It’s not like we expected this to happen when we thought about the year 2019 or earlier. As we approach the end of the year, you may be thinking, “I can’t wait for 2020!” It’s important to remember that not everything we are dealing with now will disappear on January 1.
I believe that 2021 will be largely focused on transitions. How can we humans transition from the current situation to the new normal? How can we support the companies we work with to do this?
It might be useful to examine current trends in human experience management and how they will affect us now and in the future. These six trends were prominently displayed at this year’s SuccessFactors Conference.
Build, Borrow and Buy. Organizations realize that they must be more strategic in their hiring plans, given the uncertainty surrounding the economy and the job market. When planning work and forecasting staffing, organizations ask, “Is this a position we need to hire from the outside (BUY)?” “Can we train and develop a current employee for this role (BUILD)?” “Should we engage a freelancer when we need them (BORROW)?” There’s one other question that organizations should start asking, “Is there a technology solution that could help us do this task better/faster/cheaper (BOTS)?”
Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion. It’s time for organizations to promote equity in the workplace. That’s great. It has been a long process. It’s now time to do it. Candidates and workers expect to see tangible signs that an organization lives up to its promises. Candidates and employees are not meeting organizations that don’t pledge. Diversity, inclusion and equity are more than just a program run by human resources. It should be part and parcel of company culture and encouraged at all levels of the organization.
Resilience. Resilience is a word I hesitate to use because it doesn’t seem like the 2020 buzzword. But the concept is important. Resilience is “the ability to recover quickly from difficult situations”. This year’s experience has shown us that resilience is an essential skill for individuals and organizations. Companies realize the importance of strategies for dealing with the unexpected. We will not be able to cover all contingencies. Most likely not. However, many businesses found themselves without an emergency or business continuity plan after COVID-19.
Remote work. The long-term effects of remote work on company culture is a topic that has been debated for some time. We’ll save that discussion for another day. Remote work is a key component of human experience management and business. Individuals and organizations need to find ways to do remote work for them. Not only do they need the technology, but also how to establish positive virtual working relationships.
Self-Care. The conversation around self-care has increased over the last few years. 2020 is the year that it took off. Although the title of this article is self-care, we should look at it from two different perspectives. The first is that we need to know how to take care of ourselves if we can help others. This second point is related to resilience. We, humans, need empathy and transparency. Empathy for those who are honest about their needs and transparency about our own.
Self-Management. Self-management is personal accountability. Every employee at every level needs to know enough about themselves, so they can be productive, solve their problems, resolve conflicts, manage their learning, and navigate through change. It is not an easy task. Managers must change how they support their employees. Employees must be able to manage themselves. Organizations should provide training. The result is higher productivity and better results.
These trends shouldn’t be surprising. To be successful in 2021, we will need to regularly review these trends and assess our progress towards our goals. Next year, I see individuals and organizations tweaking their goals more frequently than in previous years. Both managers and employees will need to spend more time in one-on-one discussions about performance. All employees will have to be open to external factors.