A Gartner survey found 68% of HR leaders consider skills development to be a top priority for 2021, with leadership diversity and organizational design and change development among other priorities. "As organizations move from their initial pandemic response to more sustainable operations, they're trying to build resilience into everything, from strategy to work design, so as to enable the organization, its leadership and employees to sense and respond to change, repeatedly," says Gartner executive Mark Whittle.
Recent graduates likely will have a difficult time trying to form working relationships because of the pandemic, says Fiona Mullan, chief people officer at Ding and former vice president of international HR at Facebook. "How will it be for people who have never been inside an office or met a physical person of the company that they're going to work for?" she says.
HR leaders are strengthening their business roles and visibility by focusing on such areas as strategy, providing organizationwide solutions and board-level conversations, write Adam Bryant and David Reimer. "We've got to redefine HR, and, most importantly, we've got to redefine HR against our business strategy, the future of work, and the future of the workforce," says Susan Podlogar, MetLife's chief HR officer.
Strong communication, strategic skills development, gender equity and resilience were among the topics discussed at the Visionaries event held this month by the Society for Human Resource Management Executive Network.
Employers can support employees who identify as transgender or nonbinary by letting them decide how they want to reveal their gender status and speaking out against discrimination, says consultant Jacob Rostovsky. He also discussed this year's US Supreme Court ruling on gender identity and other relevant laws and regulations.
Laura Ramirez, head of diversity and inclusion at Invitation Homes, says she experienced racial and gender bias as an employee before raising the issue with business leaders. "We have to encourage employees to speak up if there is an incident or something that's happening," Ramirez says.
Improve on-the-job training by focusing on team learning, context and embedding learning into the daily job experience, writes Goldman Sachs Chief Learning Officer James Fulton and Like Minds Advisory CEO Todd Warner. "A real strategy for on-the-job learning short-circuits translation and forces learning leaders into the fray," they write.
This year has fast-forwarded most organizations' digital playbooks and put HR in a unique position to lead, learn and influence. Current events have only made this question of evolution or revolution more urgent. The one response to this changing world that is guaranteed not to work is an attempt at achieving stasis. Learn more on how leading-edge organizations like Coca-Cola, Microsoft, Keysight Technologies and more have navigated their way.