What a Year… for HR

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What a Year… for HR

Here we go again. We’re nearing the end of 2020, so it’s time for a bit of reflection.

2020 has been an extraordinary year in the world of work. Amid layoffs, hiring freezes, but also hiring sprees, we’ve had to get used to wearing face masks, working from home, no business or holiday traveling, having fun and drinks digitally, and even hiring and onboarding people entirely online.

I don’t think we got any of that correct in last year’s ‘2020 HR Trends‘ article… 

Little did we know that 2020 would be the quintessential year for HR transformation, the year that would propel us far into the future of work, the year where two of the most essential jobs would be medical and…wait for it…HR.

So let’s take a quick look at how 2020 transformed HR. And what we’ve been up to at the Academy to Innovate HR.

The people crisis

Teaching courses about the Future the Work gave us a little head start in the transition to the new way of working that COVID-19 forced on us.

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But our struggles are insignificant compared to the challenges that most larger organizations were facing during the first quarter of the year. How do you facilitate tens of thousands of people to work from home from one day to the other?

What do you do to keep your remote workforce engaged? How do you recruit and onboard new people virtually? How do you get them all the stuff they need to continue doing their jobs remotely? And how do you go about learning and development?

After the 2008 financial crisis, the 2020 pandemic gave rise to the people crisis within organizations.

And who were we all looking at to solve these challenges?

Exactly. HR to the rescue!

The CHRO running the boardroom

And that’s how suddenly the CHRO became the linchpin of the boardroom.

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For many years, we have been hearing that “people are your organization’s most important assets.” If that were true, why didn’t the CHRO have a real seat at the table?

But the 2020 people crisis showed how essential HR actually is and that everything grinds to a halt without people.

HR had the most challenging job keeping our organizations running, and they certainly stepped up to the plate.

A long way to go

But despite HR rising up to the occasion, there’s still a long way to go.

The forced digital transformation of HR has painfully uncovered a critical lack of skills. And the accelerated pace of the transformation continues to widen the skills gap.

A majority of HR professionals lack essential capabilities such as business acumen, people advocacy, data literacy, and digital integration. 

These are core HR competencies that any modern HR Professional should master to stay relevant and drive business value.

Without learning new skills and developing modern internal digital capabilities, HR is at risk of losing its newly attained strategic value and relapse into a purely administrative function.

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Lifelong learning

So what can we do in 2021 to ensure that HR keeps its seat at the table?

It’s no secret that we, at AIHR, are firm believers in lifelong learning. In this day and age, if you’re not developing, you’re not simply sitting idle. With our peers continually growing and the world around us changing, if we don’t keep brushing up on our skills, we risk falling behind.

Any HR professional can continuously expand their skill set with modern and relevant HR Skills with a commitment to lifelong learning.

And we’re here to support you. It is our mission to help innovate and future-proof HR. So our commitment to you is that we will always provide the latest HR training that enables you to develop in-demand HR skills – essential for your HR future and a flourishing career.

Let’s celebrate committing to lifelong learning in 2021.

As Michelangelo said,

“I am still learning.” 

Upskilling entire HR populations

As it turns out, online education is not a bad industry to be in during a global pandemic and lockdown restrictions. Especially when your goal is to help HR professionals drive even more business value.

In 2020, 3,115,806 HR Professionals visited our blogs digitalhrtech.com and analyticsinhr.com to read about the latest and most relevant HR practices, watch video interviews, or download practical guides and templates. 

A substantial number of them chose to invest more time in their professional development by enrolling in our Academy. The resulting numbers are:

  • 94,844 hours studied in the Academy (+128%)
  • 3,631 certificates issued (see alumni)
  • 7 HR Certificate Programs (+133%) and 28 HR Training Courses (+75%)
  • 31 amazing colleagues at the AIHR headquarters (+94%)

We’re very proud of these numbers because they illustrate the impact we’ve had on the global HR space. 

But what’s our biggest achievement in 2020?

This year, our most ambitious project was the upskilling of a global population of 1,500 HR Professionals within one company.

With a highly-skilled People Analytics team in place, data-driven decision making needed to be embedded at all levels of their HR organization.

And that’s where we came in.

Together, we have developed learning journeys to help all 1,500 HR professionals develop basic data literacy skills and train them on using data effectively in their daily work activities.

Why is this so important?

We know that many HR professionals have an intrinsic hunger to grow. But this is not enough. In order to close the skills gap in HR, organizations need to recognize the essential role HR plays for the business. With their support, larger HR populations have access to new and modern HR skills.

A project of this scope during a global pandemic proves that HR’s strategic involvement is growing. Organizations are willing to invest in reskilling and upskilling their HR staff to successfully lead the digital transformation.

On our end, we’ve quadrupled our enterprise team to be able to help organizations develop their HR capabilities framework, design custom (fully online) learning journeys, and ultimately succeed in building essential HR capabilities.

Expect this for 2021

So what’s cooking for 2021?

Many of the transformations that took place in 2020 are irreversible. We expect working from home to become more widespread, even after the pandemic. The digitalization of HR processes will continue. HR’s strategic leadership will cement and expand, data-driven decision-making will become widespread, and upskilling and learning new competencies will become the new norm. More on these trends in our HR Trends 2021 article!

In response, you can expect more of everything from AIHR as well.

In 2021, we’ll provide you with more courses and certificate programs to facilitate your hunger for growth. We’ll be covering diverse HR specializations, such as Organizational Development, Compensation and Benefits, HR Leadership & Strategy, and Strategic Workforce Planning.

We’re preparing more live and interactive HR events so that you can learn from leading experts from around the world.

And we’ll be publishing more free (video) content to keep you up to date on the latest and greatest HR practices. So that even if you don’t have the budget, you can still access practical and high-quality resources to make your job a little bit easier.

We are thankful for…

You! Our loyal audience, our biggest fans, and our biggest critics (to keep us on our toes).

Without you, AIHR would not exist, and it would be impossible for us to innovate HR and drive business value.

The same goes for the fantastic AIHR team that we have gathered here.

It’s inspiring to see that we have found another 15 incredibly talented people who were brave enough to take a gamble on us and join the AIHR team despite all the chaos and uncertainty that COVID-19 brought on!

Happy holidays and stay safe

We’re truly grateful for all the support and trust that you, our colleagues, and our customers, have put in us.

That’s why on behalf of the entire AIHR team, I wish you happy holidays and a fantastic (and hopefully less turbulent) New Year.

Stay safe!

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