McLean & Company, a leading HR research and advisory services firm and division of Info-Tech Research Group, has released its McLean & Company 2021 HR Trends Report. This industry-leading annual report combines insights gathered from more than 800 business leaders and HR professionals and shares trends and practices that will reshape HR in 2021 and beyond.
“Our annual HR Trends Report has become the industry gold standard for insights into organizational HR practices and emerging trends,” said Jennifer Rozon, president, McLean & Company. “In 2020, HR was front and center, in a year many of us would consider the most challenging year of our lifetime. Last year, when we predicted a rise in HR stress, we had no idea that this year would put the profession to the test in so many ways. This year’s study found the number of HR departments who were partners in planning and executing organizational strategy increased by more than 22% year over year. As the evidence of talent’s importance to organizational success continues to increase, the 2020s will be the decade of HR.”
Here are the four mega-trends emerging from the McLean & Company 2021 HR Trends report:
1. Diversity, equity, & inclusion (DEI) is at the forefront of the conversation. The pandemic has laid bare the major challenges around DEI, including childcare, accessibility in a remote work-dominated landscape, and mental wellbeing. Our research suggest organizations that fail to focus on DEI are more likely to experience higher turnover.
2. HR’s role as a strategic partner increases organizational performance. In 2020, our data shows that HR’s strategic partnership was greater than ever. A majority of HR teams were more involved in business continuity planning (BCP), and organizational performance increased when HR was involved. 2020 also saw an increased focus on employee needs, which resulted in increased workforce productivity and organizational performance. With the expansion of HR’s role, and HR headcount remaining static, half of all HR professionals agree their stress levels are spiking. In 2021, this may threaten individual HR and organizational performance unless HR takes the time to focus on their own resilience.
3. Remote work redefines the office of 2021, and beyond. Though there is no one-size-fits-all solution for work-from-home (WFH) arrangements, more than nine out of 10 organizations are planning on implementing or continuing some form of WFH in 2021. Unfortunately, half of them are not planning on implementing any changes to increase suitability for remote work – and over one in four aren’t measuring engagement – which casts a dark shadow over post-pandemic employee performance.
4. Digital transformation accelerates. While HR professionals’ readiness to support long term digital disruption and transformation will be crucial in 2021, almost one in four organizations say they won’t support digital transformation – and many are failing to update their talent strategy at all. Our data suggest long-term actions such as analyzing the skills gap and training employees on next-generation skills will be critical in ensuring future organizational competitiveness.