The budgeting and planning season is upon us and I know what you’re thinking, “It’s September already?”  Yes, it is.

This crazy, unpredictable year is flying by. As much as we’re moving forward in time, there’s still an element of feeling stuck. Planning for 2021 may be challenging because of the unknowns that lie ahead, but experiencing 2020 has helped shed some light on areas where we can invest more (or less) in the future.

For some companies, technology enhancement is a big line item for investment, while others may be rethinking equipment and facility expenses. Make 2021 the year you invest in your greatest asset–your employees.

Think beyond training or professional development and  evaluate how this year has impacted the people within your business and the effect that can have on your business as it moves forward. It’s important to recognize the mental health and spirit of your team during these unusual times.

When building next year’s budget, think about your greatest asset and take these three steps toward success.

Be aware of the background noise. Working from home, juggling new family dynamics and living through the stress of a pandemic is bound to impact anyone. There can be a feeling of isolation and people need to process. Include a line item in your budget that helps team members connect to and confide in a professional resource.

Optum’s 10 Years of Health and Well-Being at Work survey shows that 80% of medium, large and jumbo companies expect their spending on health and wellness programs will increase over the next 3 years.

Be prepared to take a pulse. Not everyone is cut out to work from home. While some may be loving this environment and thriving, others may feel like they just can’t get the job done. Employee engagement is critical during this time. Invest in tools and third party resources that will help you take the pulse of your organization. This will gauge employee motivation and help you identify and address problems before they snowball out of control.

Be ready for new processes. How are you going to conduct new hire interviews? How will you onboard virtually? What are the rules for working from home ?  You get the picture. In this changing work climate, you must revisit your HR processes and have contingency plans. Build the cost of revamping processes into your 2021 budget so that everyone is aware of expectations. With all of the unknowns, having that stability and awareness will be welcomed by the team and help reduce stress.

At HR Elements we focus on the people asset. We want to see the business community succeed through this challenging time and we’re here to help as your outsourced HR resource.

Drop us a line and let us know how you’re doing and how you’re planning for 2021!


Tina Taylor