of employee mental health at the heart of their company culture. In a Forbes article, she explains, “We’ve been on this path of building empathy, learning about each other’s history, their path, their authenticity, their true self.”

In other words, the fears and worries of employees will not vanish if they are ignored. If employees feel they are being heard and recognized, they will shift into the positive.

3) The Post-COVID-19 Wage and Compensation Conundrum

The issue of employee compensation is one of the hardest questions facing small to mid-sized employers in a post-COVID-19 world from a financial perspective. How do you deal with employees who expect to return to their former levels of compensation and want raises and bonuses? Since so many businesses have been hurt financially by the pandemic, traditional pay increases and salary stability might not be possible.

Indeed, many businesses will be forced to institute temporary pay freezes and bonus cuts. Employees will be more willing to sacrifice if they see that these changes are universal.

As an Employer of Record, Strategic Contracting Services will help our client companies with these major HR challenges. Our goal is to help you determine what’s affordable and sustainable in 2021. Also, many companies will be able to take a safe step forward by choosing to work with an Employer of Record like SCS. As a new day approaches, we can help bolster many small to mid-sized businesses’ future success.