HR Management Trends: 5 Ways They’re Changing How We Work in 2021

Oct 7, 2021 | HR Trends

As post-pandemic resignations soar and companies increasingly adopt hybrid or remote models, it’s clear that times are changing. To remain competitive, organizations must quickly adapt. That said, which HR management trends will prevail? We’ve identified the five most important ones from 2021, and what they mean for the future. Let’s take a look.


1. Major Emphasis on the Importance of HR Management Trends

2. HR Management Trends Focusing on DEI (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion)

3. Prominence of Virtual Work

4. Upsurge in Digital Transformation

5. Increased Focus on Mental Health

Company leadership will narrow their focus on the importance of HR functions. HR leaders will be called upon to play a pivotal role in adapting to change. However, today’s employees are seeking new opportunities when they feel unfulfilled by their work. This means talent management has become an increasingly critical area in many businesses. As a result, HR management trends are shifting toward enhancing the employee experience and workplace culture. In turn, this can become a company’s competitive edge. HR leaders will increasingly focus on designing and fulfilling a higher-level strategic mission. This can be achieved through an emphasis on talent management and healthy workplace culture. 

Diverse happy group discussing HR management trends

Social justice movements placed a laser focus on social inequality in 2020. Since then, HR management trends have emphasized businesses ramping up their focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). Following a cookie-cutter approach may not be the best route to take. What works for one company may not work for another. Instead, HR specialist must dig deeper.

HR leaders should strive to create a safe environment for employees to share feedback that guides the direction of change. Anonymous surveys are one way to safely collect this input. Leaders should also work to cultivate authentic relationships and ask for this feedback one-on-one.

HR experts should aim to put this feedback into practice while nurturing employee growth. Sponsorship, training are a great way to help employees maximize their potential. Facilitating access to opportunities that allow them to reach their goals is also key. Furthermore, these inclusive HR management trends can influence all managers (and other employees). How? One way is by helping identify and overcome implicit bias on an ongoing basis. Another way to improve DEI is workshops. When geared toward key issues, they can help employees develop self-awareness.

3. Prominence of Virtual Work

Only 2% of employees want to return to the traditional workplace model. Another 65% want to work remotely full-time, and the rest prefer a hybrid model. As such, HR management trends like virtual work are here to stay. Most organizations will adopt a hybrid or fully remote model over the long-term. This can mean that employees will work from different time zones and with flexible hours. Leveraging technology to both collaborate across time zones and share real-time feedback will help them maintain connectivity. Taking a digital-first approach by making all meetings accessible to remote employees will ensure no one gets left out.  

4. Upsurge in Digital Transformation

Expert typing on laptop about HR management trends

Even for teams that work in-house, the digital transformation will increasingly streamline many HR management trends and processes through automation. From onboarding and payroll to managing compliance with ever-changing regulations, new technology is decreasing time-consuming paperwork. Ultimately, this allows HR to focus on improved strategy among other tasks. Not to mention, software for managing performance and workflows will help them achieve their talent management goals.

5. Increased Focus on Mental Health

COVID-19 has underscored the need for quality mental health care. Roughly 45% of Americans say the pandemic has harmed their mental health. Another 19% say it has had a major effect on their mental health. And 90% of employers say that COVID-19 has affected their employees’ wellbeing and productivity, reports McKinsey. Consequently, employers will increase their focus on overall wellness. 

More and more, companies are offering perks like meditation apps and coverage benefits with stronger mental health options. Organizations who adhere to these types of HR management trends help their workforce achieve better mental wellbeing. Some are even making counselling sessions easier to access through remote or on-site options. HR can also provide managers training on stress reduction and supporting employees dealing with mental health issues.

By prioritizing these areas for growth, businesses can help keep their employees satisfied while promoting a positive work culture. These HR management trends are paving the way for greater employee satisfaction along with more effective teamwork. Everyone benefits when equity, wellbeing, and the employee experience in an increasingly virtual world become key areas of focus. As HR offloads repetitive functions to AI technology, personnel will have more time and energy to nurture employees to success.

Start Your Free Trial | Request A Demo | Download Our Free E-Book

Related Articles