5 Human Resource Leaders Discuss Their Top HR Priorities in 2021

5 Human Resource Leaders Discuss Their Top HR Priorities in 2021

HR leaders have dramatically shifted their focus and priorities due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 2020 has taught us that anything can happen and we need to be prepared. HR leaders have had to become more dynamic, adaptable and ready to problem solve at a rapid pace. So what are the human resource priorities for 2021?

Everything from improving the employee experience, improving the employee value proposition, and organizational planning to upskilling employees, the mental wellness of employees, diversity and balancing both in office and remote work are on the shoulders of human resource leaders to keep top of mind with the entire leadership group to ensure the greatest return possible from their critical workforce.

We reached out to HR experts and human resource leaders in their respective organizations to get a better understanding of some of the top priorities for HR leaders in 2021.

Brenna Swann - Director of Human Resources - ORBCOMM

Employee Experience

My 2021 priority is ensuring a positive employee experience. Our people are our business and for our business to be successful we need to ensure the workforce is satisfied, skilled, and engaged. To ensure a positive employee experience a few of my main focus areas will be training and continuous employee development and mental health initiatives. We rolled out several training initiatives last year and continue to build pre-recorded and live training sessions. A few examples of our mental health initiatives include stress management training, and we purchased an app called ‘Headspace’ which focuses on everyday mindfulness and meditation.

Joanna Kmiec - VP, Global Head of People and Culture - Maropost

Elevating our Employee Value Proposition

With success being tied so intimately with engagement levels, our focus is going to be to build out and elevate all stages of the Employee Journey, from attraction, to retention, and all the engagement drivers in between.

We want to be able to confidently and globally answer the question “ Why Choose Us?”.

This focus will include an Employer Branding strategy, creating a Road Map around People and Culture, and evaluating all areas tied to employee engagement in order to maintain, and continue to build on our amazing and positive employee culture. This will allow all teams to actively participate and have ownership over being a part of this journey, as culture and engagement are a team sport in a market that continues to pivot and evolve.

Jonathan Lee - Vice-President, Human Resources - Evolugen by Brookfield Renewable

Mental Wellness

2020 has taken its toll on all of us and truly tested the resiliency of every individual and team across the board. Our organization is no exception.

Mental wellness is the cornerstone that enables us to call forth the strength and energy required to get through crises, problems, projects, events, and deadlines. When our heads and our hearts aren't present, little else matters.

Asking simple questions such as “Are you okay?” or “How are you doing?” may have previously been perceived as a sign of weakness and therefore the last thing you would want to do.

However, in 2021 and beyond, we need to flip the script and, instead, start there. Our business will be investing time and resources in taking care of our people, because ultimately, it's the people who take care of our business.

Natalie Hartley - Vice President, Human Resources - Caivan Communities

Organizational Planning

Almost every business experienced an impact from the COVID-19 pandemic, and HR leaders need to be focused on forwarding thinking strategies that include lessons learned from 2020. It is essential, as we build our priorities for 2021, to use a people-centric approach.

My number one priority is organizational planning, in particular, how the pandemic has changed processes, systems and jobs. As we continue to pivot and flex in response to the changing conditions, the workforce needs to effectively meet the evolving priorities. Using this data to reexamine workflows, transform processes, reduce constraints to build resiliency and maximize productivity. Conducting regular employee engagement tools to address change, fatigue and enhance the employee experience.

Alison Wallace - Director, Human Resources - Lumentum

Diversity, Inclusion & Belonging

Diversity, inclusion and belonging initiatives are at the forefront of our HR priorities for 2021. As a global organization it is important that our employees are representative of the communities in which we work and the customers that we do business with. Lumentum believes that diversity, inclusion and belonging create a healthy work environment where employees are able to bring their authentic selves to work, share a variety of perspectives and be their most creative.

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