The years 2020 and 2021 have been unlike any others we’ve seen. A global pandemic is winding down, masks are coming off, people are returning to offices, and businesses are reopening. But what does that all mean to our HR community? To find out, we conducted an informal survey. Here are the results.
Most People Are Optimistic about 2021
More than half (65%) of respondents feel optimistic about the year, while only 12% feel pessimistic. That’s a pretty big segment of people of looking forward to better things. We’re optimistic too…and your optimism gives us even more hope that we’ll see you soon as we start teaching and mentoring students in-person again.
Why so optimistic?
The anticipated return to normalcy seems to be the main source for optimism. The Covid-19 vaccine in particular gave almost half of our respondents something to look forward to. Not far behind was travel which has been limited. So…yay for vaccines and kudos to travel! They’re offering our community something to look forward to in 2021.
KEY RESPONSE: What is causing your optimism for 2021?
“The vaccine being distributed and a return to normal.”
Only 12% of our respondents were pessimistic and for two primary reasons:
- First, people felt that there are a lack of job opportunities in their market.
- Second, those within certain industries have been hit hard. While some industries are rapidly returning to normal, there are others — like those dependent on events – that are still feeling the impacts of pandemic induced cancellations.
KEY RESPONSE: What is causing your pessimism for 2021?
“The pandemic has mostly negatively affected the promotional products industry. Most of the meetings and events that drive sales by heavily utilizing these products have been cancelled, and until events make a serious comeback, my clients have slashed their budgets.”
Even we’ve been affected by the downturn of events. We planned to sponsor COSHRM in 2021 and were looking forward to the conference in September, but it has now been postponed to 2022. Bummer! [Sidenote: We will be sponsoring the BAHRA 40th Anniversary Picnic, so we hope to see all the Boulder area people there!]
Even with these reasons for pessimism, the comments we received do imply that they are likely short-lived. As the year progresses, we hope the return of events and job opportunities continues.
Companies Are Ramping Up
This time last year many companies were cutting staff. This June, it appears most organizations are ramping up and trying to fill positions — perhaps to hire back the staff they lost a year ago or just keep up with increasing demand. 53% of our respondents said their companies were planning to increase staff this year. Not one response mentioned decreasing staff. And 59% said their companies were expecting to return to full capacity within the next six months. That bodes well for those pessimistic about job opportunities!
People Want to Grow/Advance in 2021
More than 75% of our respondents are looking to change roles in 2021. And almost half of them are actively looking for new roles. Perhaps the pandemic has given people more drive to improve or find a role they truly enjoy.
In fact, in a follow up question about what initiative would be most important this year (see next section), nearly 60% said ‘personal development’. This reinforces the emphasis people are placing on growth for 2021.
And we’re happy to hear that because we can’t wait to get back to the classroom and help you with HR certification prep and to watch you achieve your career goals for this year and beyond.
New Ways to Work Require New Policies
With the pandemic, a need for new policies has emerged – especially as it relates to working from home.
After personal development, our respondents revealed that they’ll also spend time developing policies for a hybrid office/home workforce as well as safely returning their workforce to an office.
ALSO OF NOTE: the continued emphasis on diversity, equity, and inclusion. More than half of those taking the survey said that would also be an area of focus this year.
Onward and Upward!
By no means was this survey scientific, but it does anecdotally confirm that most people are hopeful about 2021 and looking for ways to improve and advance. If your goals include HR certification prep or career coaching, we’re here to help.
We hope things continue to look up for you and this optimism carries into 2022!