Following the disruption and difficulty that defined 2020, many businesses will be looking ahead to 2021 with hope and optimism that it will bring better fortunes and easier market conditions. While there is reason to think the coming year will be less challenging than the last one, it's also safe to assume that companies in most industries will continue to face a range of obstacles on their journey to success.
When 2020 arrived, most companies started the year with no idea of how much uncertainty it would bring. All industries felt the impact of COVID-19, but logistics was arguably more affected than most, with businesses having to deal with disruption to global supply chains, combined with increased demand for essential items like cleaning products and groceries.
In uncertain times, HR departments are scrambling to put out one fire after another. A company might be rebalancing overall headcounts today but striving to hire new talent tomorrow. No matter what, to build resilience in an organization, it's more crucial than ever to create a flexible workforce.
Automation is a concept that seems to be growing in importance for businesses and industries with each passing year. The consequences of this trend have been particularly noticeable in the world of work. As KPMG noted in its Rise of the Humans report series, the convergence of artificial intelligence, automation, machine learning and cognitive platforms 'has had a profound impact on the workforce'.
The HR department has a crucial part to play in the success of any business. This has always been true, but the role of HR has become particularly significant this year, with so many organizations working hard to meet their human capital requirements and keep costs under control against the backdrop of COVID-19.