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At the midway point of the year, it’s good to take stock of our businesses. What were our goals in January? Are we on track to meet them? What improvements have we made over the last six months?

It’s also a good time to examine where we’re going from here. If you’ve veered away from those January goals, is there anything you can do over the next six months to get back on track? Maybe the goals themselves need revision. Were there challenges that developed and how can you address them?

In this guide, we look at the top HR challenges business leaders are likely to face in the next 18 months or so. You’ll want to keep them on your radar as you plan to move your organization ahead.

Hybrid Work Remains Challenging

One of the biggest HR challenges of 2020 was the switch to remote work. Many employees had to rapidly transition from working in the office full time to being at home 24/7.

Some HR leaders had to consider hybrid teams early on, with some people working from home and others staffing certain locations, such as warehouses. In the fall, more employees were able to return to the office a couple days a week.

Hybrid work has been on the horizon for months now, with lockdowns slowly lifting and vaccination moving ahead. Now, hybrid work is starting to become a reality for most office workers.

There’s going to be a long adjustment period here, for employees and employers alike. Some employees may desire more remote options in the future, which might not be in an employer’s plans.

There’s also a learning curve for HR, as you try to determine which policies work best for your team. You might start out offering split-shifts, then decide to move to a split schedule, with some WFH days and some days in the office.

The Risk of Burnout Is High

Even as things may seem like they’re going back to “normal,” the mental health of your team members must remain at the forefront of HR operations. We can’t forget that we’ve endured a year and a half of trauma.

Some of your team members may be excited to return to the office, but they might not be dealing with their emotions properly and forget to take care of themselves.

Switching back to the office will come with unique stresses as people readjust. All employees are at risk for mental health issues, like burnout. Commutes, the demands of children going back to school in the fall, and even just the need to interact in the office again could be challenging.

HR will need to come up with strategies to help people cope with these changes in an effective way. Watch for the signs of burnout. Focus on gradual readjustment to the office and don’t be afraid to offer tools to help your team manage their mental health.

Higher-than-Usual Turnover

We’ve already heard lots about the labour shortage south of the border, and plenty of employers here are facing a similar situation. While we may think we’re facing the worst of it now, it’s likely we’ll see turnover rates continue to rise.

People are eager to get back to “normal.” As they readjust, however, they might find themselves dissatisfied with their jobs. This “bump” in turnover could happen any time after you return to the office. Even new hires may decide your business isn’t the right fit.

HR leaders will need to be prepared. You might need to re-evaluate your hiring process to get better fit. You could also review your total compensation package and your employer brand to see what you’re really offering to your team members.

The return to normal is quite welcome for many of us, but that doesn’t mean unique challenges won’t appear. Rise to meet them all with the right technology at your fingertips.

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Kaneez Jaffer

Kaneez is a Certified Human Resources Leader (CHRL) with an advanced knowledge of human resources and organizational structure and design. She has extensive experience with HRIS systems and understands the need to move HR from a transactional model to a transformational one. She has worked in the investment banking, insurance, and legal industries, as well as with large not-for-profit centres helping to simplify and streamline their internal systems. Kaneez is an expert in building relationships and affecting change in a positive and productive way. She acts as the key HR business partner at Apri Insurance Services Inc, managing the implementation of JungoHR, while providing expert advice and counsel on a range of HR matters. Kaneez holds a Graduate Certificate in Human Resources Management as well as a Certificate in HR Law for HR Professionals from Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto, Canada.

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