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HR executives share some of the biggest challenges of 2021

The challenges faced by corporate leaders and HR executives in 2021 were numerous and diverse due to the ongoing pandemic. These challenges included attracting and retaining talent in a competitive labor market, embracing flexibility in work arrangements, ensuring employee safety amidst evolving COVID-19 variants, battling burnout, and adapting leadership styles to the new environment. Click here for article.

  • Attracting and Retaining Talent: The labor market faced a significant shortage of talent, with millions of workers quitting their jobs and job openings reaching historic levels. Companies had to offer flexible work options and expand recruitment efforts to attract and retain talent.

  • Embracing Flexibility: Workers demanded more flexibility in their work arrangements, forcing executives to find the right balance between office and remote work. Companies like Nationwide implemented hybrid models to ensure safety while accommodating flexibility.

  • Ensuring Employee Safety: With the emergence of new COVID-19 variants, companies had to adjust safety protocols and re-opening plans to keep employees safe. Measures included mask mandates, limiting office capacity, and providing information sessions on COVID-19 and mental health.

  • Battling Burnout: Workplace stress and the blurring of personal and professional boundaries contributed to employee burnout. Companies like Citi introduced initiatives such as "Zoom-Free Fridays" and reduced meeting times to alleviate burnout and improve work-life balance.

  • Adapting Leadership Styles: Company leaders had to adapt their management styles to the virtual environment, emphasizing flexibility, agility, and empathy. IBM implemented empathy training for managers and shifted focus from activities to outcomes in performance evaluations to better lead in a virtual-first environment.

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