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Top Concerns for HR Heading into 2021

Top Concerns for HR Heading into 2021

Human Capital Management company Paycor has revealed the top priorities and concerns for human resources (HR) going into 2020. By looking at the most frequently accessed content in its data, the company determined primary areas of interest in 2020 to be communication, health and safety, change in the workplace, layoffs and furloughs, and payroll.

The past year has been marked by a number of significant events, including the COVID-19 pandemic, civil unrest, the election, and natural disasters. The pandemic had a remarkable impact on the workforce, as many organizations switched to a remote work model temporarily or indefinitely, and unemployment soared as high as 14.7%. During turbulent times like these, employees turn to business leaders and HR for support and information on what the future holds for them and the business as a whole.

“This year completely transformed the workplace as we know it, and HR and business leaders have been at the forefront of keeping employees informed and safe as companies navigate these challenging and uncertain times,” said Karen Crone, CHRO at Paycor. “Leaders from companies of all types and sizes can turn to Paycor’s resource center as a trusted source of information for tackling their top challenges now, and in the future.”

Based on Paycor's most frequently referenced resources, the top five themes for HR and business leaders in 2020 were:

Communication became more important than ever this year. In the wake of life-disrupting events like those mentioned above, transparent and effective leadership is essential. HR and business leaders were tasked with mitigating the challenges of remote work, making sure their employees were kept safe and informed, and, of course, continuing to push their businesses forward.

One of the top resources addressing communication was Paycor’s Coronavirus Return To Work Letter. For companies planning on bringing employees back to a physical workplace, letters such as this serve as a means to welcome the workforce back and brief them on new procedures and protocols. It’s critical that business leaders and HR communicate effectively with employees so they feel comfortable upon their return to work and can confidently navigate the complexities of the business’ “new normal.”

Health and safety
The health and safety of business’ employees and customers was a top priority in 2020 and will carry into the new year and beyond. As COVID-19 rates climbed throughout the year, companies quickly realized they needed plans in place for if and when employees got sick or tested positive for the virus.

One such plan is outlined in Paycor’s 6 Steps To Take If An Employee Tests Positive For COVID-19 document. Every business needs a contingency plan that outlines its policies around COVID-19 testing, paid time off (PTO) and sick leave, sanitation, self-isolation measures, and more. Companies who prioritize getting their ducks in a row can save themselves from unnecessary business interruption down the line.

Change in the workplace
The COVID-19 pandemic brought unprecedented change to the workplace as many companies shifted to a remote work model and made significant adjustments to how their business operates. Almost overnight, much of the workforce grappled with how not only to work from home, but be a parent, babysitter, teacher, and employee all at once. But even prior to 2020, employees have long been resistant to change, and the primary reason why is often poor management of change in the workplace.

As organizations coped with change in 2020, HR and business leaders turned to Paycor’s resource on Overcoming Employee Resistance To Change In The Workplace to better understand the “why” behind aversions to these shifts. By recognizing employee’s hesitations surrounding change, leaders can better communicate and work toward their objectives with as little friction as possible.

Layoffs and furloughs
Unfortunately, layoffs and furloughs were abundant in 2020. Paycor’s Coronavirus Layoffs And Furloughs: Letters, Templates And Forms served as a valuable resource for leaders challenged with determining how to handle layoffs and furloughs from both a personal and business perspective.

However, as things have begun to improve for some companies, HR and business leaders increasingly looked to information from Paycor on How To Rehire Furloughed Employees. All returning employees are likely to have lots of questions, so communicating what’s changed (and what hasn’t) regarding their place in the organization, their salary and benefits packages, and workplace safety, is a top priority for HR and business leaders.

Payroll is an integral part of running a business, and 2020 was no exception as companies both lost and gained new employees throughout the year. HR and business leaders sought out information on the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and Minimum Wage By State And 2021 Increases as they addressed their approach to payroll.

As rates of unemployment increased this year, companies also required details around Understanding Employer Responsibility For Unemployment Benefits. Small businesses especially are not always aware of their responsibilities when it comes to filing or responding to claims—which can result in hefty penalties—so access to this information is vital.