Remote work, Workforce Management and Employee Mental Health
HR leaders are focusing on improving technology systems that improve remote worker productivity, upgrading workforce management, utilizing recruiting and learning platforms to meet changing needs, and deploying digital tools like apps or videos to help employees manage mental health issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic as the new year begins.
While the pandemic slowed new HR technology spending in 2020, experts believe that as the economy slowly recovers, pent-up demand and widespread use of coronavirus vaccines will lead to renewed investment in 2021.
Supporting Hybrid and Remote Work
The majority of workplace experts agree that both remote and hybrid work arrangements (partly remote, partly in the office) are here to stay. More HR leaders will invest in software and platforms to improve remote workers' ability to collaborate, communicate, and deal with issues like burnout as a result of this fundamental shift.
"Infrastructure technology spend for remote work will continue into 2021," said Pedram, the president at MyPlus Cloud Attendance Management who specializes in absence issues. "We'll also see more innovation from collaboration network and tool providers to make them easier to use and more efficient."
Attendance management leaders, will continue to invest in technology to monitor remote workers, though with a different goal than in the past. "Using technology to measure things like whether employees have been working too long at home and are at risk of burnout will shift away from tracking productivity or keystrokes," Pedram said. "This type of software can give workers automated reminders to get up and take a walk or take a break if they've been working on one task for too long.
New regulations will limit what employers can track about their employees using technology that is still used to monitor productivity rather than overwork, according to Pedram. That's because many companies that invested in the technology during the pandemic didn't think about how to balance employee privacy with the software's use, resulting in more employees complaining about being monitored, he said.
Workforce Management, Service Delivery, and Learning Technology: A New Day
The inability to conduct in-person learning, as well as an increased reliance on HR help desks, are all 2020 trends that will influence spending and adoption in three technology categories in the new year: workforce management (WFM), learning systems, and service delivery tools.
Cloud-based WFM systems, dynamic work-scheduling tools, touch-free features to allow workers to clock in and out of work safely, health screening tools, and self-service apps that allow workers to swap shifts or submit time-off requests virtually are among the features that organizations are looking for.
"One reason many companies are replacing their WFM platforms is that they are still on-premise systems," Pedram explained. "HR realized the disadvantages of not having cloud-based systems during the pandemic." "The other reason is that during the pandemic, HR realized that these systems needed to do more than just track employees' hours worked and attendance. They must also monitor where workers are in a building and assist in tracking their health status, among other things."
During the pandemic, tools like HR help desks, portals, and case management applications went from being nice to have to critical systems, as they were used to support COVID-19 initiatives like communicating news to employees and executives. According to experts, as businesses recognize the value of employee-centric platforms, adoption of these service delivery tools will continue to rise in 2021.
The new exposure for such tools, according to Pedram, the president of MyPlus Cloud Attendance Management, may accelerate demand for platforms that are not only easy and efficient for HR professionals to use, but also employee-friendly. "HR leaders want to know that job candidates and employees will have a positive experience as they move through a recruiting, onboarding, learning, or performance management system," she said.
Virtual Processes Are Here to Stay in Recruiting Technologies
Recruiters will switch to virtual platforms in 2020 to source, assess, interview, and onboard job candidates.
Even as more employees return to work as the COVID-19 vaccines are administered, experts predict that trend to continue well into 2021 and beyond.
"More heads of talent acquisition are asking, 'Why am I not in charge of all recruiting, including temp, contingent, contractor, and gig workers?' Pedram explained. "The answer to that question will be a shift in recruiting ownership from other departments, followed by a consolidation of tools to meet a new talent acquisition delivery structure."
The majority of investment in 2021 will be in complementary technologies such as candidate relationship management (CRM) systems or artificial intelligence tools that can help eliminate bias in hiring decisions.
"Investing in [CRM] tools will enable companies to expand their talent pools and hit the ground running when they resume hiring later in 2021," she said.
Technology Will Support the Shift from 'Building' to 'Buying' Talent
According to HR Priorities Survey for 2021, 68 percent of HR professionals will focus on improving critical skills and competencies in the workforce next year, with a special emphasis on digital skills. Many of those skills gaps will be filled by recruiting rather than reskilling existing employees.
"Skills have a shorter half-life, and it's becoming more difficult to predict what skills a company will require in the future. Because you might only need a skill for one year rather than five, learning and development investments are becoming more difficult to sustain. As the economy improves, we believe that more companies will choose to buy rather than build to fill skills gaps. Because skill requirements change frequently, hiring or renting' talent is more appealing."
Digital Tools to Support Employee Mental Health
More organizations will provide support in the form of digital tools—apps, videos, and webinars—to help mitigate stress, anxiety, and burnout as the pandemic's effects continue to impact employee mental health into 2021. Experts say that such tools have the dual benefit of providing easy access while also assisting employees in overcoming the stigma of seeking help when they are struggling.
According to a survey conducted by the Business Group on Health, a nonprofit health organization based in Washington, D.C., 88 percent of companies plan to provide virtual mental health support services to their employees in 2021, up from 58 percent in 2019.
"Employers are increasingly understanding that they must assist in the care of the whole person who comes to work every day. They're putting more money into their employees' mental and financial health because they know that better health leads to a more engaged and productive workforce."
Technology has brought about the beneficial transformation that is required in the HR department. Technology that centralizes administrative tasks helps put HR professionals’ priority into more important tasks. A list of association management companies can help you choose the best management software.
You can also look for association management software reviews online to help you decide. Remember that these applications and software should cater to your company’s needs. So, it’s best to look for software that meets your needs.
However, you should keep in mind that technological breakthroughs can’t compete with humans. Some roles and tasks are better off done by humans. While this is true, technology is still important to businesses. Following specific technological trends build a reputation for a business in the market.
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