A company’s culture directly impacts how they do business, but many managers forget to look inward when evaluating their businesses. As the calendar turns and gives us time to reflect on the past year, business leaders should meet with their HR departments to set new goals and expectations for their employees and themselves.
To help you and your HR department get ready for what lies ahead, we spoke with members of Forbes Human Resources Council about the best ways to plan for Q1. Here are 15 HR-related goals to think about setting in the new year.
1. Organizational Adaptability
It may sound counterintuitive to goal setting, but one big lesson from Covid-19 is that we need more adaptable organizations. Given this, I would challenge HR leaders to consider how they can build adjustable plans and strategies. Long-term tactical planning does not have the same value it once did. For instance, in my organization, we have moved from long-range planning to 90-day sprints. – Ciela Hartanov, Google
Every company is still going to be mired in varying stages of the remote work experiment. Therefore, a reasonable goal should be to maximize the ability of the organization’s technology to support the remote worker. That stretches from the HCM systems that take people from candidate to termination to those systems that make working productively from home a possibility. – Jeremy Ames, Workforce Insight
3. Reducing Attrition
Attrition goals are important right now. Despite a poor economy, attrition is high in certain industries. Employees feel less engaged, have time to interview for new jobs and are benefiting from flexible working arrangements. Goals that target attrition will also focus on company culture and wellbeing—equally important things! – Karla Reffold, Orpheus Cyber
4. Defining And Communicating Objectives And Key Results
It is essential to have clear OKRs across all levels of the organization. These should be communicated, clearly tied to performance and reviewed quarterly. – Olga Sanchez, GFR Services
5. Employee Wellness
People need to heal—mentally, physically, spiritually and intellectually. HR should play a major role in providing tools and techniques to ensure that health and wellness lead 2021 activities. – Tina R. Walker, California Community Foundation
6. Hybrid Workforce Management Preparation
As we prepare for the return of some employees to the office, companies must focus on change management as it relates to hybrid workforces. Remote work was an equalizer, but a hybrid workforce will present new challenges. Companies must think about how to reinstate onsite offerings while ensuring the experiences of those at home are equitable to those in the office. – Kristina Johnson, Okta
7. Performing A 2020 Retrospective
The first thing HR leaders and business leaders need to do is to perform a retrospective and see what people processes and tools worked well and what can be improved. This is an important exercise for an organization that is focused on effective innovation. – Srikant Chellappa, Engagedly | Mentoring Complete
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8. Improving Employee Engagement And Connection
Companies should set a goal related to employee engagement and connection. This past year has been incredibly challenging for all employees and in 2021, we will likely still be in uncertain territory when it comes to a physical workplace. As such, it’s very important to ensure that HR is doing everything they can to engage their remote workforces and maintain connections in the digital ecosystem. – Jennifer Reimert, Workhuman
9. Understanding Employee Burnout
Every company should have a goal of understanding the degree of employee burnout that they are facing heading into Q1 of the new year. Given the personal and professional challenges that workers in every sector have faced in 2020, it’s not a matter of “if” your employees are feeling burned out. It is a matter of “to what extent” and “how can we support you.” – Pari Becker, Titan Machinery
10. Prioritizing Employee Mental Health
In 2021, HR should make it a goal to prioritize employees’ mental health. One in five American adults experiences some form of mental illness, and though it’s been a frequently avoided topic in the past, Covid-19 has brought it to the forefront. Employers should be sensitive to mental health issues in the workplace and consider providing employee counseling and manager training in the new year. – John Feldmann, Insperity
11. Tracking Your Business’s Carbon Footprint
Understand what your carbon footprint looks like. Setting a goal to calculate this metric will hold you accountable for identifying areas of focus and tracking how much impact your business has. Identifying this at the start of the year makes finding data that much easier. And with it, you will be better able to understand what this looks like, why it’s important and when you can take action. – Jessica Adams, Brad’s Deals
12. Creating A Historical Improvement Index On All Processes
While each HR team may have their own goals and create new projects, it is important to see it as a journey, even if there is a new way or system of doing things. This not only provides a context and purpose on why we changed something but also helps recognize when the new is not creating the impact needed—which sometimes is hard to see. – Hafiza Gujaran, AlixPartners
13. Including A ‘People’ Component In Each Strategic Goal
While planning for Q1 of the new year, ensure that there is a “people” component to any strategic goal. Preparing your people for the new strategy and developing them to take on the new challenge needs to be the most important “people” goal when preparing for the challenges and business focus in the new year. – Rajeswari Ramanan, United Health Services
14. Ensuring Each Employee Has A Great Manager
Companies expect a lot of employees, and employees should expect to be led and managed by someone skilled and trained to do it well. With the pace of change we are experiencing and all the uncertainty around us, companies should put a lot of focus on their leaders and give them the tools to be great. – Ben DeSpain, Velocity, a Managed Services Company
15. Reviewing Employee Perks
With so many more people working remotely, it’s especially important for companies to review employee perks for the upcoming year. Employees need benefits they can access from home and that cater to their mental health and wellness. HR personnel should do a deep dive in Q1 to find out what employees need to keep their morale and productivity at peak levels in 2021. – Laura Spawn, Virtual Vocations, Inc.