To say weathering a global pandemic has been challenging would be an understatement. Long-running trends have accelerated exponentially as organizations struggled to find short-term workarounds and medium-term solutions under unimaginable circumstances. HR professionals have carried heavier burdens than most as they struggled first to support their people through crisis, then to stabilize and organize a new way of work, and now to look forward and ask, “What’s next?” as they explore a still evolving but forever changed business landscape.

Where should HR leaders focus their efforts? We asked our network of Human Resources professionals what their top priority will be for the next year. 52% of surveyed executives said their top focus moving forward would be employee experience, engagement, wellness, and development. 19% said strengthening diversity and inclusion programming was their number one issue. 17% would try to gather as many lessons learned as possible from working through the challenges of COVID-19. 12% say understanding how technology is changing their profession is where they want to focus most.

Here are a few questions to ask about yourself and your business:

  • What do you think HR should focus its attentions on most in the coming year? Has this been a long-running priority for your HR organization, or have the events of the last year changed your primary area of focus?
  • How much has the workforce and working environment of your organization changed in the last year and a half, and how many of those changes do you believe will become part of the ‘New Normal’?
  • Technology has enabled us to do so many things we could not have done had the global pandemic hit even a decade ago. Where do you think these new tools are getting in the way of productivity now that the crisis has passed? Is the solution to go back to old ways of doing business, or to build better tools?
  • If you could sit down with a group of HR professionals and talk frankly about one thing you would not want to discuss in front of a general audience, what would you want to discuss? What are you hoping to hear from people in the group?