Motivating your staff for 2021

Photo by Lindsay Lenard on Unsplash

There’s not an HR manager in the country – possibly in the world – who hasn’t been extremely challenged by the events of this year.

Often responsible for managing the transition to working from home, ensuring ongoing health and wellbeing, organising changes to holidays and benefits, thinking about safe office spaces and considering how best to return to the office, HR professionals are now turning towards the coming year and planning how to maintain motivation during a further period of change.

What might 2021 look like?

With the positive news that a vaccine is now rolling out across the UK, employers and HR professionals may be starting to think about how things might start to return to ‘normal’. This is a great goal – we have been back in our offices since June and it has made a huge difference to our business to be able to work together – and it needs to be carefully planned.

  • Getting the vaccine – there’s a priority list for people to receive the vaccine. Healthy people under 50, many of which might make up your workforce, are a long way down that priority list, so the first thing to consider is how safe it might be to return to work. Employers shouldn’t mandate that their staff have the vaccine, and so should still be thinking about providing a Covid-safe workspace for any employees who want to return to the office.
  • Supporting choice – it’s important to listen to your employees and how they feel. Although 2021 might see an improvement in the way we can interact together, not every employee will want to return to the office. Many might have benefitted from the change in work-life balance offered by home working and will want to retain that flexibility. As you move into 2021, think about how you can support the choices of all your employees.
  • Reward and recognition – a recent survey by Willis Towers Watson showed that more than 50% of respondents agreed that their pay, reward and recognition strategies are still assuming an office-based or geographical location employee group. This means that schemes are unlikely to be as relevant or as motivational as they may have been when you conceived them. So now’s the time to think about how you motivate, reward and recognised people who are working in different circumstances.
  • Maintaining connections – one of the most important roles for HR and internal communications professionals this year has been keeping people connected when they are working remotely. Maintaining team spirit, managing wellbeing and keeping a sense of purpose have all been critical to keeping people productive and your business on track. As we head into 2021, this should remain at the top of your list – it’s likely that at least a proportion of your staff will remain remote for many months, and so need certainty in the processes and policies that support and protect them.

2021 may still be a year of uncertainty but, unlike 2020, it is uncertainty that we can plan for to a certain extent. If you need any support or advice to help you manage pay, rewards or productivity during 2021, contact us for an initial chat today.