6 Critical HR Department Mistakes in 2021 and How to Avoid Them

Alexander W.

Photo created by jcomp - www.freepik.com

With the rise of the COVID-19 pandemic, HR departments around the world have had to roll with the many changes in the business world. Things have shifted from predominantly traditional office spaces to workers operating remotely and working from home.

In an increasingly digital workplace, the role of HR is stretching and evolving. With that evolution, here are a few mistakes to avoid as we enter 2021:

Avoid Working in Silo

An HR department is a complex web of connection to other departments, now more than ever. HR departments are becoming more and more of a connection between employees and departments, especially as we all adapt to new working environments.

Be sure that you have ongoing dialogue with department heads, as well as their teams. More than just a step in the recruitment process, HR departments of this new world have to be a support system.

Assess how you can better serve your departments, achieve the company goals, and boost your productivity, rather than working on an island unto yourself.

Forgoing Formal Performance Review

The main goal of a performance review is to assess and document and employee’s performance, as well as how he or she is fitting in with the company’s mission and goals. With more employees working remotely, now is definitely not the time to ignore or pass on formal performance reviews, although they may need to be done virtually rather than in person.

You should be questioning whether an employee needs to be challenged more or whether their responsibilities should change to better utilise their talents.

Ask how they are doing with the new challenges facing your workforce. If they’ve recently moved to working remotely, ask about how that transition has been and what challenges they have encountered. Don’t be afraid to ask how they could be better supported in their new roles and working environments.

With such a stressful time, many employees will be struggling and that can present as poor work performance. Get a complete picture of the employees work performance and see how you can work together to make any necessary changes.

Dismissing the Need for an Employee Handbook

If ever there was a time for a well-written, clear, concise employee handbook, it’s now. Take some time to evaluate your employee handbook - is it too formal or are there areas that are no longer necessary? Has there been changes in your organisation that need to be reflected in the handbook?

Be sure your company’s policies are clearly and officially stated, especially when it comes to time off, remote work, and anything related to the pandemic. With that, keep your handbook updated and remember to send any updates to existing employees.

Remember, a good employee handbook should have:

·      Your company’s history, mission, vision, and goals

·      Your company’s core values and culture  

.      Human resources and legal information related to employment

·      Your company’s policies

·      Employee benefits and perks

Poor Data Management by The HR Department

Especially with the emergence of so many virtual and digital workplace tools, your data management has to be top notch. As an HR department, you are handling the private, sensitive information of dozens, sometimes hundreds, of employees. Maintaining that data in a safe manner is crucial.

To make sure this data is protected as best as possible, have a no-tolerance policy about sharing personal information. Remind your employees that personal information and data can be held for ransom by cybercriminals. To add another level of protection, invest in data security.

Believing a Degree Equals Experience

The old-school way to find candidates for a job listing is to focus first on a person’s education, specifically whether or not they have a degree. With that, there’s been a misconception that a degree means a person has the experience to do well in a position.

Larger companies like Google and Apple have done away with this because the truth is a degree does not mean a person has the real-world experience and knowledge to help your company meet their goals.

Instead of focusing on a person’s expensive piece of paper, focus on aptitude, skills, and attitude. While a college degree is helpful and important, especially in certain positions, hands-on experience is often a more valuable asset.

Your best bet is to write a job description that lists the skills needed. Use the best recruiting sources and write appropriate interview questions that will show you who is willing to learn and able to accomplish the daily tasks. With that, create a system so each candidate is interviewed using the same criteria.

Not Thinking Beyond HR

Throughout the rollercoaster of the last year, the role of HR professionals has changed dramatically, along with the workforce and the economy. There’s an evolution happening and more often technology will take over certain tasks humans used to do. To keep up with the evolutions, you will need to be a bigger, broader HR thinker.

First and foremost, you must become tech-savvy and adaptable. Becoming agile enough to roll with the ever-changing workforce will help to secure your position, as well as make you a more valuable member of your company.

Along with the surge of tech in the workforce, HR departments have to adapt by making more information and services available to employees around the clock.

By implementing automation, digitalisation, and better software, you can save yourself precious time and focus more on business strategy and your employee’s career paths.

HR Department Takeaways for 2021 & the Future

Experts in the field have assured us that HR will look very different in 2025. Imagine a day when a human HR department is no longer necessary. The only way to keep up with the technological trend is to make it work for you and to become one of the decision makers.

In the new world, HR will not only lead and administer business decisions, you will be part of making those decisions - start now becoming a trusted workforce advisor and look forward to the future.

Time to plan for the future, sign up for altHR, the all-in-one digital solution that covers everything from payroll and onboarding to staff management and providing employees with information kits. You’ve done HR the old way long enough.

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